” Digitizing the archive has many clear benefits for BNE. The key advantage of working with Memnon is the expertise in mass digitization of audio and video they brought to the table. Without the human and technical resources they provided the scope of the project would have been too big to handle for BNE, with the urgency and high level of specialization this kind of collections require. ”

– Isabel Bordes Cabrera, Head of the Digital Library Department at the BNE.

Thanks to the support of Red.es, The National Library of Spain (BNE) is undertaking an ambitious digitization project to save the sound and moving imagery of Spain. BNE has been collecting and caring for the heritage of Spain for the last 300 years. They are one of the largest and most respected institutions in the world with holdings exceeding 33.1 million items. National libraries, in any country, have a special significance. The materials they house deeply represent not only the history of the country, but just as importantly, the culture.

BNE’s current audio and video preservation project perfectly reflects this concept. In 2018, after years of planning, BNE has begun digitizing their collection of audio and video materials. BNE has partnered with media digitization experts from Memnon, a company that has been a leading innovator in the preservation of priceless audiovisual heritage in Europe and beyond. After understanding BNE’s needs, Memnon created a unique, portable, plug and play digitization solution built on-site at the library. Memnon has developed its own software and equipment solutions that allows for multiple recordings to be digitized at the same time, while adhering to the highest preservation standards and employing local people.

The project will begin with the digitization of about 11,000 items. BNE has prioritized audio and audiovisual materials composed, written, performed by Spanish people, as a reflection of Spain’s culture. All of these are on magnetic media formats: cassettes, cartridges, VHS and BETA tapes and in spite of the ideal storage conditions followed at BNE, truth is their content could be lost forever if they sit on a shelf much longer. The project aims not only the migration from physical formats subject to degradation, but it also entails the long term preservation of digital surrogates that are created. BNE will ingest all this material in its digital preservation system so to ensure their usability in the future.

Memnon has a proven track-record with many other prestigious organizations like the British Library, the National Library of France as well as the United Nations and national broadcasters. Memnon works in a partnership approach with its customers to create unique solutions for projects of all sizes. As a Sony Group Company since 2015, Memnon has been able to take that same caring approach to a global scale. Memnon provides hundreds of customers with services from their delivery centers in Belgium and the United States and also locates on customer sites as in South Africa, the Middle East and Australia.