Digital Video – at Langsdale and from the White House

I’ve been thinking a lot about digital video the last few days. My new graduate assistant, Antoinette Woods, will be starting work at Langsdale next week, and her job will be to create short, original videos for the library. These will range from six-second Vines to longer tutorials and video tours on YouTube or Vimeo.

I’ve also been talking to our archivists, Ben Blake and Aiden Faust, about some of the interesting things they are doing with our historical news footage collections. We’ve also started planning the hardware and software that the library will need to acquire for the new audio/visual archivist position they are looking to fill.

President Obama on a video screen
Photo: Pete Souza

So with all of this fresh in mind, I was very interested to hear a piece on WYPR this morning on the future challenges to organize the “thousands and thousands of hours” of footage the first White House videographer, Arun Chaudhary, has amassed since President Obama took office. I was also please to hear a historian at our affiliate school Towson quoted on the topic. It’s always nice to hear from local experts on national programs, even if they aren’t from UB.

This got me thinking: Massaging all these videos into a coherent collection that can be meaningfully used by researchers will require a lot of hands from a lot of disciplines. From metadata experts describing the content, to web programmers designing the UI, to historians putting it in context with the more official videos. So — current UB history majors and design students interested in digital video — now’s your chance to start thinking about these kinds of projects. Get some real world experience working with digital video here or other archives in Baltimore, and solve the problems these types of resources bring with them.

It would be great to hear from one of you on NPR someday talking about how you helped make all this historical, behind the scenes, footage easily available to the world.

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