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Grant number: PG-233784-16

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New Orleans Video Access Center (New Orleans, LA 70117-6731)
Elizabeth Dunnebacke (Project Director: May 2015 to present)

Audiovisual Survey of the New Orleans Video Access Center Media Archive

Hiring a preservation specialist to undertake assessment of analog and digital collections in order to identify preservation and conservation needs, and to teach a course on preservation techniques and best practices for NOVAC members as well as local filmmakers. The grant would also support the purchase of environmental monitoring equipment and supplies. NOVAC’s media archive comprises more than 2,000 audiovisual records and 10 terabytes of digital video content that was generated by community media sources and public access television. Dating from the 1970s to the present, the collection includes performances by legendary jazz and R&B musicians, coverage of social and political events in New Orleans, and documentaries focused on topics of regional and local interest. NOVAC is a hub of community and educational activities, but its archive is not widely accessible due to the unknown condition of its media, in particular the video. The digital collections are used extensively for K-12 public school programs as well as in community screenings at festivals and events.

NOVAC's media archive contains over 2,000 audiovisual assets, from analog tape formats, to digital video. The content consists of original documentaries and community television broadcasts, presenting a portrait of cultural traditions and civic issues that chronicle decades of New Orleans history through grassroots media. This grant will help fund a consultant to survey the materials, in order to identify conservation treatment and digital preservation needs. The consultant will also lead a training course for NOVAC members and local filmmakers, presenting preservation concepts and best practices as they relate to current technologies utilized in digital filmmaking. With the goal of access and use, the staff seeks a developed plan of immediate and long-term conservation steps to follow, and to gain an understanding of how to best handle archival digital content. Through the workshop they hope to promote personal digital archiving practices to the community that NOVAC serves.

Project fields:
Arts, General; Cultural History; Media Studies

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,472 (approved)
$4,472 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017