The Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) has been an essential asset in the preservation of Ireland’s rich music tradition and heritage. Recently, recognizing the value in analogue sound digitization and the paramount importance of long-term digital preservation, ITMA has begun the Digital Audio/Visual Preservation (DAP) Project. The Project aims to digitize audio and audio-visual content from carriers which are highly vulnerable to degradation, as well as to provide easy access to sound and video files on a new online platform.

Thanks to generous funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, IT the MA was able to partner with media digitization experts from Memnon, a long-time leading innovator in the preservation of treasured audio-visual heritage all over the world. Memnon utilized its own software and equipment solutions that allow for multiple recordings to be digitized at the same time, while adhering to the highest preservation standards, and took in 1,600 CD-Rs (Compact Disc-Recordable), 280 Digital Audio Tapes, 600 Digital Video Tapes (MiniDV and DVCAM).

The Irish Traditional Music Archive entrusted Memnon with this material which entails field recordings made by ITMA staff at events around the country, as well as intimate domestic recordings in the homes of some of Ireland’s best-known traditional musicians and singers.  Each item was given a 13-digit barcode which differentiates it from any other item which Memnon has handled. This barcode was then paired with essential, object-specific metadata in a spreadsheet, after which the tapes were shipped to the Memnon facilities in Brussels.

Memnon has proven itself servicing numerous prestigious organizations like the British Library, the National Library of France as well as the United Nations. As a Sony Group Company since 2015, Memnon has been able to apply that same caring approach on a global scale. Memnon provides customers with services from facilities in Belgium and the United States (Bloomington, Indiana) and also locates on customer sites, including in South Africa, Spain and Australia.

Click here to read the full article about the DAP project written on the ITMA’s Blog