EMG Panel Discussion: Education Needs for Electronic Media Conservation
Funding provided by: Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Stanford University Libraries
Essays on Educational needs in Electronic Media Preservation
[to be added in the near future]
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A few questions to start off the discussion:
TIM VITALE: Paul, do you want to make a preliminary comment?
PAUL MESSIER: I think the primary purpose of this meeting would be to start the dialog between conservation educators the constituencies that will eventually be filling positions for electronic media conservation. By constituencies I mean archives, libraries and museums in both public institutions and the private sector. Many such constituencies are dealing with electronic media preservation issues for the first time and will eventually be hiring people to conserve media like digital video and web sites. Perhaps this meeting will shed some light on what training is necessary to help fill these positions and what needs are not being met. To start the dialog we have conservation educators here, people from industry and people for collecting institutions. A very positive outcome of this meeting would be to further define where the educational needs are and what we could to better to help serve the cultural material of the late 20th and 21st century.
TIM VITALE: I don't think we can pretend to come up with solutions. All we can hope to do is have a good discussion about solutions. This is the first step in a long path of discussing what the educational needs in electronic media are. Would somebody like to ?
SARAH STAUDERMAN: I have an outline on this topic that I'd like to share with the group. The issue of the educational needs for electronic media preservation has been a major issue for me for the past four years as I've tried to figure out "what is a [paper] conservator doing walking into the electronic media field?" As you may or may not know, I worked for a magnetic media restoration company for several years. I view videotape and moving image preservation as neglected areas of the conservation field. The need for ethics, standards, research can not be overstated enough. Conservators are not involved in discussion that takes place in so many other venues and places about the preservation of our moving image cultural heritage.
As examples of where conservation input is essential, I will start off with analog machine-readable materials, and then we can go into the born digital materials. But let's just start back with the analog machine readable. And let's pass out for the purposes of people having something in front of them to understand my viewpoint [an outline of a proposed conservation of electronic media curriculum]. As an example I will start off with an illustration of a couple of situations where, as a conservator, I was deeply troubled. Imagine a documentary motion picture film from mid-1930s that depicts inner Africa at a time when no one else has been venturing into that space, into that continent. And it's a research film made by anthropologists, and there's only one print and it's badly shrunken and deteriorated, because of "vinegar syndrome" [the cellulose acetate is deteriorating]. Well, imagine that it receives a grant to be reformatted by a very prestigious granting organization, who suggests that it should go to a so-called restoration laboratory who will handle it appropriately and reformat it. That's the standard procedure with a motion picture restoration: You reformat these materials for preservation and access. Imagine that it goes to this restoration facility and while there it is damaged to the point where it is no longer projectable; it is damaged because it was run through a projector and the sprocket holes were ripped, and in addition there are untold numbers of damages such as scratches that occur. And the reason is because there are no standards for the reformatting, there's no standards for the handling, there's no standards for documentation, and their response is: "Well, we put it on the machines and it didn't work." And this was a recommended restoration facility that supposedly knew what they were doing. And this is a unique film. In fact, it was my film at the Smithsonian and I'm really mad about it! And I am a conservator who actually know something about this stuff, and I can't do anything about it.
Image another scenario. I have an individual item - a filmstrip with magnetic media audio narration from the early '70s. Krispy Kreme, the manufacturer of donuts, has some educational films. There are only a handful of these educational films still available, and they happen to be in American History Archives Center at the Smithsonian, and it is our job somehow to get that filmstrip into a usable access copy. Well, it happens that the format of the film is a strange amalgam of film and video and the cassette itself has the Krispy Kreme logo on it. In other words, the cassette itself, which contains the film, has intrinsic value. Imagine it goes to a restoration facility and they do a great job of taking the film out and reformatting the film, but they've had to remove the film from the cassette box. Where is the cassette when it comes back? They couldn't find it! Eventually it was found by the engineer who did the restoration, but where is the thinking? Where is the understanding of the standards of handling of cultural property? Conservators, archivists, librarians, and others understand the notion of intrinsic value, but in this case the vendor does not.
What about the orphaned materials? Commercial motion picture films have lots of money behind them for restoration, but what about the materials which do not have that type of funding behind them? We should be their cultural advocates, and we should be finding the reasons and the ways to reformat or get these materials preserved, and we need to have the techniques for it. We need to inform the stakeholders of orphaned films and independent media archives.
I look at film benches and frequently I see people doing restoration by splicing out damaged portions of the film. I see the still frames that are being cut out where the splices were cut, and the frames are just lying on the ground. And I think to myself: "Is that right? Is it right that when you're doing motion picture reformatting, that those that individual frames should be on the floor?" Not all picture restoration people do that, but we lose things, and there's no documentation.
There's no health or safety. You go to restoration places and people are breathing in solvents like methylene chloride. There's no sense of the sorts of standards that we've worked so hard for in this profession to document and to have ethics and to proceed in an orderly way to a goal which will not only preserve the item, but will help that it be managed in a preservation time frame. So obviously I'm impassioned about this.
Finally, I've had the opportunity to teach a little bit. First of all I go and I teach lab people just about the basics of what film or what magnetic media is. What does it look like? What's its material? We have a tremendous ability as conservators to talk about the material. Conservators understand material; we understand what things are made of and what makes that important or not important to the artifact and its deterioration and its restoration. So I think that's one reason why conservators should be involved in at least with sound and video and film. Certainly, we should be involved in programs that are established to train about the conservation of these materials. And so, I developed this outline.
TIM VITALE: You know what I'd like to do is reserve this for a little bit later and let people make introductory statements. Tell us who you are when you start speaking.
ANKE MEBOLD: I'm a graduate of the Selznick School of Film Preservation, and I would like to immediately pose a few questions to Sarah's presentation, because I think it draws an inaccurately bleak a picture of the present state of moving image preservation. In the film archival world, some of the issues and problems which you have raised are met with standardized and very simple and appropriate solutions. For instance in your example of the box for the Krispy Kreme video or film, in the first place the box should not even have been sent to the lab. It should have remained with the Institution. Only the film should have been safely packaged and sent. The box was an original artifact of its own intrinsic value, and it was clearly not in need of treatment by a motion picture lab.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: The film was inside the cassette, and the cassette itself had the logo on it. It was a combined package. I would not have risked damaging the film by trying to remove it from the cassette myself and retaining it and sending the film out by itself (I didn't even know if that was possible to do). And what happens when you have a motion picture film? You're not allowed to send a motion picture film to be restored?
ANKE MEBOLD: No, I was just saying that if there is original packaging, one ought consider repacking it into a different container in order to send it to a lab - presuming it is possible to safely and without risk of damage remove the film or tape from the original container. There is a certain division of labor between the film archives and the laboratories that do restoration, and one of the things that the archive must do is to make sure that the lab of choice has the experience to deal with the state the film or tape is in. Of course there is no guarantee that mistakes will not be made, but they are not a normal occurrence. There is a small percentage of accidents that happen in all areas of life - mistakes are made, but it's not the usual thing that happens, and, of course, you do document all the damages on the film as well as the length of the film and its content prior to sending it out and you can rightfully expect the original material to be returned to you exactly as it was sent out. A good laboratory will always inform you of irreversible alterations that are inevitable in the process of duplicating, and will give you a choice of method including a prediction of the possible damage.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: I beg to differ. There are restoration facilities out there that are supposedly well-able to handle materials that are shrunken, for instance, with vinegar syndrome, and this is one of them. The National Film Preservation Foundation recommended this laboratory as a recommended laboratory. The documentation was horrible.
WALTER HENRY:: May I interrupt for a second. Walter Henry. This argument actually encompasses something very important about the kind of curriculum exercise we're interested in, and that's that is inherent in what we, conservators, are about; it's not a matter of knowing which services to buy. It's not a matter of assuming that someone else has some particular expertise. It's tying together the expertise for multiple disciplines. If I'm involved in dealing with film, I should have an adequate understanding of what standards or practices obtain in that domain If there are archival appraisal and scheduling issues to deal with for electronic records, I should understand those. And any kind of strategy for dealing with electronic preservation problems would have to incorporate all these kinds of things. That's one of the things that has always given the conservator a real challenge and made conservation a really exciting field to be in, that there are not the narrow constraints of discipline that we have in certain other fields. So, if I may continue just a little bit longer, as Sarah pointed out, one of the first things one of the things we have to do is start thinking really hard about what exactly a conservator is in the context of electronic things. When I think about it this, I just think that if you consider a conservator-cohort of any particular object type, you'll see a certain commonality of skills, values and philosophic foundation, and those values are at the root our profession. One is that, unlike almost everybody else in the institutions we work for, by the nature of our profession we have, in general, a much longer time frame in our head than the people that we work with. If we're working with IT people, for example, their time frames are very short. We were working on something the other day and fellow from industry was looking at a piece of technology that we were beginning to work with and he said: "You guys are ninety days ahead of the curve!" But, we're actually four hundred years ahead of the curve. So identifying a set of core competencies and a set of core values is part of the problem. I think those values are largely epistemological; they grow out of the way that we view, understand physical things, our view of evidence. We bring to an object what is really a unique view of the ontological foundation of those objects. Similarly, we have to identify these values when we identify the core competencies. We have to identify what kinds of disciplines we would need to bring in, both as regular faculty and as more casual faculty, visiting faculty. And those, if you think about all the things that have been needed even in traditional conservation, are going to come from a lot of areas. We will have to look for people whose skills are particularly malleable--that maybe is the key: kind of looking out of the expected faculty pool, that needs to be found.
LINDA TADIC: I think what's really coming out clear and what's people have been discussing so far is that what's happened in the audio-visual-archival field by audio- visual I'm talking about audio, film, video and digital, because quite often digital is just tossed into the whole AV realm, because nobody knows what to do with it if you don't have digital preservation officers. What's happened in the past is we all learned on the job because there was no educational program, and because we all learned on the job, we tended to learn only one skill at a time, so the field the profession is very much a modular approach to the field. If you learned how to do night treatment film preservation, you tended to not know how to transfer two-inch quad. If you were a cataloguer of film or you were with a studio kind of product, you tended to not know then how to do shot-list cataloging or news film, for example. So, it's definitely very, you know, segmented and a bunch of specialists. And what's happening now, and especially, as you've argued, with the advent of the whole digital age, is audio-visual and the whole technology is evolving into a mutt kind of technology where you can't really it's a hybrid where you can't really tell the difference where the boundaries are between audio, video, film and digital. Then, I'm thinking back about 'cause we all know about Star Wars now, the you know, the whole episode we all remember that story of the all-track digital but yet you couldn't project it as a film. You know, there are film elements that where as well as you know, god, where are we going to find their digital files. We've probably heard the story about Dinosaurs that was produced by Disney. They started it was all digital animation By the end of the film, the production men couldn't locate couldn't read their early files from the beginning of the production. I mean this was like something that came out just a couple of years ago. So this is definitely a big problem, and what's happening now is that we can no longer just be modular archivists. We have to see have a more holistic approach and see all the technology, which is what Sarah, I think, was getting at and what other have been doing. It's not just knowing about the technology. That's like the format, you know, what, it's made of, so we can know the preservation problems. But it's also knowing the different forms that we have to conserve, because there are different requirements then. If we want to preserve a studio film, that's going to be different than when we want to preserve a television program or a home movie, you know, or a digital web site. You have to know the production and you have to know the preservation and access requirements to those different forms as well as the different formats. You have to know about all these different metadata standards. Oh, my god! It's not that we don't have you know, we have too many, and so you have to be able to distinguish between which one is which one will rise to the top in all the digital industries, whether moving whether it's from the library have to have to understand all those different standards. You have to know about copyright. You know, do you even have the right to preserve this stuff that's coming into your archive to preserve. And if you don't have to right to do it, can you still do it anyway? You know, you can somehow get around even if somebody else really owns the things and should be able to pay for it, but they're not willing to, and where you know this thing is going. This is really a problem with television material in particular archives that have television material and do you preserve it? You know, what do you do?
