Many of you have seen our assessments over the last few years that brought to light the absolutely dire statistics regarding the potential loss of our audiovisual collections. In 2019, we determined that at the current rate of preservation, 188,890 audiovisual collection items around the Smithsonian will be unpreserved and face total loss by 2034. It would cost the Smithsonian over $40 million and take 28 new staff members to digitize all current collections within the next 15 years. Those are some overwhelming numbers, right? However, there is some exciting news on the horizon!
The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives is thrilled to announce that we are planning a pan-institutional initiative to support the holistic care of audiovisual collections! The Audiovisual Media Preservation Initiative (AVMPI) will be a centralized resource focused on treating, digitizing, and providing access to Smithsonian audiovisual collections. Fully equipped with seven new staff members, AVMPI will be supported by a task force of subject matter experts and an advisory committee. Together, we will work to address some of those staggering statistics and uncover never-before-seen collections across the Smithsonian!
For more information about the AVMPI Strategic Plan and overall goals, check out the initiative's new webpages. And in the meantime, indulge in some of our amazing collections by exploring these Smithsonian YouTube channels:
- Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Archives of American Art
- Human Studies Film Archives
- National Museum of African American History & Culture
- “What a Groovy Idea! A Pan-Institutional Survey of Audiovisual Collections,” by Alison Reppert Gerber, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- “Looking Towards the Future: An Audiovisual Preservation Readiness Assessment,” by Alison Reppert Gerber, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- “Rewinding American Archives Month: #ArchivesAVTakeover,” by Emily Niekrasz, The Bigger Picture, Smithsonian Institution Archives