Winter School 2017

Winter School 2017

The training team of the Winter School 2017 consisted of Kara van Malssen, Peter Bubestinger and Erwin Verbruggen, who guided the participants through the complexities of setting up a digital preservation policy for their organisation. Throughout the three-day training, we took the participants from the groundwork of digital preservation of AV materials to establishing their own preservation mindset and policy.

Participants at work. Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY 2.0.


After going through the elements of what makes digital preservation of audiovisual materials a particularly challenging endeavour, we compiled an overview of risks related to their digital longevity. We then gave a toolset of relevant standards and useful tools to apply to the challenge of preserving your digital moving image collections. After obtaining a thorough understanding of the OAIS Model‘s’ functional entities and information model we picked apart what ISO 16363 means for the way an organization of any size and its infrastructure is built up.

We then created an overview of the components of digital preservation policies: How digital preservation policies and practices are informed by your institutional policies (e.g. mission, collection policy, etc.), and discussed the procedures for decision-making involved in this process. From there, we took a deep dive into the scope of ingest set-up, looking at content and file formats. We dissected the structure of an AV file (container, video-codec, audio-codec, metadata), discussed file format selection and how to determine other SIP requirements. We also gave an overview of tools that can assist in the process of ingest workflow creation. Amongst the policy decisions for ingest are a number of ingest functions that we uncovered, discussing what “fixity” and “file integrity” are and showing how one creates and validates checksums. We discussed packaging options, file characterization, virus checking, unique IDs and other policy checks you might want to consider upon receiving files in your repository.

We covered data management with regards to a variety of metadata and dug into preservation metadata - what metadata can and should be collected, captured, or created at ingest and subsequent preservation events. The training introduced participants to the utility of a standard like PREMIS for audiovisual objects. In terms of data storage, we took a closer look at what kinds of storage types exist and are the better choice for various use cases: what kind of storage media are useful, whether you should go for on-premise, outsourced, cloud, or hybrid options, and closing the topic with recommended practices in terms of backing up, mirroring and redundancy.

On the third day of training we dug deeper into the preservation planning organisations need to settle on, and looked into questions such as the level at which you commit to preservation for different parts of your collection. We looked into types of migration: storage-media, file-formats, software and the planning & scheduling steps that go with it. We finally looked into the requirements for a preservation administration at scale, discussing the roles and responsibilities of your staff, your technical environments, your budgets, many of the organizational hurdles that come with it and strategies to overcome them.

More information

  • To get an impression of the content of the training, please read Erwin Verbruggen’s report on the 2017 Winter School edition.
  • External inspiration at Winter School 2017 came from three guest speakers. These sessions were recorded and streamed in webinar form. We’ve made them available online for free.
  • Visit our Flickr page for a picture report by Sebastiaan ter Burg.