You know that ABC owns it, but still if they're not going to preserve it, can you still do it? You know it's really it's kind of like this dilemma. But what I'm getting at is that you have to and also digitally - you have to know the formats and all the digital you know, the technologies. And so, in a way, you have to also become sort of an IT person. When you think about the jobs in the future, are they really going to be in the non-profit sector? No, because I would argue, because that's where right now funding is really decreasing. The jobs of the future are going to be doing digital asset management for corporations and corporate archives, but to encompass all of these things, you have to know you really have to have this overall-arching, holistic approach. I mean, where do you go to learn how to do this? Is there a program? Well, there are two degree programs starting - one at UCLA, one at NYU masters program - both coming out of different departments. UCLA's is coming out of the film school as well as the Library of Science school, which shows their bent. NYU's program is coming really out of the studies program, and then they're working with George Eastman House and Selznick School to work on the film preservation, so they have two different emphases. That's still probably not going to cover everything that everybody has to know, so what you have to do is you have to glean fields, go to conferences, go to workshops - conferences like AMIA, which this year is having a specialized stream on digital issues and it's bringing everybody from the museum community, to broadcasting, to studios, technology, the academic world. It's really going to be a good mix of people that attend this conference. You know whatever AIC is doing. There's IMAC In New York, the Independent Media Arts Preservation Group, which is trying to educate artists and independent media makers on how to preserve their work and catalog it according to standards, and making it user friendly so they don't have to think about how; they can just about why we called it this. You don't have to worry about and yet it will still migrate to other systems if necessary. You know there are web sites, there are list servers you can go to do with preservation. You know there are all these different there are too many sources out there too many about digital preservation. You have to weed through and find those few that will then link you to other good sources and there are like five or six also link to. Several. So it's more like it's still there isn't one program out there that can do it, but there is, you know, that direction happening, which is great, but I think that in time it will evolve to that point, because it's going to be a requirement a necessity - not because we all as conservators or archivists know that that's happening, but because businesses realize it, so if they're going to put up the money to make sure that you're all trained, they're going to require that their staff their employees have this kind of background. So it's going to trickle down that way.
ANKE MEBOLD: It seems necessary to discuss the degree to which specialization is useful and desired in an education programme. Maybe we have to acknowledge that we cannot do without a certain amount of specialization early on, because there are simply too many different areas of knowledge involved in the preservation of electronic media including all types of moving and still images. So developing an overarching theme of training and what it needs to encompass is fine, but in the long run, for all the actual onsite work that must be done, you will have to have specialists, be they IT experts or be they actually film-handling specialists or analog-tape experts, simply because it's impossible, I believe, for a person to be fully informed in all these areas, and execute the tasks properly.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I would agree with you, because if anything we have to go on thinking you're a general practitioner and then there are specialists. You don't go to your GP to have... But at least you know the GP knows enough to refer you to that cardiologist. So thinking you have to have that over you can't know nobody's going to know everything. You have to know at least who to ask who to go to and who knows how to identify the problems.
ANKE MEBOLD: So, let me introduce the Jeffrey L. Selznick School of Film Preservation which I attended from Fall 2000 till Summer 2001, the fifth year of the program. It is a one-year certificate program and is located within a museum, the George Eastman House, which is an internationally renowned museum of photography and film. It is situated in the historical mansion George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak, built for himself in Rochester New York. The program is run by the Motion Picture Department which is one of six departments comprising the entire museum, the other collections are Photography, Technology, the George Eastman Collection, the Library and the Gardens. The Photography Department used to run a certificate program in Photograph Preservation and Collections Management, which has now been replaced by a post graduate advanced residency program.
These factors distinctly determine the identity of the program by situating it within a highly diverse working environment, rather than an educational context such as a University Campus. Additionally, one must take into account that the moving image collection at George Eastman House is almost exclusively comprised of film and therefore GEH can not even be termed an audio-visual archive but is truly a film archive. Electronic media are included in the curriculum of the School of Film Preservation, and that portion is growing, of course, due to their increase in relevance in the world of moving images, but this topic is difficult to teach in an environment where the material present is film. There are few digital media in the collection, nor much analog tape, and most of these are a form of access. Digital work is involved in some preservation and restoration projects, but the actual practical training of each student is on the film materials. So digital media, and electronic media in general, are basically reduced to theoretical lecture knowledge. Which I suppose is not very much different from other programs...
TIM VITALE: Do you do some form of an internship [at the GEH Film Preservation school]? You have projects. You do work. You do course work. And, you do an internship? I'm trying to draw the parallel between standard conservation schools
ANKE MEBOLD: Yes. Though not in the sense that one spends time off the premises of the Eastman House, working at a different institution. Additionally, most students who join the program have already done at least one internship or actually had employment working on film material, admission criteria do not demand it but it is very advisable.
TIM VITALE: You do have lectures and you do bench work?
Yes, the students have practicum courses called "rotations"
with each staff member of the Motion Picture Department and also
with a selection of staff from other relevant areas of the museum.
After a brief introduction to the tasks and decision making involved
in each position we were basically executing the daily routine
I will try to keep my description of the program somewhat focused on what is relevant to our topic of educating electronic media conservators, and will try not digress too much into the film components of the program. For example, the lecture component on digital matters and preservation was largely provided by the Image Permanence Institute, four members of their staff are regular lecturer for the program: Franciska Frey, Doug Nishimura, Jim Reilly and Jean Louis Bigourdan. We had a very thorough introduction to the chemical issues involved in the choice of carrier for any type of data stored in digital or analog fashion which was also provided by the Image Permanence Institute. Mark Henry from Kodak provided us with an overview of the digital preservation pursuits undertaken by Kodak. Jim Wheeler gave lectures on tape preservation history. I am not sure if he has any prominence in AIC, he is well known in the AMIA community, currently works for Tape Archival and Restoration Services. He gave lectures on the history of video tape recording and formats, video preservation issues such as sticky shed syndrome, the nature of drops outs and the necessity of redundant information, how to store and restore tape, disaster recovery, preventive measures etc. It would of course have been useful to also spend hands-on time with tape, yet that is one of the aspects that was not part of the curriculum. We had lectures and presentations on digital restoration practices and the programs currently tested and used in the industry, be they scratch removal programs or image enhancement measures. Much of this kind of information though is rather difficult to digest and place in a context that would allow one to really make informed decisions about the drawbacks and advantages inherent in each manufacturer's product.
The ethics at the heart of restoration practices, especially when using digital tools, were very thoroughly discussed. Access currently remains the immediately attractive use for digitally stored image data in a film archive. The concept of maintaining the integrity of the 'original' material when duplicating an object has much more relevance in the world of motion picture film than it tends to have with electronic media. Reformatting has a significance and use in direct relation to the degree of obsolescence of a given carrier, so with 28mm film it becomes a rather sensible choice while Super 8, 16mm and 35mm are still viable formats with their own inherent qualities and limitations. The foresight necessary for the pursuit of competent preservation methods, the inestimable value in creating an optimal storage environment for original material, striving to prevent grave errors, avoiding foolish, short-sighted actions such as discarding the source material, especially while unfamiliar with the lifespan or compression and migration issues of a new data carrier are some of the insights that were impressed on us.
TIM VITALE: I was going to ask Karen to talk about the UCLA Information Studies Program.
KAREN GRACY:: Graduate of UCLA Information Studies Program. I recently received my Ph.D., and I'm now teaching at the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and I just finished my first year and finished my first course in digital preservation. And I do have a presentation on my computer of what the syllabus looks like. I don't know if we want to hold off on that at this point.
TIM VITALE: I think your Ph.D. thesis is very interesting study of film preservation in the United States.
KAREN GRACY: It looks at the social world of film archiving, so for me it's really interesting to hear Sarah and Anke talk about the film laboratory relationships, because part of what I talk about in my dissertation is how important it is to develop a relationship with a particular laboratory, and most of the film archivists that I've spoken with have. In fact, it's a very ... it's like a long-term trust relationship where you still have to understand where they're coming from, they understand where you're coming from, what your needs are, and you sort of understand what their limitations are. And you work from there, from that point, to achieve a, you know, kind of a combined, shared goal of what the ultimate product is. So that's the sort of thing that I talk about in my dissertation ... is the relationships among archivists and among these people that you have to partner with who may be in the commercial universe. So it's a constant combination of people in the non-profit and for-profit world in moving image archiving.
So, for the course that I just taught, I guess I'm kind of doing general practitioner education, because I have kind of a combination of various students in my class. This is a required course for students who are in the archival studies program, and also, I believe ,it's highly recommended for people who are doing preservation management specialization. It's also an elective for MLIS students for whom it satisfies the technology requirement that we have. So you get a mix of archival students and students from the MLIS program, particularly those who are interested in academic library management. And it tends to be about fifty-fifty. I cover both digitization issues and also preservation of born digital objects and records. So just a few of the main points that I cover in my class : I look at what is the basic difference between analog and digital media. I think this is something that a lot of students don't really understand. They have no clue how you, you know, you're recording information in analog form versus how you're recording in digital. You know, I say to them, when we start talking about resolution and quality ... I say: "Digital is all about sampling. (Laughs) And the quality of your digital product is going to depend on, you know, how good the sampling is." And so, starting just from there, there's some very ... there are some students who are really ill-prepared in some ways from the technologies perspective, because we do have some very traditional library science students in there who went to library school because they love books, that kind of thing, and their computer technology experience knowledge is very minimal. So we're doing a lot of kind of bringing them up to speed on that.
So, moving on, I also talk about longevity issues - looking at how long different types of media will last and why it's so crucial to jump onto the preservation bandwagon as soon as you can with digital media, because your frame of time in order to save this material is so much shorter. I also talk about how important it is to be ... especially for people who are interested in the digitization issues ... how crucial it is to be in on the planning stages of a project, to build preservation in at the beginning, and not come to it at the end. We have a tour that we go on at the University of Pittsburgh, the digital library project that they have there and, you know, they're doing wonderful, wonderful things with scanning books, maps, archival material ... and then you ask them: "Okay, how are you storing it, and what are your plans for preserving those digital files?" And that's where we get into evasion mode. So, that's another thing - the longevity issues.
I talk about preservation strategies, you know, the big, you know ... the migration. the emulation, and archaeology, digital archaeology. And we look at: what is your situation, what is the type of material you have, and what would be the best method or combination of methods to use. I look at things ... actually let me just look through here. So, the preservation strategies: what are the benefits and drawbacks of each one? Is one strategy more suitable than another for different types of objects? How can I combine the strategies to create a solution tailored to my particular institution? I talk about object integrity in an electronic environment, particularly: how do we determine the boundaries of what an object is? [For example,] you have something that's on the web. You know, is it just those associated pages or is it going to be the links out to other pages? So how do you draw those boundaries? Also, how do we maintain relationships between different components, different files, [and] links? That can get very complex, you know. The more complex the digital media object is, the harder it's going to be to be able to preserve it and maintain the integrity of the object.
And we talk about object authenticity. If an object is translated from its original environment to a new environment, you know, such as a new version of the software, a different software, or different hardware, or a new operating system, how do we know that the transformed object is still representative of the original object in relations to its content, it's form, it's function, its aesthetic or experiential intent? So these you know, we're getting into the GP [General Practitioner] kind of education here, you know ... thinking big concepts and hoping that they will be able to pull [something] out of that into their particular situation what they need to do.
We have a little bit of a problem in the authenticity area with the difference between archive students and library science students, because there's a major trend in archives that migration is the way to go ... because what we're actually interested in saving is evidence of the transaction, evidence of the event that occurred. So we're interested in knowing, you know, when it occurred, who it was, you know, like digital signatures, things like that and not so much look and feel issues; whereas, in digital artwork, that it may be all about that. So that's another kind of key thing for us [to look at].
We talk about documentation - what source of documentation do you need to preserve digital objects? This is where we get into the metadata issues. We talk about the three different kinds: descriptive, structural, administrative. They need to know that if you're going to digitize a book, you need to be able to document like, you know, the page numbers and how the book is put together, things like that. And this, of course, could be extended to many different kinds of objects you know. For example, with a film, where are the splices in the film? You go on from there. There's a lot of administrative metadata that they never think about until you get to the point of digitizing something or trying to take care of something, which has, you know, multiple components. What model of documentation are we going to need? I've spoken with them about OAIS (the Open Archival Information System), which seems to be the real winner right now. (Laughs) And we talk about trustworthiness of the repository - what mechanisms are you going to have to have in place so that your repository or the repository where you're keeping your records -- sometimes you don't store them within your own institution, it could be somewhere else, you know -- how do you know they're going to be a trusted repository for authentic records? And, you know, you need to have things like the authentication of the users. You need to know who's accessing it, and are they authorized to access it. You need to have the metadata to document an object's authenticity that remains with the record. Somehow you need ..., ...objects that you may have in the collection. You can't just slap something up on the web and say: "Here it is." You have to provide additional information like, why did we select this in the first place to be digitized, or why are we providing access to it. You know, you're not going to be able to provide access to everything in a digitized collection. Also, once again, the metadata issue -- what information is required to identify and understand the content and the structure of the object?
