Friday, March 26, 2010

Radio Park Elementary Students Visit Special Collections!

University Archivist Jackie Esposito and other Special Collections staff, including Jeanette Eisenhart, Robyn Dyke, Paul Karwacki, Ann Holt, and Katelynd Bucher, welcomed two groups of visitors from Radio Park Elementary, 1st and 2nd graders, on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19.

The groups arrived in the morning, gathered in the Mann Assembly Room, proceeded through a brief State College History overview, took a tour of Special Collections, then created their own "State College is My Home Town" poster to take home with them. Their adventure concluded with a visit to the stuffed Nittany Lion in the Library lobby, and on Friday with a surprise visit from the Nittany Lion mascot!

Jackie believes that "you can never start raising a good archivist too young". I believe that the following pictures will add some much-needed cuteness to your day!

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Ten Commandments for Special Collections Librarians in the Digital Age" by Jackie Dooley

This article, printed in the Spring 2009 issue of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, made my heart swell with gratitude at many points.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Penn State Audio-Visual Collections

Today the awesome team of Paul Dzyak, Eileen Akin, Paul Karwacki, and Emily Esposito delivered a highly educational presentation on the audio-visual materials in the Penn State University Archives.

Did you know that PSUA houses approximately 34,000 audio items and 26,500 moving images? Audio formats vary from discs to cassettes to tapes to digital; and moving image formats vary from videotape to film to digital. Many of these items can be found in the Fred Waring Archive and Intercollegiate Athletics collection, but A/V items can also be found in collections from WPSU, Public Information, and others.

A/V materials must be carefully preserved in a cool, dark space, and we have a special room featuring a controlled environment and movable shelves in which to keep them. These items also require specific (often outmoded) equipment to enable patron use, which is why we have an A/V room equipped with not only a DVD player, but VHS, U-matic , and reel-to-reel players as well.

PSUA staff have been working steadily for several years to get all A/V items digitized, however, this is a slow process (conversion is done in real-time), and due to specialized equipment needs and a shortage of staff time, sometimes we do have to utilize outside vendors, which can be quite expensive. For example, the average cost to convert just one 16mm reel to DVD ranges from $200 to $300.

The PSUA audio-visual team referred us to 3 websites for further information on the preservation and digitization of A/V materials: