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Library and Archives Canada Audiovisual Migration Strategy

September, 2009

6. Approach Implementation

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The migration of audiovisual recordings to a standardized digital file format will be implemented in the following manner:

  • LAC will use the best possible accessible version of an audiovisual recording as source material for digital migration;
  • Digital migration will be carried out without subjective alterations, improvements or reductions that compromise the integrity of the original;
  • Audiovisual recordings will be migrated according to accepted digitization parameters and approved procedures to an appropriate standard file format to create new preservation masters;
  • Migration will be carried out under controlled conservation conditions and, for reasons of authenticity and accountability, appropriate audit trails will be created and event metadata captured during the process;
  • Digital access copies will be generated at the same time as the digital preservation masters or derived from the digital preservation masters.

The intended goal of this strategy is to establish the approach for the migration of the entirety of LAC's audio and video collection. However, the technical realities associated with the availability of playback machinery and the lack of equipment repair expertise present obstacles to achieving that goal. In order to mitigate these risks, LAC will adopt a format-based approach to the prioritization of the audiovisual collection for migration.

A format-based approach prioritizes the migration of audiovisual formats that are most at risk based on an assessment of the technological obsolescence of the playback equipment.9

Where LAC is unable to migrate all of the recordings of a given format, then prioritization within a given format will have to occur with consideration given to the following:

  • Institutional responsibilities and agreements that include but are not limited to legal deposit requirements, donor agreements and partnerships;
  • Audiovisual recordings that are assessed as having extraordinary value in the context of LAC's Collection Development Policy. Weight will be given to audiovisual recordings that showcase content representing the historical, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of Canada;
  • Audiovisual recordings that have never been migrated to another physical format that is at lower-risk of technological obsolescence;
  • The physical condition of each recording;
  • As the ultimate goal of migration is to sustain and increase the accessibility and use of LAC's audiovisual collection, consideration will be given to recordings that are in high demand;
  • The overall cost to migrate a recording, weighed against each of the previous criteria.

9 The format-based approach to migration prioritization is elaborated in the Library and Archives Canada Audiovisual Migration Action Plan: Phase 1, 2009-2014. The Action Plan details the obsolescence level of each format held by LAC and ranks each format for migration.

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