Legal issues -- Linda talked a little bit about the copyright. Do we even have the legal right to copy this object for the purposes of preservation or for the purposes of access? What other restrictions may we be under if this was something that was donated? And there could be, like, rights you may not even thing about, like publicity rights that you may come under fire for if you have something on-line and the person did not give you permission.
And then last ... my last slide here ... I just talked a little bit about how I tried to get students to interact with these issues. I have kind of a case study thing usually. Almost every class, they're handed a case study. They break into small groups and so, the point of this is to get them to think about strategies. You know, what strategies would they choose, why would they choose them, what sorts of policies would their institutions have? And so, just providing rationale for their decisions through a group discussion decision-making session. So that's just what I have, what I brought. I hope that was helpful.
TIM VITALE: Very helpful Karen. Next, I'd like to ask Karen Pavelka to talk about the UT Austin Program, that was described in two talks yesterday.
KAREN PAVELKA: I'm at a preservation/conservation studies program at UT Austin, and because we're in the Library School, because we're doing conservation in a library school, we were thrust into the middle of this right away. We have to deal with electronic materials, because library collections are comprised, largely, of electronic media at this point. I think people have covered the basic issues really well, and I don't want to be redundant and go over the basic principles again. I think one thing we haven't talked about so far that becomes way more important when you're talking about electronic conservation, is management issues. A traditional conservator can get away with hanging out in the conservation department, you know, at the bench or occasionally doing a survey of a collection. An electronic conservator isn't going to be able to do that. They're going to have to deal with every aspect of an institution and with other institutions, and they need to know a whole lot about writing grants, writing contracts and all the rest of the managerial issues. And the other thing that I think we need to deal with is selection, because with electronic media we're setting up a system that we can never possibly maintain in its entirety. We're setting up a sort of juggling act. We're saying we have files that we have to refresh every, you know, five years or whatever we think it is. Even if we find out automatic ways to do that, selection is going to become a huge issue, because we can't save it all. So those are the only things that I want to throw out.
TIM VITALE:: Three kinds of students?
KAREN PAVELKA: We have three kinds of students. We have traditional conservators library and archives conservators and they tend to gravitate toward conserving physical materials. We have preservation administrators who end up being managers and, you know, going out and writing all the grants and administrating. And now we're getting students who are becoming electronic conservators who they tend to come from the preservation administration students, although we've got a couple of conservator students as well who do this. But they're merging a real strong management aspect with a real solid understanding of the physical nature of electronic materials.
TIM VITALE: John, could I call on you. He runs an archive where they take TV [RF signal] directly off the air and put it on tape. The question I posed was, let's say some granting organization decided to fund a position saying "you are performing an important cultural function and we want to fund some contract preservation people to help you do your work." What would you ask that person to do and what experience do you want that person to have?"
JOHN LYNCH: First, let me say just a tiny bit about what we do, because if I don't, this stuff isn't going to make sense. Literally, in 1968, we started capturing something which is essentially media. The evening news is a live performance. It's sent out on the air waves for presentation across the United States. It doesn't look the same on every television set; the only constant in it is the signal that they send. At that time, we captured the show on one-inch, type-A video equipment, which most people have never seen. And you're lucky. So they started doing the taping simply because they'd discovered no one else was doing it, and because, the invention of the type-A format made it possible. Just a few years before the only way to record the news would have been something like Kinescopes or other machinery which were far too expensive for anyone to do. I always say that we became the archive that wasn't thinking of preserving material for one hundred years. We weren't even thinking one week. We were thinking one day, because if we didn't tape it today, it didn't exist tomorrow. That wasn't quite literally true. The networks were keeping it for about a week we discovered. It was close enough.
So, we have this material that we're trying to record and keep. Now, you know, once you start keeping it, then you are involved with two things. You're trying to preserve it for people who need it now and for people who need it in the future. So in the past year, the September 11, 2001 material has been used over and over and over again, but we have also lent copies of material from the late sixties and early seventies.
Unfortunately, August 5, 1968 is the starting date, so much of the network evening news before that doesn't exist. Now, that brings us to if someone were to offer me money and expertise, what do I need? Well, the first thing I need is someone who comes in with a kind of conservation discipline, and to me, discipline is the important thing here. Not a list of rules or standards, because from my experiences with the Association of Moving Image Archivists I know that there are so many different kinds of materials in just the moving image area, that any set of standards tends to fall apart as you move from one to another. So that someone who comes in and says: "Oh, you should be storing everything on film," or somebody says: "You should be storing everything on this particular machine" - that's even if it holds true for a short period of time it only holds true for a short period of time. So it's the discipline that becomes important, understanding a sort of strategy for dealing with this kind of material. Because, again, our materials don't really have a media. For us it's on video tape, but it's on video tape because that's the way we could write it down, so to speak. I'm always sort of reminded of, you know, of the ancient oral traditions and at some point someone wrote down the poems. Well, they didn't capture that full performance, but we wouldn't have it if they didn't do it. So they were conserving, but they weren't able to conserve it all. Well, in our case, that's exactly true. In order to present for you a TV show as you saw it in 1968, I would have to have much more, and to have done much more than I'm doing. Now, what I'm actually doing is capturing a piece that you can see. So I need somebody to come in with discipline, look through what we have been able to do and what we should be doing in the future, and, you know, using both the combination of that discipline and what I impart to them in terms of the realities of the operation and this has to do with how much money you can have, how much material is coming in every day, how fast it comes you know, how much time it takes just to do what we're doing already so that it's a reasonable solution, based on this. And that would be sort of the first step. And then in the second step we might need more of the experts, so the first step is that general practitioner that has been mentioned before. What makes medicine work is not just is that they all have the same discipline the general practitioner has the same discipline as the cardiologist and the cardiac surgeon, and so they can communicate with each other very well, and you can move between that first general analysis to that expertise that you need.
TIM VITALE: So what you're saying is that you need somebody who understands the full breadth, but then also can listen to you, hear what your needs are, hear what your limitations are, and help tailor a program that works within the general discipline and meets your needs.
JOHN JOHN LYNCH:: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:: John, are you still recording on one-inch tape?
JOHN LYNCH:: No, we're recording on three-quarter inch U-Matic, and probably we will be recording digitally in a year or two.
ANDREW ROBB: I work at the Library of Congress, and certainly what I'm about to say is informed by working there, but the first thing that I'd have to say is that we struggle with all of these issues and it's largely because structurally we deal with all of these things. In the past we've dealt with them very separately and now they're converging, and when this magical convergence - this utopia -occurs I'm not sure. It always seems to be about five years away, but we are struggling with this move to digital work in the digital realm. I think the one thing that hasn't been stated yet, I think because it's so obvious to all of us, is that these issues would be very, very easy if we only had a few things. But we don't. We have a lot of things.
I'm a photograph conservator by training, - that's what I do at the Library of Congress - and negatives are a very good example of a very analog, virtually not machine-readable material, that is very difficult to manage because of the volume of material. What I think what makes these issues with machine readable material very challenging is that there's lots of material that is not nearly as visible when it deteriorates as even a negative. Then we start talking about short life spans that require reformatting and we run into capacity concerns. Do we culturally have the capacity to reformat all of the materials that we hold in the libraries and archives? Do we do a good job of even describing that we don't have that capacity? I don't think we do.
If you look at the hundred years of experience we have with sound recordings as an example of machine-readable material, we haven't done a particularly good job culturally describing what do we have to save, how are we going to save it, and if we have the time to do it. At the Library of Congress, we tried for a while with the deteriorated negative project to copy our way out of the problem, and we quickly realized that we could not do it, because we did not have the capacity in the marketplace or the money to do it. And so we've gone back, fortunately in the case of negatives, to an environmental solution, which has worked very well. Unfortunately, with magnetic media you don't have that option.
So one of the things is that, I think, these objects need advocates and they need big advocates. And one of the concerns I have is if we do this outsourcing, where are the advocates institutionally for these materials? I'm not saying that I don't want things to be out sourced, but one of my jobs at the Library is to be the advocate for the negatives, making sure that they are cared for properly and they get the attention they deserve. One of the exciting things about digitization is we've scanned ten thousand glass plate negatives that really nobody could see. Soon they will be on the web and hopefully the collection will gain advocates in the public. That's really exciting and it's a way that this convergence has real potential for saving items, because people all of a sudden realize: "Wow! There are seven thousand new Civil War glass plate negatives that we've never seen in a hundred years."
In terms of things I think we need; we need a common terminology, and that can be very hard to do. I think for some of us standards mean different things. Is a standard a very specific, written procedure or is it a kind of guidance of principles? We need terminology that we can talk to each other about. I think we need condition and evaluation tools. For models, I think within the conservation field we can think of these materials similarly to architecture and historic preservation. Architecture is a specialty group in AIC, but they also have their training in a somewhat different mode from most of us. They're not trained necessarily in art conservation programs or in library conservation programs. Digital objects may be similar in occupying a somewhat different world, but they overlap with us, just as architecture does.
I think that many digital efforts can very much be thought of as preservation efforts if they're done the right way. The Library of Congress started with the National Digital Library as a means of providing better access and with the intent of preserving items as we were reformatting them, and it's been very successful. But the management issues and the discipline issues specific to born digital and machine readable objects are very important and a challenge for us all.
HANNAH FROST: I'm the Media Preservation Librarian at Stanford University. I'm going to talk about my background and my concerns and then ultimately get to what are some of the things that I wish I knew some more about, so that we can continue talking about the curriculum. And I think it will touch on a little bit of what everybody has said. My concerns are for libraries and archives like Stanford, but also some of the smaller ones less well endowed institutions that have, like Karen was saying, very large collections with all kinds of media. Stanford recently had the opportunity to talk to a lot of institutions across the US about their preservation programs, and specifically talking about paper-based materials, but it was almost unanimous that each of them said: "Well, you know, paper we've got these issues, but we kind of have that down! We're really concerned about our media." And these by and large, these institutions are not in the position to hire someone like me or to create a position and then find someone to fill it. I'm really lucky to be placed within the preservation department at Stanford, and it's an institution that really cares a lot about preservation. It's done a lot for the field at large.
And touching on the issue of whether we need to be really specialized or general practitioners, for these kinds of institutions we have to be general practitioners. In my job I do digital imaging and quality control. I need to know about books, how they're made, what the preservation issues are for paper and photographic materials, and I'm lucky to have been in the program at Texas which, you know, emphasized the preservation of book and paper materials. And I have a background in photography. I've worked for an art photographer and I've worked in galleries and museums, and I've worked for a web company, so I'm aware of the digital preservation issues from a practical standpoint. In my job I also need to know about video and audio. Stanford has huge collections of these materials, and the institution is, in my opinion, pretty well informed that they need to preserve these things, because they hired me to do it. So I need to know about magnetic media, and fortunately, I gravitated towards that area while I was at the Texas graduate program, so I was able to go beyond what I learned in one class that touched on it, but I had to do a lot of teaching on my own in that area. And I need to know about plastics, and this is a question I wanted to ask you, Sarah. I know only the basics about the chemistry of polymers, and yeah, I understand cellulose acetate, vinegar syndrome, and that binder hydrolysis happens, but do I need to know more in order to be better at my job? I don't know. I mean, maybe it's sufficient that we know it's a real, ongoing problem, how to identify and prevent it, and that's enough. Is that all we need to know? That begins to get to the question of whether we need to be teaching polymer chemistry to students as they enter this area of the profession.
TIM VITALE:: I think this issue needs to be addressed in a lot more detail, because it's a significant issue.
HANNAH FROST: Stanford has very large collections of computer equipment and we have the Ampex Museum of electronic equipment, and we're beginning to prepare to move this stuff into long-term storage. Our preservation department has a long and successful history; we know a lot about books and paper materials, and we are working hard to be on top of digital preservation. However, we don't know anything about preserving equipment, and if any of you have ideas, please let me know! This is an area that the conservation profession in the US has not addressed in a significant way. And then I need to know about film. Stanford doesn't know how much film it has, but we have some stuff, that I have seen, that is in really bad condition, and fortunately, I had some experience in the past working in the film archives, so I was able to pick up a lot there. I have a lot of responsibilities in terms of the types of materials I need to know how to care for, and I play the role of needing to know who to talk to, who the specialists are that I can go to. The other really large challenge of my job is, like I said, Stanford knew they needed to hire someone like me, but they still don't understand what (Laughs) I do, or need to do.
