Posts by frank stark

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Hi Ian:

    Actually it was just a smutty one-liner.

    But, seriously, I read all news text now with my hands in my pockets to prevent me reaching for my gun - or at least a blue pencil.

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Need to point out that the Dom has subs...

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Friday Music: More Finding,

    Nice to remember Charlie Tumahai, but based on the extract posted, I think you might be mixing Be-Bop Deluxe with Ducks Deluxe - something I suspect neither of them would have liked much (at least at the time).

    A bit like Space Waltz vs Johnny and the Hurricanes.

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: You don't know what you've…,

    Hi yourself, Ian.

    Don't want to turn this into an ad for the Film Archive, but I think we have shown it can be done. The Archive is an industry-based organisation, not a government one, with a collection of over 120,000 titles and an annual usage of 650,000 including 350,000 website visits a year.

    Despite big problems getting government investment in digitisation - the great majority of that has gone to non audio-visual work at Nat Lib - the Film Archive raises and spends around $1 million a year on preservation.

    And people use and see the results.

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: You don't know what you've…,

    Thanks, Simon, for the reference to the Film Archive.

    I think the key difference between the activities of libraries (even libraries of record) and archives lies in the notion of preservation. Libraries are generally happy with a copy of a consumer-level object - a book or a CD - and latterly a digital duplicate of such things. Archives are more concerned with finding and preserving originating or master materials. For organisations like the Film Archive, the DVD isn't the point. We look for the negatives or master tapes and aim to make them safe before migrating them to newer technology as the original starts to lose viability. This means a big investment in the myriad technologies which have been used for moving image production. It's based on a fundamental belief that the full cultural and information value of audio-visual material resides in the production materials, not in the consumer ones. To stretch a point, it's akin to the distinction between a painting and a magazine reproduction of it.

    In the context of recorded music, that would equate to the difference between master tapes - multi-track and mixed - which provide much higher quality and much more opportunity for creative re-use - and CDs or download files.

    The other factors, like contextual material, curation and active public programmes are down to the capability and philosophy of the collecting institution, There are without doubt libraries which are good at this and archives which are not - and vice versa. In my view, it's the commitment to finding and preserving master material which counts.

    Around the world, specialist audio-visual archives have the best record in that area. (sorry for the pun)

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • Hard News: Uncapturing Content,

    First a disclaimer - as far as possible.

    I work for the New Zealand Film Archive, a government-sounding, but actually independent, not-for-profit organisation which preserves all forms of New Zealand moving image material. Anything below which looks like, but is not explicitly stated as Film Archive policy is probably just me mouthing off and should not be quoted back as the offical word.

    In my view, the document released yesterday continues the major problems with the Digital Strategy process to date. It does not really deal with the implications of its acknowledgement that many of the things that people want to access digitally are currently not digital. Moreover it reflects the fallacy of conflating "digital" with "on-line" or "web-based". It does not clearly commit to a role for the Government.

    For preservation reasons, and for a wide variety of accessibility reasons, we would all be better off if NZ's full range of scientific, cultural, political and historical material was in digital form. The real challenge is how to achieve that and how to ensure that the resulting digital collections are as accessible as possible. The complexities of guardianship and ownership of this material go far beyond the scope of the response to date - funding the National Library and a number of other Government agencies to create or organise digital content.

    We ought to be able to read the Government's digital content strategy and understand what it thinks its role is going to be - regulatory referee? funder? provider? cheerleader? territorial protector? If it feels an obligation to digitise elements of its own collections, does it feel a comparable obligation towards the other national collections - Hocken Library, Auckland Museum and so on? What does it think about copyright? What is the Government's interest in non-web applications of digital technology like large scale storage or preservation of cultural property?

    I still don't know.

    nz • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report