Glossary Sources

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)

AMIA is a nonprofit professional membership association for individuals and institutions concerned with the preservation of moving images. AMIA fosters cooperation among those concerned with the acquisition, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials. In addition to publication and education programs, AMIA holds an annual conference, develops and promotes standards, offers a listserv, honors archivists and archival organizations, administers scholarships and fellowships, and designs and implements national moving image preservation policies and plans. AMIA's online resource includes storage standards and guidelines for film and videotape, including Q&As on video formats, preservation, and videotape preservation fact sheets.

Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)

The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) has established the only professionally equipped nonprofit preservation center in the nation. BAVC offers cleaning and transferring of archival material to current video formats for universities, museums, nonprofit institutions and artists. PLAYBACK: Preserving Analog Video is BAVC's interactive DVD that invites users to view the technical practices of video preservation and experience the complex decision-making process artists, conservators, and video engineers engage in to reconstruct video artwork. Video Preservation Resources, the online component to the DVD, features a bibliography, glossary, scholarly essays, event archives, and links relating to video preservation.

The Getty Research Institute: Introduction to Imaging

A review of key concepts and terms basic to an understanding of digital imaging. A digital image is understood here as a raster or bitmapped representation of an analog work of art or artifact. Vector graphics, geometrical objects such as those created by drawing software or CAD (computer-aided design) systems, and other works that are "born digital" are not specifically dealt with here, nor are images made with different light-wave lengths, such as X-radiographs. However, much of the information on the importance of metadata, standards, and preservation is relevant to all digital files of whatever type and provenance.

Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP)

IMAP is a nonprofit service, education, and advocacy organization committed to the preservation of non-commercial electronic media. IMAP's core constituents include institutions, organizations, and individuals whose diverse media collections are underserved by existing preservation efforts. IMAP provides archivists, artists, conservators, curators, distributors, librarians, media makers, producers, registrars, scholars, and other professionals with accessible solutions to document and preserve media collections. Imap-L is an online discussion list sponsored by IMAP. To subscribe, send a message

Moving Image Collections

MIC is a collaboration of organizations and individuals in moving image archives, information technology, and digital education. Participants are committed to the preservation and use of moving images to support people and societies around the world.

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

The work that the National Film and Sound Archive undertakes dates back to the National Historical Film and Speaking Record Library (part of the then Commonwealth National Library), which was established by a Cabinet decision on 11 December 1935. The National Film and Sound Archive was created as a separate Commonwealth collecting institution in 1984. Through cutting-edge research and preservation practices, the National Film and Sound Archive has become internationally recognised as a centre of excellence. The Archive's online preservation resources include, Care for Audiovisual Materials, Preservation and Technical Services, Preservation and Technical Research, Audiovisual Terms, and a Film Preservation Handbook.

Netherlands Media Art Institute: Montevideo/Time Based Arts

The Netherlands Media Art Institute supports media art in three core areas: presentation, research, and conservation. The Institute publishes an online newsletter, Monitoring Media Art Preservation. Its project Preservation of Video Art, a two-year-long research initiative in cooperation with museums and organizations throughout Europe, led to the publication of the book Sustainability of Video Art. In 2005, the Institute held a conference in Amsterdam on the conservation and documentation of media art. The conference was conceived with the project OASIS, or Open Archiving System with Internet Sharing, which seeks to preserve media art by developing an archiving platform linking the media art databases of several institutes and collections. is an e-commerce resource for projection equipment. The site incudes educational resources including tutorials and a comprehensive glossary of terms specific to moving image projection.

Texas Commission on the Arts Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide

This online guide was created by the Texas Commission on the Arts to assist custodians of video materials with the care and preservation of these materials. The guide includes detailed descriptions of different video formats, instructions for condition assessment, and an evaluation of the factors that can affect the materials' longevity. The 55-page Videotape Identification and Assessment Guide is available for download as a pdf.

The Universal Preservation Format Initiative (UPF)

The Universal Preservation Format initiative advocates a format for the long-term storage of electronically generated media... Working with representatives from standards organizations, hardware and software companies, museums, academic institutions, archives and libraries, this project will produce and publish a document called a Recommended Practice. This document will be submitted to SMPTE, suggesting guidelines for engineers when designing computer applications that involve or interact with digital storage.

Variable Media Network

The Variable Media Network proposes a new preservation strategy that emerged from the Guggenheim Museum's efforts to preserve its collection of conceptual, minimalist, and video art. Supported by the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the variable media paradigm encourages artists to define their work independently from medium so that the work can be translated once its current medium is obsolete. The Web site includes case studies of artworks that have been preserved, as well as transcripts from Variable Media Network's 2001 conference "Preserving the Immaterial" and the 2004 symposium "Echoes of Art: Preservation as an Emulation Strategy." A downloadable PDF publication on the Variable Media Approach is also available online.

VidiPax: Magnetic Tape Preservation The Web site of VidiPax, a magnetic media preservation facility, offers a video format guide, an audio format guide, and a virtual museum showcasing old wire recorders, reel-to-reel audio decks, and video recorders. The basics of magnetic tape preservation are explained with sections devoted to tape composition, problems with magnetic tape, storage, reformatting, and restoration.