I recently gave a presentation to forty-five bibliographers, the selectors for the libraries, and I explained to them why media preservation is important and why it's expensive and what they can do to help me to get a line item in the budget so we can start reformatting things on a regular basis. And I also needed to explain to them what they can do to help me select things, because one of the hardest things in library collections -- and I believe this is different than corporate archives or film archives or, you know, the really specialized repositories -- we get large collections of poetry readings on tape. We have very little intellectual knowledge about who's recorded on the tape, when it was recorded, where it was recorded, was it recorded professionally or was it on, for example, Allen Ginsberg's little boombox with a cheap microphone.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:: Hand-held.
HANNAH FROST: Exactly! We don't know which, of the hundreds of tapes we have, we should start with. We have little to draw on to help us, and so I'm designing a survey to start collecting some of the crucial information, like the physical format and technical characteristics. But I need to go to the curators and the selectors and gather information from them, too. They have no idea how hard it can be to know how to select materials. I also have to talk to administration; they want to know why we can't be a high-production reformatting unit for all media types. They want to know why can't reformat Quad tapes in-house. And it blows my mind that (Laughs) they can ask, you know, how many tapes can you reformat this month? It's just not that simple. Fortunately, some of the curators have a good sensibility. They have the sensibility to know that, well, one curator in particularly. He was going to acquire a collection of poetry readings on tape and he was talking with the donor of the collection. He was trying to figure out how much to pay for them. But he had noticed that there was some unusual substance on the tapes, and he had the sensibility to call the preservation department and have me look at the tapes before negotiating with the donor. And, indeed, they were moldy and had been subjected to all kinds of horrific storage situations, and I gave him an estimate for how much it was going to cost to reformat the collection, and his jaw dropped to the floor, and he turned to the donor, and the donor, fortunately, just gave us the collection, because they saw how much money we were going to have to put into it anyway. So that's the kind of educating and kind of reaching out that we need to do.
On the other side of that, in terms of digital imaging, again, they want to know how many things we can image in a month, and it's really hard sometimes. We can't just give them a number. And they don't understand that a lot of planning goes into metadata creation and capturing, and the amount of time that takes. So, I'm just kind of going off topic, maybe, on to all the things that I see that we as media preservation professionals need to be able to address. I hope it is illustrative and reveals what is needed in terms of training.
What concerns me is that a lot of institutions are not going to be able to pay for someone who is trained to address all of these things. So I think there's opportunities out there for consultants. This is something we may want to think about in the process of designing a curriculum: training people who are independent from institutions who can reach out to organizations in need on a consultant basis.
And something else that I want to talk about, in terms of the curriculum, in addition to polymer chemistry, is documentation. We had a great meeting here yesterday about digital documentation in the conservation profession, but I'm concerned about the documentation I need to be doing for the reformatting projects I take on. There's really not a lot of models out there in the literature for me to adopt, and I've talked to a few people about the documentation they keep and they simply said: "Well, we have invoices from the companies that did the work." And I'm also concerned about quality control. I have no idea if the reformatted video that I'm getting back from vendors is as good as it can be, and there is a need to develop a mechanism or guidelines for that. I'm really interested in designing something for other archivists, because I think that's a big need, and I feel like I have some understanding of photographic processes and issues of color balance and relevant things of that nature, but I could certainly learn more.
STEVE DYE: Hannah, do you think those are one week courses taught by somebody?
HANNAH FROST: That would be a great start. It's more than I had.
STEVE DYE: I install media art at the Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and in that position, I wear a lot of hats. I'm not technically a conservator, but I deal a lot with conservation issues and I'm really more about I have to have this art work, based on whatever information I have available at the time, in the gallery as the best representation of that piece. If it's a historical work a lot of it is I feel like a forensic scientist trying to piece together these, you know, bits of information. But I just wanted to make a comment about documentation and knowledge base. And with documentation, I don't think that the documentation for electronic media really is any different than any other type of ephemera. When I see people reconstructing assemblage installations, how do you know that this piece of scrap of paper was the original one or was it put in the last time it was installed? Like that type of metadata about installation art, I think, is very true for any other type of just, you know, thing. And it is very easy to just pile your video tapes into a box and put them on a shelf, and then you don't have that kind of quality control, but I think that in the conservation world and in the registration world, from a museum standpoint, that those mechanisms are there to document and track that information. And then it's just a matter of having good practice. It's something that I come across all the time, and it sort of relates to what Hannah was talking about in terms of educating, is to educate the institution that: well, it is a little more complex than just pushing Play on the tape player. It's not you know, you just don't turn it on and it's there. There is a lot of infrastructure that's required to maintain that stuff, even just for presentation, let alone preservation.
But with knowledge base, it's true -there's no way I could be an expert in everything that I have to deal with. When I'm doing an installation, I there's a lot of things that I just have to learn, and a lot of it, I think, is being able to know who to ask to get it something done. How can there's I mean, it's just it would be impossible for me to be a specialist in everything, but you get you develop a way to, like well, how much do I need to know to make this work right now? Or who can I ask? And you do. It is multi-disciplinary, and you develop teams and you develop a relationship with a lab or with people who can supply stuff or, you know, you just okay, I'm going to be doing an installation that deals with refrigeration this week, so what do I know about refrigeration? Well, I have a friend who used to do (Laughter) You know, you kind of learn that stuff, and you consult with objects conservators. I feel fortunate that we do have a plastics person who is really gifted with plastics, so those issues you can ask. So, I don't think it's important that, in a class, you know everything. I think it is good to know a lot about some things, and there are things and I think we've addressed some of them about where you maybe need to know a little more. But in terms of the nitty- gritty and specifics of who's going to actually, you know, deal with the restoration of that film, or how what is the glue the chemical composition of that glue I think you just need to be able to know how to ask the questions, like who should I talk to about that? Or I see that is glue there and maybe I should talk to someone who can deal with that chemical composition.
RICHARD RINEHART: I'm at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. I feel like I'm crashing a private party here, because I'm not a preservationist, but I'm happy for the opportunity. As a teacher myself, I'm very interested in this sort of dilemma where it sounds like the profession needs to decide between generalization or specialization and how might you achieve one or the other or both. So I've, just in my mind, made a short case for each, because I can't figure it out myself. I come from a film archive and an art museum, and we have double trouble, and I know what we need out of our media preservationists, so maybe I can help inform that a little bit. But, clearly we do need specialists. I'm going to we need generalists too, but we need specialists, because as I look at this the curriculum that you've developed it looks great, but if I'm looking for somebody to be my digital preservationist, this is perhaps inadequate by itself.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:: Yes.
RICHARD RINEHART: I understand, I mean, it has to be. This is a good general introduction, and if I were going to hire somebody, I would want them to have the basics of information science and computer science, a command of metadata, data salvaging techniques, cryptography, to be sure, not only because so much material that we have to archive is encrypted in the first place, but just because it's a good founding in techniques, like getting past the mechanism to the content, basics of programming. So there's just tons of stuff that you would need to know just for that one little discipline of digital preservation.
On the other hand, as Linda pointed out, with digital media, it's all coming together, so you sort of have to be a sound specialist and a video specialist, you know, and VR and all these new formats which didn't exist previously.
On the other hand, I teach digital media art-making at UC Berkeley, but since I work in the Museum, I always slip in this little these other components to these art makers - these art students - and I slip in access, description, and preservation of digital media, and they're very interested, so there's a sort of glimmer of hope that there might be a sort of more general knowledge and the ability to connect the makers and the producers with the preservationists. Also, in the project, Archiving the Avant Guard, we're talking with the artists, so it's not so much of a disconnect there. We're trying to reconnect the people who make it with those preserving it, even though we realize artists are never going to use standards or standard formats.
So, my ideas as far as how to build a curriculum, is that as far as the institutions, early on we thought for all this digital stuff, maybe there need to be new types of institutions that are specialized and devoted to preserving this stuff, but I think that will probably never be the case, in particular with art, because if you're a contemporary art museum, you have to collect digital along with painting. You can't, split things out like that if you're going to try and be a comprehensive art museum. I think there's also a lot of involvement a lot of opportunity for involvement from the industry CNN and HBO and everybody else but non-profits will always have a role, I think, as memory institutions in preserving the stuff that nobody else cares about, and, of course, being a fine artist, that's who I'm talking about.
So, as far as building a curriculum, it occurs to me that, maybe a masters degree program or masters degree programs at different places, should be general, because we need these generalists, and that's a good starting place. And, in terms of the expectations of hiring someone and what I would expect out of them, I would expect my digital archivist to know all of those other things that I talked about in great detail and have a command of general theory and all of it. But the caveat is that I wouldn't expect them to know that all at once. I would expect them to come with a certain amount of knowledge and then, over a decade or so, build up the other knowledge, so in my mind as a teacher, I'm thinking, if the masters program were fairly general that would be okay. And then the next step is establishing the mechanisms for getting that further specialization that might happen while they're on the job in the form of summer sessions at universities, and extension programs are great places to get professional training when you're on the job. They're usually offered at night and on the weekends, or over the summer. I teach those courses, and it's usually open enrollment. You don't have to be a student anywhere. Most big universities have these things, so it might just be one way to implement professional development and a lot of courses are already taught at universities, so in the computer science department they already have these courses. You know, we don't have to invent something new. We just need to be able to send our professionals in and not have them become undergraduate enrolled students, and summer sessions and extensions are a great place to do that. The next would be through professional societies, like AMIA or like AIC. You could have workshops. And I don't know if anybody here is a member of the American Photographers Association, but they're a good example of a professional society that has a certification program, and you can go take courses at the conferences, so that seems another good place to, further your training. And then the last might be some sort of corporate or even government funding for on-the-job training. I know there's the Long-Now Foundation, which is very concerned with long-term preservation, and they seem to be made up of people with a lot of money, so maybe we could convince them that a good investment in that would be to come to your institution and actually fund some training very specific to what your institution needs. So maybe when you put all this together and you start off as a generalist and then you have these other mechanisms for getting more specialized, we can expect people to have both over the course of fifteen years or so. Just an idea.
SALLY HUBBARD: I'm from the Getty Research Institute, and I also worked at the UCLA Film and Television Archive for a long time a very long time. (Laughs) I'm not quite I mean, do you want me to talk about their program?
I should say that I'm not the expert on all of it. I know I left a year ago and Steven Richi is the person to talk to if you want to talk about it. But I can tell you that they have the new program will teach video and television and film and digital preservation all it will be intertwined. It's not they're not it's accepted that this is an essential part of audio-visual preservation now. There are going to be work stations in the new facility to allow people to be trained in this, and I think that's true at Culpepper too, their new I don't know if anyone here knows that the new national archives facility. So that is becoming
TIM VITALE: Library archives.
SALLY HUBBARD: I'm sorry, yes. Sorry. Library archives. I know, I'm digital and can't tell the difference. So that has become true. What I think is true, that people have touched on, is audio-visual archiving has tended to be a little bit separate from the wider conservation world, and I think something that digital is doing, which has also been touched on, is breaking down those barriers, which I think is a good thing. And it's worlds collide. People are learning all sorts of different issues. They're learning the ethics. They're learning the practices of other fields. I think another thing that people have to learn is to respect the expertise of others, which Linda and I were talking about yesterday, because part of this generalist/specialist thing and there will be a continuing education. There has to be. I don't see how there can't be. It's going to have to be a combination of degree programs and short courses and stuff like that. But people really have to know that you cannot know everything, and you're going to have to work in team-work. You're going to have to work as an interpreter between different expertise. You going to have to be flexible. You're going to have to learn on the job, even however much training there is. And that's just inevitable. There's nothing we can do about that. We can't live in our little boxed worlds anymore. And something that Steve was saying about this program and I think Karen said earlier, is it's going to with the way that digital media is proliferating, we're going to have to change the way we select things and our appraisal methods, and that's that, probably, is one of the major challenges to how things have been done. It's going to be opened up by I don't know how to it seems so digital technology, I guess, in the widest sense. I don't know I mean, is there anything specific that? I mean, Karen actually probably knows more about the library and information side of it, because, as you said, the two those are two worlds colliding right now film studies and library and information stuff.
KAREN GRACY: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, I happen to think it's a real strength of UCLA to have the Library School involved in this program, because it really fills in, I think, a lot of the gaps for the film archiving world. It gives them the connection to, I think, a larger community. It gives them a connection to some things like, you know, just cataloging. (Laughs) You know, I mean, these people will learn how to catalog and how that's connected to how other people are documenting objects. Not just film, not just video, but they're also going to understand how, you know, metadata works for all different kinds of objects. So, I guess I'm not sure exactly what you want me say about the information studies side of it.
TIM VITALE: You might want to have Mitchell talk about it.
KAREN GRACY: Okay. Go ahead. Somebody is the expert on this program.
