The JISC’s Digitisation Advisory Group met at the British Film Institute (BFI) Archives in Berkhamsted, north of London.
The BFI leads the JISC’s InView project, which is digitising 600 hours of unique moving image materials from their collection.
However, as a tour organised by senior preservation manager Andrea Kalas demonstrated such digitisation is just scratching the surface of the material available to digitise.
Thousands and thousands of reels covered the walls of the air-conditioned chambers at the archives.
Of course the work is not just about access but preservation as well, as is now well documented plenty of film material is at risk, especially the self-inflammatory nitrate
To add to the difficulty, machines need to be maintained which can read and therefore convert to digital form the original media for the film. The archives are awash with machines to undertake these tasks.