Great footage may be lurking in boxes, storage closets, and media libraries. But old videotapes can start to degrade in quality over time, and many organizations don’t have the machines required to view and digitize these materials. A company might choose to digitize their video library in an effort to preserve company history and free up space. For a university or museum, the benefits might stretch well beyond the organization itself. Materials that have been digitized can be shared more freely with researchers and academics around the globe. For decentralized work teams, materials can be shared and used much more easily when digitized and stored in a cloud-based system. The age of video digitization is upon us.
Unlike send-away services geared towards individuals with home videos to transfer, Henninger Media Services is well suited to handling large volumes of digitization work, and we offer a lot of professional formats that the general public doesn't typically use (you can see a list of the formats we handle on our digitization and archiving services page). Henninger also offers "white glove" service. Our customers have the ability to drop off their materials and pick them up in person, or we can arrange for couriers to handle pick up and drop off for local clients. One of our clients drops off 15 boxes of tapes at a time! Clients are also assigned a project manager who can then serve as a dedicated point of contact on the project.
In one case, we worked with a large university to digitize their communication department’s library. This included assets in over a dozen different formats that documented the university’s commencement ceremonies, research, student life and diversity and inclusion efforts. It’s valuable material, and now it’s available digitally so that the university can benefit from it.
Another university client is working to digitize select materials on an ongoing basis. Their preservation efforts are more technical, requiring our core services staff to thoroughly inspect, catalog, and photograph each asset. This helps preserve important metadata about the assets. The Henninger core services team is using a file naming convention that helps our client keep the digitized files well organized in their internal systems.
The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) collects, preserves and shares the history of business and industry throughout Baltimore and Maryland. They recently turned to us to digitize their film archive. Many of the films hadn’t been evaluated in 25 years (much less watched). BMI felt that our deep experience with archival film and willingness to be flexible as we worked our way through the project was particularly valuable. We helped develop solutions for addressing unlabeled or out of shape film, and also brainstormed with the BMI team on how to best provide preview/low-res clips for researchers. Read more about that film digitization project here.
Larger organizations might consider implementing a Digital Asset Management system, like Bynder, Brandfolder or Canto. These systems help make materials accessible to large teams, but most are geared towards organizing materials that are already digitized. Henninger offers an easy way to digitize your older materials, making our services a perfect compliment.
We’re also happy to walk clients through the first phases of a digitization project. The video below outlines our “best practices” for getting started. Visit our digitization and archiving services page for more about the digitization process, and please reach out to us when you’re ready to give your film, video and audio assets new life.