MITCHELL BISHOP: Well, no, I think the only people who really know anything about the program in depth at this point, are the people who are starting it. I'm in the MLIS program, so I'm not in the specialty, and my understanding is it's not actually up and running yet. However, this isn't my area of interest so I haven't been paying a great deal of attention. A lot of the students in the MLIS program are very interested in sound and moving images and digital versions of them. With the film school at UCLA and at USC and being based in LA, this is hardly surprising.
KAREN GRACY: Well, I can speak as somebody who came to UCLA to be a moving image archivist.
My career goals changed slightly, obviously, since I came to UCLA in 1992. But when I came there, there was the film department, there was the library school and never the twain shall meet. (Laughs) So I ended up doing two degrees at the same time, one a Master's in Critical Studies in Film and Television, and I did my Library Science degree at the same time, and I often found some very interesting overlaps that, of course, nobody else picked up on. So, I was cobbling together a program, mostly through internships. I did an internship at UCLA Film and Television Archive in newsreel preservation, and, you know, it would have been my fondest dream, you know, if only I was five years younger. You know, coming in to UCLA a little bit later, I could have taken advantage of some of the courses that are offered now, because I think there are courses in restoration ... I think there's kind of just a core, basic course in [film] preservation ... the moving image cataloging course, and also there are some digital courses that are being offered by Howard Besser on cultural heritage management. So it's going to be a great program when it finally [gets going].
SALLY HUBBARD: The plan is or at least it was last thing I heard was to use visiting professors, so again, it's sharing expertise around. I think they're going have just one faculty member permanent member and apart from that, there'll be people brought in for various courses, which is how they've done it to this point. It's been in this semi-formed state for a while, and that's how they've done it.
...I would sort of want to ask whether it's even whether we have to differentiate more between film preservation and born digital preservation, which will be the moving image within the near future and all the other tape formats, which, of course, are also part of the moving image preservation effort. And, in terms of film preservation, I would propose put forth that digital is not very interesting yet, other than for reasons of access, if I may differentiate between access and preservation right now. And I would basically refer back to what Andrew Robb said in terms of excessive amounts of information just contained in each film, which all the money invested in digitizing and then storing and recopying or recloning the information would just not be feasible, in comparison to just finding nice cold storage, and accessing the material whenever you need the next generation of access material. And, of course, for analog tape formats, the whole issue becomes more complicated. And for digital-born moving images, the film archives themselves do not even really know what to do with that, much less either I don't know how many are truly collecting this already. Probably not very many, and it's just such different issues in themselves in terms of administering the income of material and in terms of training the following generations of archivists as to what to do with the materials.
MITCHELL BISHOP: I just completed a course in the management of digital records at UCLA. It was consistent with what Karen said. The approach at UCLA really is looking more at the big picture and trying to give people a good sense of an overview. The emphasis is on making people aware and intelligent managers with a good understanding of the issues. The emphasis is really more on seeing digital records as part of a records continuum looking at business activity overall and trying to find their place within that, and seeking to see them more as a part of an integrated whole, while admittedly they need special handling, but to maintain their place and context in the overall records continuum. So, it's more of a kind of a high-level approach for managers or people who are directing things, as opposed to the hands-on approach. As Karen Pavelka has pointed out that there does seem to be this approach to train people as managers, consumers, administrators, but then to try to give them a good sense of actual details in terms of what the hands-on process involves. There has to be continuing education because people have to keep up. Listening to Henry Wilhelm yesterday reminded me of this. Things are moving so quickly right now that you don't just get a degree and that's it, you know it all forever. You have to continually refresh your knowledge, especially if you are going to be looking specifically at certain digital and technical things. It really is an on-going process.
ANDREW ROBB: How the Library of Congress has decided to take care of these different materials is somewhat interesting in relation to this area. I'll try to make it very brief. The history of the preservation of sound recordings actually predates any other real conservation or preservation efforts in the Library. Today preservation of books, paper, and photographs occur within the Conservation Division, while the preservation of audio visual materials occurs within the Motion Picture and Recorded Sound Division. The National Conservation Center for Audio/Visual Materials, which will be in Culpepper, Virginia, will be outside the Conservation Divison. It's still distinct, and I think there's reasons for that, but structurally we're quite distinct. And we're only now beginning to really talk and a lot of it is because of digital projects. One of the things that I think is different between the people I talk to that say, do sound recordings or film transfer is that I'm very grateful for having gone through a training program where I have a general understanding of a lot of different kinds of materials. I have that grasp of objects, paper, textiles. But I also have a specialization in photography, and I think that this issue of specialization and generalization is something that is quite different than the training of the people I talk to that do the reformatting. They have a extremely good idea of their area, but not as much awareness outside it. I think it's somewhat similar to the state of conservation of traditional materials before the art conservation programs. They know a tremendous amount and we need that foundation of knowledge. One of the things that's very scary to me is where all that information is going to go when those people retire. They know how to run machines where there is no manual. With this retirement horizon and the new audio visual center, we have much more of a connection and a dialog with them than we ever had before, and these separate strands are coming together, and this kind of talking is, I think, part of everyone realizing we have things to share.
DAN KUSHEL: Andrew is bringing up a question that I also have. Obviously there's a body of information here that's a bit different than what we already present in the training programs. Our curricula are already bursting at the seams. But because there is great need for training in this area, it would be extremely helpful if, out of this discussion, we could at least get an idea of some overarching core body of knowledge that we could put into our curricula for the people who want to enter this field through the route of general conservation education that we offer, rather than through programs that specialize only in this area. The issue of presenting students with sufficient specialized education in addition to their general conservation education is something that is very central to us. Our approach is to offer primarily general conservtion education in their first two foundation years, with some specialized focus occurring in the second year, and then to use the final internship year for concentrated specialized education. In this complex area of specialization, fourth and fifth year post-graduate fellowships might prove extremely valuable. So another thing to concentrate on, is to see if there are ways of providing solidly funded opportunities for such study. That would be very, very helpful.
TIM VITALE: Getting back to the point about polymer chemistry and how valuable that is. I want to relate an anecdote. I was talking to someone at a organization doing reformatting. This fellow was a good technician who knew his job. They had a video tape cleaning machine on display at a reception. We were discussing that device within a larger conversation. This fellow thought that the vacuum part of the system repolymerized the polymers in the binder of the tape. He had some very other weird concepts of what was going on. This fellow did a good job, but he didn't know what was going on in the system. I think it's important that the people doing this work, have this information, but there is just so little work done on video tape and the chemistry of video tape. Some research has been buried for political and proprietary reasons, I think. And so, I think more work has to be done. Certainly the training programs, in our milieu, can start bringing this information to others. Sarah do you want to...?
SARAH STAUDERMAN: Most people's experiences with these materials is anecdotal. I think this speaks to the need for a core literature or it speaks to the need for a growing intellectual discipline in the area of electronic media. The problem that we face is that there is limited literature on the topic of electronic media preservation. And, of course, I started out with anecdotes, so let me back out to say that there is a true need for people to understand the mechanics of deterioration, and there is a crying out need for research in the area of magnetic media. Selection for reformatting, for instance, would interface beautifully with being able to actually have some way of determining deterioration. What is the deterioration of video tape and how do you find out where it is so that you can then reformat the material? Right now there's no physical characteristic that tells you that a video tape is deteriorating. Conservators are supposed to be able to say: "Well, this is deteriorating more. This is at greater risk than this item; therefore, we will choose to reformat this or we will choose to spend treatment dollars on this item, and not spend money on this item." There's no means to determine incipient deterioration in any of the huge amounts of magnetic materials, both audio and video. We need to know about polymer chemistry, and we need to know about metals because oxides are the other really important part of magnetic media. What function does that have in your recording?
A good example of anecdote versus proven research comes up in cleaning of videotapes, as Tim Vitale has alluded to. The cleaning machines come along with a "tape check system" that supposedly tells you what condition the tape is in. In reality it actually has a little infra-red beam which measures whether or not the polyester has been stretched or is somehow deformed. But it's not the polyester which is the issue, it's the polyurethane binder that's the bad actor with magnetic media. Stretched polyester may require special handling when reformatting, but it is not an indication of "sticky shed syndrome" or incipient deterioration. When you begin to explain what the issues are for the video tape, then you begin to realize, well, this is another anecdote. This is supposedly telling you that this is a deterioration problem, but it's not! These "tape check systems" are not telling you anything about your video tape that will assist a preservation manager in prioritizing for reformatting.
Another issue is that manufacturers are the people who are sponsoring tape research, so they don't want people to know what are the issues with their proprietary items that they put into their tapes. Supposedly you can't freeze video tape. Why not? I mean, it seems to me you can freeze things that are on polyester, and that's one mechanism for at least maintaining something for a period of time before it has to be reformatted. But the unpublished word is that videotape cannot be frozen.
TIM VITALE:: Well, there is an anecdote that says why you can't freeze video tape.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: And, it's an anecdote!
TIM VITALE: Although... I did run into the guy who was sitting at the table next to the fellow at the ANSI meeting where the comment from the Ampex person was made. He was from the Library of Congress Audio Division.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: Okay. Well, actually it's really fun to sit around and talk about the anecdotes, and that's what the listservs such as AMIA and AV_Media_Matters frequently deal in. Recently on listservs having to do with magnetic media, they were talking a lot about irradiation and what it does or doesn't do, and the misinformation is enormous. What rises to the top is usually the most sensational explanation, which makes things unclear and undermines the credibility that we need to have. So, you know, I think that people need to understand plastics, not only from the standpoint of the media that things are on, but the machines that are full of rubber and weird strange soft and hard plastics and they're going to need to understand how metals are you're going to need to have some specialist you're going to have generalists and then you're going to have specialists who are going to need to know how to make ditab(?) screws to fix machinery if that's something that needs to be done. They're going to need to know about lead and arsenic that appear and copper that appear in these materials and that are actually a safety issue. They're going to need to understand about heat and what effect that has in various aspects, for instance, baking tapes. You know, is that something? and all of these areas I'm just unfortunately, I'm just too full of all the things that need to be discussed. And I guess I sort of feel like maybe that's why this I feel that there are not enough people that I can have these conversations with, and maybe I feel like I really appreciate everybody is here, talking about this, but I just don't feel that there are enough people, and they don't understand the urgency. So
ANDREW ROBB: We need research. How do I know the things I know and use as a photograph conservator? A lot of it is because of what the research that's been done on the ISO I3A/IT9 imaging preservation standards committee. Film manufacturers, such as Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Agfa, and Konica saw that preservation standards were very needed, and they have been involved doing research for IT9 standards. This research not only helped inform the standard, but it helped to provide information for all sorts of other kinds of decisions. What's exciting is that now imaging technology companies such as Epson and Hewlett-Packard, are on that committee for digital hard copy. What has been a source of constant frustration for the committee is that the magnetic tape manufacturers do not show much interest in the committee. Peter Adelstein, who's been chair of the committee for a long time, has tried very, very, very hard to get their participation, and while they have come periodically, they wouldn't send the right people that had authority to spend money or to do research. If the magnetic industry doesn't do it, it's a real void and it's not something I think that, unfortunately, we can expect them to do now, because they just haven't shown any interest. It's a real shame. We need more information for storage of magnetic media. We don't have enough and we don't have anyone to do the research.
STEVE DYE: I mean, isn't that how you? Steve Dye here. I mean, I look a manufacturer will always tell you that what they have is the best, so you can never and you would be foolish to do like one test on a material and then just assume that that's even just any kind you know, materials' testing like: "Oh, well, that's the answer!" You would do multiple tests. So if you're when I'm researching equipment and materials for whatever for installation or whatever, those user groups are invaluable, because they tell me what does this machine do over time. Those list servers it is all anecdotal, but it's people who are in you know, have their hands on this stuff. "Oh, we spent a lot of money on this. It's totally reliable except for this one thing." Well, okay, I know in my instance it's that one thing I needed to do, so maybe, you know. And that's you have to compile that information, so I don't have a problem with the anecdote. Separating the anecdote from urban legend you know, it may take a little talent, but really to be able to talk to people it's those conversations with colleague, and I think that that's what goes on here at the with the AIC and why it's valuable.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: There is a need for peer reviewed articles and publications. At the moment there are very few, except for the Tech Archeology publication out of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC), issue Volume 40, Number 3. Association of Moving Image Archivists now has a peer-reviewed technical journal. But we rely on peer-reviewed journals, articles, books to make good decisions, so that if I am a generalist I can go to a peer-reviewed article and not just get an opinion or anecdote or the most persuasive non-researched argument. We need peer-reviewed articles, and we need to have that kind of discernment going on with the preservation of these materials.
MITCHELL BISHOP: I find there's this pervasive confusion about reality versus information reality. Physical reality versus documentation or descriptions of physical reality, and it is partly to do with the media. People get confused they mistake the surrogate for the real thing. As a result, I find that there's an enormous amount of mystification and imprecision in talking about things. If you ask questions carefully you find that people have a lot of very weird ideas about what's going on, like your guy who was operating the machine, that are frankly medieval. I mean, they're just disturbing to me. (Laughter) You know, it's kind of like I turn on the light switch and God makes the light. Assumptions are made based on observed cause and effect that are completely false but very revealing. (Laughter) It's just very strange. This is very worrying to me, because I hear these comments all the time and I realize that people have no idea what's going on, or if they have an idea, it's something along the line fairies in the 19th century. And I think that is partly the fault of the manufacturers, who have no stake in making this intelligble to the average person.
TIM VITALE: It was the manufacturer who had told him that.
MITCHELL BISHOP: And, as you know, it's hard to get information. The discussion-listed things are quite valuable, but you really have to sift through them and if you don't have the knowledge base to do so, you can get in trouble. There is this ocean of hearsay and speculation that's just useless or worse than useless. This ocean of urban legend about technology that's just weird. I think it is important that we really have to try to be precise and try to kind of hose this down a little bit so we can separate out the facts from mysterious speculation.
TIM VITALE: But if we know a thing or problem might exists, then we know to watch for it, in the future.
DEBBIE NORRIS: I direct the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program of Art Conservation, and I'm here really to learn, and to reiterate really what Dan said, in terms of the existing programs. The other thing we need besides what Dan pointed out so eloquently is we need to have a sense of what is the knowledge that future objects conservators, paintings conservators, photograph conservators and paper conservators, textile conservators should have one or two days of information that would be fundamental to all conservation professionals. Interestingly enough, we have secured funds to move forward in enhancing curriculum in electronic media in that level sort of fundamental knowledge and that's true really of Buffalo and NYU as well, recognizing that they are all interested in these subjects and working very hard to ensure that future conservation professionals have sort of fundamental knowledge. But we need guidance on what that is. Then we need, you know, information on how to prepare students who might be entering that track to enter this program. And I was really encouraged actually. I've been accused of being too optimistic in so many venues, but to learn of these existing programs or programs that are being developed. Five years ago I remember getting calls from AMIA. You know: "We're trying to create this educational committee. There are absolutely no programs." And suddenly we have two emerging, and the University of Texas doing an extraordinary job at really trying to address those issues. So, you've got that core development, and I think that's really encouraging, and I think that the finances are out there to support this kind of thing. I might perhaps even perhaps there's more potential than existing conservation programs, in that you can go to corporations and perhaps not those who are manufacturing, although I think that they could be brought in but the motion picture industry and others who can finally be encouraged to recognize the dire need for professionals in this area. And just one other comment - I also serve on the Preservation Advisory Board for the National Archives. It was interesting, in terms of what Andrew said for LC - the main preservation need there is individuals. That the knowledge is held in the hands of people who are about to retire, and how are we going to replace those? And I've felt, as the director of a program, this responsibility to ensure that we have future conservation professionals, and yet we need to figure out what that core knowledge is what information they need to know and recognize they won't know everything in three years two years a certificate program or whatever that is. And finally, one other point that I think EMG can do so well almost immediately, and that is to encourage EMG to think about and I know they've done you all have done some of this already one day workshops for professionals here at AIC and AMIA. I think that they would be packed with conservators who are out in the field and just want, again, some basic information you know, pulling out one or two lines from Sarah's curriculum that would be offered here on site, or perhaps in other venues. But there's such a dire need for this information on so many different levels.
JOHN LYNCH: Yeah, I was just going to give another anecdote, but an anecdote about why some kind of careful research is needed. The archive is old enough to have dealt with the sticky shed syndrome of video tape, and we have tried three different methods of cleaning or drying the tape, and I only know of four. That doesn't mean there are only four, because I guarantee there are more. One of the methods doesn't work. That's your machine. It can't work on sticky shed, simply because you would have to clean the machine too often and it simply won't happen. One method did work. That was cleaning by hand. It was one we developed in-office, just using simple cotton. The drying the tapes or well, it's usually called "baking", which occurs at very low temperatures, so it's not really baking, but drying the tapes we have discovered also works. Someone told us that salt mines work, and this would be for the same reason; that by storing them in salt mines over a long period of time, you're actually drying the tape. (Laughter) Now the problem is all these things work, but you don't actually know why. I've had a salesman explain to me why, but I don't really trust a salesman. (Laughter) And he's a very nice guy and he sincerely believes what he says, and it may or may not be true, because he's not a chemist. And my thing about the tape industry is that because you never even know when tape changes formulas --They don't change serial number systems or anything at the point where they change formulas-- everytime you purchase a batch of video tape you you are experimenting again. You don't know if you're really buying the same tape that you bought a year ago. You tend to presume it, because you're picking manufacturers and because you figure it costs them more to change formulas then to stay with the ol formula, but we had the experience in the mid-70s where manufacturers did change the formula, and we suspect it was because of cost and oil problems. When dealing with video tape you are blind. You do not know what the chemistry fo the tape is or what the behavior of the tape will be.
TIM VITALE: The question I wanted to ask you, John, is as a possible consumer of graduates of programs or of courses that you might send your staff to, what is important in what you have heard today.
JOHN LYNCH: Well, I've heard a lot, about what I call "discipline." It is what you've been talking about the ability to look at things from an ethical set of standards and those are all important. And then, of course, in the end you've got to then bring in the technical expertise.
JOHN LYNCH: And for us, it's a very limited kind of technical expertise, but it can still get very complicated, even though it is limited, because we talked about storing machines. Well, when you store machines, you're not storing a single object. You are storing metals, plastics and what I would call "rubber", but it is, as you know, synthetic rubber tires and belts. And my favorite machine for this kind of discussion, because it's the one I started learning on, is the one-inch, type A - you let it sit for two months unused and it doesn't work. It doesn't matter that you didn't use it. It doesn't work, because the belts on there square out and they won't run correctly. And it just takes a matter of months for that to happen.
TIM VITALE: Are you constantly making new belts?
JOHN LYNCH: Well, we don't run the one-inch, type A, any more, because we recopied the collection to three-quarter inch U-Matic, although we still have stock-piled a few machines and but we've only stock-piled them. We haven't dealt with them, because you can't store the belts for the same kinds of reasons. They deteriorate.
MARLAN GREEN: I'm from the University of Texas - a student. And I purposely waited till the end and haven't said anything so far, because I wanted to hear what everyone else has had to say and there have been incredibly great points all around. And there's been a wonderful mix brought to this group. I guess I want to talk a little bit about my views on curriculums and conservation education, especially if it has to do with audio-visual media, which has been talked about a lot, as well as digital media and information. And I'm speaking from the point of view of a student. I arrived at the University of Texas gung-ho ready to take over the world, save everything and through the process of chemistry courses and ethical discussions in classes, I came to a realization: I can't save the world. We're not going to save the world, and there's only so much we can do. And the discussion about generalization and specialization and technical knowledge is really interesting It seems that we're struggling with what, exactly, we're going to be doing. Are we going to be motion pictures conservators? Do we need people who can rebuild a computer from scratch? Do we need people who can actually go in and do some digital archeology recovery work? I think we're asking ourselves to do way too much. I think we've got to educate ourselves in fundamentals, and we have to facilitate communication with the rest of the world and find ways in which we can work with them and cooperate with them: the film industry and computer scientists and IT people. We have to be able to talk to them, and we must talk to them in their language, because they're never going to learn ours. We need to communicate effectively.We don't have to change the world, but we have to find ways to get them to do the work that we need done, so that we're not all struggling to try and learn computer science at the most fundamental level. None of us, well, that's not true, some of us are conservation chemists, but I'm sure most of us who go through a program are exposed to one, two, or three semesters of chemistry, but we're not chemistry experts. At least, I'm not, maybe some are. But maybe we need to know a little bit more about computer science so we can talk to the people who are doing the work and the research. And technology is advancing so rapidly, the idea that we should specialize to such a degree that we can deal with belts on machines and circuitry and computers I think it's just very unrealistic. We can't do that. We have to be able to talk to the people who do that and make their living doing it and who are on top of the situation and who are doing the research and advancing the technology. We seem to feel we have to keep up with them, we can't so, I feel we should step back a little bit think a little bit more about what is our role. At University of Texas, Hannah Frost and I learned very early on that we wear many hats, and Hannah described that perfectly. We have to be able to talk to so many different people about so many different things, and it's only by getting the fundamentals of conservation and its ethics and being exposed to other disciplines that we can be effective in a world of rapidly changing technology. I'm not saying we just do away with material science. I love it. I think we need that, and we need computer science and maybe a few other fundamentals, but we can't take on the world and we can't save everything. And I just want to say that, because it's very important. It's very important. And it's probably the most important thing that I've learned at UT, and on top of that, you know, if you can't save everything, you might as well have a little bit of fun while you're trying to do it too. So, that's all I have to say.
TIM VITALE: Linda, if you want to talk a bit about you're HBO archiving efforts. Do people you work with or people you might hire in the future need to go to programs, one-day courses or workshops? Do they need to understand polymer chemistry? Do they need material science information? Do they need cataloging and information?
LINDA TADIC: Well, I'm going to speak generally, and not necessarily about what has happened at HBO. Now that I work at HBO on the other side I was always on the non-profit side before I started there but anyway I always have to make this disclaimer. Everything I say anything I say does not reflect the opinion of HBO or AOL/TimeWarner, our parent company. (Laughter) So, actually, what I'm going to say is not specific about HBO except I'll actually go back to something that I said in my earlier statement which is that in the companies these days the companies being the content producers or it doesn't matter if you're a film studio, a network, you know, whatever. What they're looking for more are like asset managers, because they don't really have the time. Broadcasting's a little bit behind what the studios are, because the film studios have a longer history and they realize that they made their mistake in not preserving their assets until it was way too late and things were lost. And if anything, you have to give them credit. I mean, It's like Martin Scorsese and AMC Special Preservation, whatever they've gotten the whole idea of preserving film out to the whole general population, which has been wonderful. And I think that has had a trickle-down effect, so now people are realizing - yes, we need to save television. We need to save these home movies. You know, it just goes on. However, it's a bit more fast paced, and like the news environment and in cable because they need to produce stuff and get it out there. No, they're not thinking about what happened yesterday. They're thinking about what has to be done in the future, and they need quick access to stuff. And so what they're looking for really is more like asset management people digital asset management people. People who know, yes, the history. They have the history of broadcasting. They have the history of film, whatever, so they know the content that's being produced. They need people who understand production, which is really important. That's one thing that I'm (unin) but I think people haven't really also acknowledged is that you need to know not just the history of the formats, but the history of the forms of film history how it's produced how television is produced you know, all those different things. So that you can make that you can gauge do you need to save all those out-takes that you all those boxes of out- takes or can those go away and you can concentrate on the other elements. You know, you need you really need to know how things were put together and the whole process. So that's what people are needing to know, and actually they are looking more and more for library science backgrounds. I mean, I really could tell you honestly, that's what they're all looking for in the parent company that I'm looking for. They're saying: "If we're going to do this, we need to have library science people." So, hey, who would have thought ten years ago that library science and cataloging would be such a hot field to be in! (Laughter) Yeah! It's sexy now, yeah. (Unin question) Because they're going all going to digital asset management, and that is the cue for doing yes, they're going to store all their films and all their videos and take care of those, but they want to have immediate access for repurposing(?) their stuff, you know, and that's why they and in order to find those digital files, they have to have someone who knows how to organize it to be able to find this stuff, you know, in the future, and work with the systems people. Know XML(?) and know the more recent material coming out, and knowing the business and knowing how to go out and do business requirements and analysis. So that's another thing that goes along also with knowing how stuff is produced. You have to be able to go out and, like, really interview your other clients and figure out what they need so they can get access to their material. That, I think, is the tendency of what businesses are going to want to know in the future, and it isn't going and it is no longer separated from film, video, audio, digital. It's all lumped together and the systems are all working together.
Now where you can go to learn that there's no again, as I said there's no one-stop shopping. There's no one place. It's where you can go and get a degree in something, but again it's going to be this continuing education that's really required, by going to conferences, attending workshops, doing whatever you can. If I hope that these degree programs I haven't heard yet if they will actually offer continuing education for archivists who are already in the field so that they can go and learn. I think that would be great! You know, if anything, that would just be really, really a credit to the field if they can do that. But I think the AMIA conference is a great place to go to learn about for those who aren't necessarily working with film video yet, but they need to know about the formats or for the general conservators that came up before because they always at every conference they give a full-day workshop of basic training basic elements of film and video. Then they have an intermediate workshop now where it gets more into the detail. This year's conference, again, with the digital emphasis, there's going to be a workshop half-day workshop on metadata geared towards digital as well as analog. There's going to be a half-day workshop on cataloging, mainly geared towards analog. There's going to be a half-day not even a workshop, so everybody can go to it just a half-day workshop on Digital 101, and that's a session of extra fee where they can tell everybody who's just going from the analog to the digital transition what do they need to know basics, you know networking, you know formatting, compression, the whole thing. It's going to be really a very interesting complex of people, so I highly encourage that's a plug for the AMIA Conference held November in Boston! Yes. (Laughs)
LINDA TADIC: Thank you. It's going to be nice.
KAREN GRACY: They have great conferences.
LINDA TADIC: Well, it's really wonderful, because it is a mix of everybody we've talked about now. It's going to be the studios. It's the people who have to just wear one hats, because they're a one-person operation., so they have to know how to do it all you know, from National Archives you know, people who are going digital. It's really great, and people all get they have the best parties. They all get together and they just and everybody talks to each other and you don't have to be afraid about going up to the guy who's in charge of preservation at Universal Studios, you know, or who works at museums whatever they all just really share information. It's a great group of people.
I see it's already almost eleven-thirty and I feel like we still
haven't gotten down to brass tacks about whether we're going
to develop your idea, Deborah, about having a workshop here at
EMG for conservators. I mean, I knew about the AMIA workshop
series that they've been doing. What can EMG do that would be
different than that, and complements it, that we could do in
a one-day workshop with in a room like this without any equipment,
you know? Where we have some limitations about what we can do
in terms of creating a teaching and hands-on experience. And
so, I'm wondering if we can just brainstorm on that? Is that
SARAH STAUDERMAN: I offered to give a magnetic media workshop for this annual meeting, but it was too late. I'm certainly willing to do something. Of course, I'm not the only person who could do it. Again, I think there needs to be more than one or two people who are considered the "experts" in this field.
TIM VITALE: Didn't happen becaue it was too late?
SARAH STAUDERMAN: I guess so. I don't know. Are introductory courses are useful to conservators? Actually, my experience is that conservators don't show up to these electronic media forums, and or, you know, present company excepted. Pardon me, I didn't mean it that way.
In other words, how do we get the conservation community interested and involved, and say there is a need for conservators to have a national presence in the area of electronic media? Perhaps we need to go to the film preservation schools and offer them memberships at AIC and have them come to our meeting and be involved with our process. I've been to many AMIA conferences and I have been speaking about preservation, but I have not had the pleasure of meeting other students and teachers from the film preservation schools. We need to get those people. We need to make those people welcome here. We need to make them understand as well that we're concerned, we care and that we have tools that will help them become better at what they do you know. For instance we could offer polymer chemistry for film preservation professionals and offer that as a workshop here; film preservation engineers could be invited to talk to us about their policies and procedures.
KAREN GRACY: Would people come from AMIA to the AIC meetings?
LINDA TADIC: Actually, I think that this is a great idea, Sarah, and I think it should be brought I'm sorry, this is Linda Tadic. Would you hand me the microphone? That is a great idea, because I know that one of the things that AMIA has really been trying to do for the past several years is to make have good liaison relationships with other professional organizations. Now, we honestly have been concentrating on other more like broadcasting film organizations, like FIAT, you know, and FIAF and NISA. However, they are branching out, like to the SAA. They definitely want to have a relationship with the SAA, and why not with AIC? I think that would be just wonderful, so it's just something about talking with the Board and the Education Committee about so that they understand what has happened here at the Conference.
KAREN GRACY: This is something that I've been thinking about too. Actually, I would love to know who the connections are with SAA, because I've talked with somebody on Council at SAA and they're like: "AMIA?"
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: joint publication with them.
KAREN GRACY: Well, the cataloging folks, they have made a really good connection, but I don't see as much overlap in terms of people actually going to multiple conferences people not just going to AMIA, but also coming to AIC or also going to SAA.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: It's a funding issue, right?
KAREN GRACY: Yes, and that I can totally agree with, but perhaps AMIA needs to send some delegates, actually appoint some people to go to these conferences and report back to their ... what they consider to be, I don't know, their parent organization, and make some of these connections more kind of official, you know, these liaisons more official. I think that we do have somebody who's a liaison on the Education COmmittee. Was it Mary Ide? I, no ... maybe it was somebody else. She usually mentions that she's gone, but we don't really hear that much about what the crucial issues were at the Conference, and certainly nobody has tried to kind of set any sort of agenda that the two associations would pursue. I would love to see, actually, a workshop done on video, specifically on video. I don't know the whole history of all the workshops over the last decade at AMIA, but we've always had the basic training workshop, and I think that there's an element of video in it. We've never had anything that totally focused just on video or totally focused just on digital media, and it's a real ...
TIM VITALE: Linda?
LINDA TADIC: I'm sorry. Linda again. I think the intermediate workshop focuses more on video and gets into more the nitty-gritty. Jim Lindner is involved with that and so the basic training is really geared more towards film and a bit of video. Intermediate is more towards video, but nobody really does anything with digital, which will change this year with Boston.
SALLY HUBBARD: Well, I think AMIA could also do with something from AIC or SAA, because there has been this traditional lack of communication. Audio-visual's been off on its own.
SALLY HUBBARD: conservation areas or preservation areas, especially as digital stuff comes in and makes us.
I think we should also consider offering a scheme of fee reduction
for multiple memberships in the various relevant professional
organizations. Considering the role that annual conferences of
the organizations play in terms of keeping everyone in the preservation
field updated on the developments, the products and services
ANKE MEBOLD: Especially at the student level it's just unaffordable to attend all conferences and be a member of all the organizations if there is no way of either getting financial help or having extreme reduction of membership fees at least, and/or conference attending fees. If a discount scheme could be worked out, that would probably facilitate, let's say, the Selznick students not only going to the AMIA conference, but also knowing about AIC and coming here. And it would be, I'm sure, rather useful to also network with the conservators here. As a film preservation student or audio-visual preservation student, you have limited access to the people, companies, materials involved in photography conservation, or object conservation.
TIM VITALE: Right, and the service that you could provide to institutions represented by conservators here.
ANKE MEBOLD: Yes, hopefully.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: We know money, but what you then need is to find a funder. I think that there are organizations or individuals that would be interested in this fusion of professions and the need for research, because the digital world is so compelling to so many other people. So we'll have to go and find those people and say we're ready for something. (Laughter)
RICHARD RINEHART: I sit on the board of the Museum Computer Network, which is, I like to think, the technology arm of the Museum community, and I know that that constituency, at their annual conference, would welcome a workshop, perhaps developed by the EMG and taught by one of you guys. So that was my other recommendation, is that I know how these workshops, get taught, and it's usually whoever volunteers or is elected to do it, but you start over from scratch and they develop their own curriculum and then they come and then they teach it. So what might be very good is for EMG, over a period of years perhaps, to develop a few courses or workshops as a portable curriculum one that you can teach here or you could pass off to somebody at the Museum Computer Network they could teach there. And, of course, you know, so if you develop one on video, maybe you take it to AMIA. If you develop one on digital media in a museum context, you take it to the Museum Computer Network. But that way they're slightly portable. And you can even do a locally like school for scanning you know, find good universities or hot spots, you know, like New York City where there's you know there's a dense enough constituency to where you can just have one at NYU and you know people will show up. But these portable curricula might save a lot of time and actually begin to establish some standards for professional practice in your field too, instead of leaving it up to the whims of whatever person is teaching at that moment.
WALTER HENRY: This is an unusual morning in that I don't think I've heard a bad idea all morning, but what's happened is that, as we've developed the conversation through the morning, we've defused the concept of a conservation curriculum. We've spread it out to saying how can we get lots and lots of people all throughout the universe of electronic preservation, which is a big universe, to know more about all these things that we need to know. But I'd kind of like to step back for a second and then, I guess, try to resay what I said very inarticulately earlier this morning, which is that I believe that fundamentally, there is something that we call a conservator that is different from a film archivist, a sound archivist, a pick-your-specialty, or digital asset manager even, though we almost hired a digital asset manager to do electronic preservation. (Laughter) Because we felt they might have the skill set and then we could train them to become a conservator, but that's another story. With the development of the Electronic Materials Group, I think came an awareness that more and more of us who were trained in some other, in some specific, conservation discipline, were moving towards becoming something like a media conservator. It's not necessarily a specialist. Somebody said: "You can't know everything." Oh, that was Marlan. You can't know everything. We know that and understand that. It is an inherently interdisciplinary activity, but I still believe that we could train people who would bring what conservators have brought to museums and other disciplines, work in concert with archivists and all of our allied professions. And we have three kinds of approaches. We have the kind of managerial, library or museum specific approach taken, say, at UCLA, which is a wonderful initiative. We have the kinds of initiatives that Debbie and Dan were talking about: taking other specialties and saying: "What do they need to know about what we're interested in?" What's missing now is that third thing: how do we get a cadre of conservators who can look at media, at electronic media, with the same kind of seriousness that a paintings conservator looks at paintings conservation? And I don't see that happening in workshops, important as they are. I don't see that happening in short, one- week things, at a BAVC workshop, important as that kind of thing is. I see that happening in a graduate program. Whether it happens in an existing art oriented graduate program, or some other one is tough. It might. Or maybe because it's--now I'm thinking totally off the wall--maybe because it is so different from other kinds of things, that is, it isn't tied so much to museums or libraries or industry; maybe we would develop a program that was, in some way, distributed where you might get a degree that involved spending time in a library program, a museum program, industry and so forth. Just thinking out loud. But I really would like to leave here with some sense of being able to move forward towards the development of curricular needs for an actual program, and I don't. I'm getting nods around here, so it must it's not actually it's not a totally alien concept.
SARAH STAUDERMAN: I offer up my outline and I ask for critical comments. I have no expectation that anyone would implement it, but I know that there is great interest in all the conservation programs for understanding what it is that is important for conservators of this new media. And, you know, I want to float it out to the people at NYU who are developing the new Tisch School [Master of Arts Program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation] I don't know the people at UCLA, and I think that there's probably going to be a little bit of: "you're trying to box us into something."
The outline clearly separates the curriculum into areas of electronic media specialization: there's film, there's video, there's sound. It does not delve deeply into born digital internet and computer products, however.
WALTER HENRY: Would this be a suitable project for EMG to work on sort of as a task force, an education development task force?
TIM VITALE: I think it is. You and I are no longer officers, so all we can do is propose.
PAUL MESSIER: I just wanted to confirm to everyone here that this discussion is being recorded and will be transcribed with the idea of mounting it on the EMG website. We have funding from Stanford to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: We need permissions from everybody here.
PAUL MESSIER: Right. So, that's something that I want to bring up right now. I've also been taking some photographs, as I'm sure you've noticed, that I,m hoping to integrate into the web site. Not to derail the conversation but returning to permissions for a second, is it fair to say that please get in touch with me if you object to having your image and spoken words used on the site? How do we do that? I would want to get the required permissions really quickly and in the most efficient manner possible. What I really am trying to say is: We are going to have this web site and one way or the other it will be we'll deal with the permissions issue. I,m hoping the site will be a centralized repository for the beginnings of a larger curriculum development project. For instance, with Sarah's permission, we can integrate her plan and assemble any other documentation that the panel here thinks is relevant. Let's go back to Walter.
WALTER HENRY: Assuming that you're not asking for an actual transfer of rights, oral assent from individuals here would be adequate, if we're not giving up our individual copyrights. We don't actually have to do anything beyond this room. We could just say: "Yes, Paul, you can have my thing." And "Yes, Paul, you can have my thing."
PAUL MESSIER: Okay. Hopefully people can say "no" to me later and we'll come up with the means to excise that material from the transcript which is absolutely not a problem.
TIM VITALE: It might be a problem.
PAUL MESSIER: Okay, it might be a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: People should be able to review the transcript after...
PAUL MESSIER: That's a very good idea. Before the site goes public, I think we will have to allow participants to review the site and make whatever changes are required during a period of maybe two or three weeks.
WALTER HENRY: Keeping in mind that an archival copy of the actual transcript would be submitted to the funder. (Laughter) I had to say that.
PAUL MESSIER: I'm glad you said it.
DAN KUSHEL: I have a question about the task at hand. Is there a feeling about how we should look at this task? Are we thinking in terms of fitting a whole new curriculum into programs that are already existing ? It's a very different way about thinking about curriculum development if you're trying to fit something additional into a context or a structure that's already there versus something that you're really creating from scratch. Or perhaps it could be approached both ways.
TIM VITALE: I think that's what this discussion hopes to do. We have about a half hour left, maybe twenty minutes. We should try to have that discussion. I don't know that we can come to any conclusion, but what I've heard today are the possibilities.
PAUL MESSIER: Dan, as somebody who's been through this for years and years, could you start by commenting on what the implications of, say, incorporating a media bloc into the existing programs would be?
DAN KUSHEL: It would be hard as we are continually faced with the problem of needing to add more and more to the curriculum as the field grows, and as you well know, it's always difficult to figure out what to throw out. I think, however, at least in terms of the material science part, it might not be too difficult, as I think a lot of the material is probably already there.
PAUL MESSIER: Aside from science, would there be other synergies?
DAN KUSHEL: Probably much of preventive conservation.
TIM VITALE: How about the cataloging? I mean, conservators need to understand cataloging.
DAN KUSHEL: Yes, cataloguing, to an extent, but that does bring up the question of dealing with the "insubstantive" nature of the digital world in a curriculum so focused on physical substance.
ANKE MEBOLD: I think one of the things we need is also a kind of manufacturer studies, interaction with each company who's putting out preservation products, to try and extract a minimum of necessary information. If this can not be achieved on an official level, a subvesive approach might be in order to reach some sort of mutually satisfying equilibrium of comprehension in spite of protection of commercial interest. Through dialogue on a personal level, directly with the involved personnel it may be possible to glean some insight into the nature of the protected product, and those characteristics that determine its utility for preservation purposes. This seems a better choice than succumbing to resignation: "Oh, it's proprietary. We can't know it. We don't need to know it."
RICHARD RINEHART: Actually, I want to respond to what you said, perhaps with some concerns and maybe so my role is as naive alien provocateur here. And I wanted to add my HBO-like caveat. Everything that I say does officially reflect the opinions of the University of California all nine campuses. I guess I just wanted to say that I think it's really critical to include the discussion of the workshops and the professional development in the later training as well as the sort of core, foundation curriculum. I think you it would be irresponsible to separate them out and try and just prioritize one. And the reason I say that is because, you know, in the end we do need those specialized skills, you know, as much as we need the foundation. To be honest, when I'm looking for somebody to come help me, it would be great if they have some general knowledge of conserving objects or in-depth knowledge of material science, but I need somebody who knows a lot about, for instance, what are the limits of an information object? Because that's what we're trying to preserve in large part, and it's only going to live on a particular media for a few years, so we do need to know like how long is that media safe? When is the CD going to delaminate? But what's more important, from just my selfish point of view focussing on digital media, is the limits of that information object and how it's going to move from media to media while retaining its integrity. And that's a specialization that's probably going to come from that post-core, you know, kind of stuff, so I think you need to develop them in tandem.
TIM VITALE: I thought you were going more towards "information object" meaning of cataloging, the metadata, the information that's used to describe a "thing."
RICHARD REINHARDT: Okay, I'm talking about digital stuff, so actually I mean the thing itself and the cataloging.
UNKNOWN SPEAKER Yeah, well, I don't think we're talking at cross purposes. I think what you're describing is what I'm thinking of as a media conservator that is the equivalent of a paintings conservator. It's that same which doesn't mean that you leave the program with a fixed body of stuff that's dead.
TIM VITALE: After talking to John Lynch, I talked to Brewster Kale. We had a very interesting discussion. I really tried to get him to come here..., ...and we had a reasonably cordial discussion about other topics. We started talking about conservation, how conservators were trained and why he should have this discussion. He became irritated because he felt that we were training managers. We were training people who knew too much information that was not specific. He said at the last moment, "the work we do here is technical, and the people that I hire to do work here are extremely technical." The implicatioon was the general training has littl;e value, specific training was the key to a good preservation person.
WALTER HENRY: That distinction between the Brewster mind set and the conservation mindset is precisely the situation of restoration, before there were conservators and before there were graduate programs, as Andrew said. There was a mindset "We just know how to do this stuff. It's not a big problem." Well, it is a big problem, because Brewster's timescale is not our timescale, except when he's at the Long Now Foundation, but that's a different story.
TIM VITALE: To draw the analogy... In the beginning of modern conservation, there were a lot of paintings that needed conservation, so the training programs were formed to teach paintings conservation (as well as other specialties). A lot of paintings were treated in the 70s and 80s. Then, paintings conservators started thinking that maybe they were going a little to far with some of their treatments. Now the hunt is on for paintings that haven't been treated. Electronic media preservation is going to walk that path. Now we just need to get media conservators trained, then we will overtreating works in our zeal to get a jump on the solving the huge problem of traeting works that will fail soon.
ANKE MEBOLD: I think we're creating an artificial antagonism between specific, technical abilities, and managerial philosophy, knowledge and oversight brought about through cautious pondering. In theory any technical person, fully trained and aware of the scope of issues involved, no matter if through certificate program or graduate program, probably still has the necessary foresight, understanding of issues and their ramifications, and the philosophical awareness to make competent managerial choices. I do not think administrative and technical ability are two antagonistic positions, an irrevocable choice to be made in the early stages of training about who is qualified for what. This I think would be an unnecessary schism, especially for employees in smaller institutions.
HANNAH FROST: When you're thinking about this marriage of thinking about this idea of the marriage between the technical and the theoretical, or the managerial, it gets to something I mentioned earlier my feeling of like I don't know how to do quality control on video reformatting, because I haven't had enough hands-on experience actually doing it. And at UT, the conservation students they take basically two and a half years of classes and then they go off and do an internship, and this is a common practice amongst many conservation programs. Maybe that's the kind of model we should be thinking about for this, that you spend a year a year and a half whatever doing the managerial side, learning some of the you know, doing your research and getting your hands around the literature and the issues. And then you develop internship programs at the technical facilities like Vidapax(?) or at the Vanderbilt facility you know, those kinds of places. And then you've got graduates who've got a very well-rounded experience.
TIM VITALE: How about the funding possibilities to do that?
ANDREW ROBB: I have a question, I suppose for Dan. It might also be for Debbie. What did happen in their program's early history? I can imagine a scenario where someone said, "well, we want to train people with conservators but there are only restorers out there." How did the art conservation programs approach that? It might be an interesting case study.
DAN KUSHEL: Actually, there were conservators, because at least in American conservation, there was a small group of trained people in the 60's. Many had studied with by Caroline and Sheldon Keck before the Kecks started their programs. But there were also other first generation conservators like the Kecks, who were available to students as internship supervisors in the early years of the training programs.
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: It had already started before that
DAN KUSHEL: Yes, in essence modern conservation training offering more than simply apprenticeship education had, at least in rudimentary fashion, actually already started before the formal training programs were founded.
DEBBIE NORRIS: You know this is so much like photograph conservation was in 1970, and now we look at the... And now we look at UT, NYU, Buffalo, Delaware. They're all focusing on photograph conservation. They've found ways to as filled as these curricula are, they identified a need a dire need in the field and they found ways to incorporate that. So it's not to say that it can't be done again, because suddenly we're seeing this as yet another need. All the programs are different. I can see in our own program where we could maintain the first year curriculum in much the same way focused on documentation, examination, analysis, preventive care and a fundamental introduction to all different materials, including electronic media, and then the second year focused very specific on electronic media. The problem for us would be not in the curriculum design of course, content would be an issue for everyone but the specialist who would be the faculty member who would teach who's teaching. We could find the money probably to identify to fund that individual, but we have to figure out who's going to do that kind of teaching. In this case, it may be a variety of instructors. I'm not quite sure I sort of know who that person would be who would guide that. But I don't think it's impossible to incorporate electronic media, I guess, in the existing programs in addition to working with the new emerging programs and finding ways to collaborate. Another thought I had just sitting here is the Eastman House program collaborating with Buffalo State College in some kind of cross curriculum, or where Buffalo provides more in the way of preventive conservation and overall documentation introduction to all these different materials and the Eastman House then presents you know, provides the specialist. So, there may be models that exist right in this room that would allow everyone to get to sort of graduate level education and training. But certainly we faced it in all other disciplines. This happens to be the new horizon, and I think we all realize that there's such a need and there's the possibility to employ graduates from these programs, if we can figure out sort of what is the fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities that they need along the lines of Sarah's curriculum.
MARLAN GREEN: I don't know if Hanna talked about this. I had to take a little break. It's just that this is the longest session everybody!
TIM VITALE: We do have to wrap up.
MARLAN GREEN: I just want to describe a little bit about what's happening at PCS and the transitions that we're taking. As Hannah described, there is the traditional conservation course work. Just this last spring, in our Curriculum Advisory Committee that is comprised professionals from the field, our faculty, and some representative students, discussed this heavily, because we found students are suddenly arriving knowing what they want to do when they come in the door, and they have a passion that they want to follow. The Curriculum Advisory Committee suggested loosening up the curriculum and allowing students to have more opportunities to take courses outside of our graduate school and do cross-disciplinary studies in communications and film and computer science. And we've also implemented our first audio-preservation class that is solely audio- preservation and also focuses on the analog to digital conversion of that material, and that class is expected to be expanded into two or three classes over the coming years. There are discussions in progress right now to establish a fundamental computer science course at least one possibly two which would be analogous to how Hal Erikson's (current materials chemistry instructor at Texas program) materials chemistry course is, to provide students who are interested in this realm of electronic and digital information with these fundamentals. I hope I'm not repeating anything that's been said, but we're taking steps, and I think we have the faculty available at UT because we're such a huge institution. We have a librarian in the Music Department who's doing our audio preservation. His name is Karl Miller and he was a curator of a collection of magnetic media and records, and he suddenly decided one day "I've got to do something about this before I die or we're going to lose it all." And he's not a conservator and he's not a preservationist. He is a librarian who cared and he is passing on his knowledge to the students, and I honestly expect in the next three to five years that we'll be producing, I think, highly qualified audio-preservation graduate students for the field. And we're working with technology that is being used in the film industry. You might know about Pro Tools and it's very sophisticated. We have the support for the technology at UT, because the Library School has their own technical aspects, and we also have a lot of stuff going on in the library systems there, and also just the departments. One other thing is we've started digital preservation from an archival point of view. Pat Galloway (Instructor of digital preservation and archives at Texas program) is teaching preservation of electronic records, using primarily the open archival information system model. She is beginning a project with the supercomputer that we have at the University of Texas on our Pickle campus. I just finished a class with her, and we produced a model for the state government of Texas for an email repository, and the state government is very excited about it and is planning to use it to actually implement and that will be published in the fall in the DigLib online Magazine. So I don't know about other programs, but we certainly have a lot of resources at UT and I just wanted to promote my program a little bit, because, for some reason, I'm always doing that.
ANKE MEBOLD: I believe that it would be advantageous to utilize international networking and cross-institutional networking as well, rather than to rely solely on individual institutions and their permanent staff. In order to keep the curriculum current, the most convenient method might be an invitation system for one- or two-week lecturers from outside of the host institution. I believe this was one of the real strengths of the program I attended, this in conjunction with visits to authoring and transfer facilities, laboratories, conservation institutes, other archives etc in order to compare methods and fully comprehend the full scope of possible points of view.
RICHARD RINEHART: I agree. If I could add very briefly; this is Rick Rinehart. I might make a recommendation to the EMG group that what would be a worthwhile future project, in the very near future, would be to step back, before developing curriculum, and decide on standards for professional practice for conservationists in these various fields and a core of what should conservationists or preservationists know, you know, in these various new fields. First you establish that necessary knowledge, and then you can implement their acquisition in a variety of ways, be they formal learning centers, like universities or workshops. And to do that it appears that you would probably need to convene specialists from certain media, so for preserving digital video or something, I don't know if anybody on this group is the specialist ,or you might need to reach out to AMIA or somewhere and grab that person, and with the digital expertise, grab that person. But that seems a very fundable and worthwhile project for you guys to convene that group, decide on the standards for professional practice what needs to be known. Then the next step is develop the curriculum to get there.
TIM VITALE: Well, we have used our time up. I'm about to end the session. Does anybody want to make any additional comment? I think this has been a fabulous session. It's been much more than I expected. I appreciate everybody's input and coming here and giving us such great information. Thank you very much.