Surveying and Assessing Endangered Media Formats
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
10:00 am to 12:00 pm

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WNYLRC Training Center


How many floppy disks are languishing in your archives? Do you know the exact quantity of VHS tapes or reel-to-reel film in your collections? If you don’t have an immediate answer, it’s time to consider surveying your endangered media formats.

Staff from The Strong National Museum of Play will discuss how (and why) they took the leap into proactively identifying and assessing the unique endangered media formats (both digital and magnetic) held within the museum’s archives. Attendees will learn about the process of surveying collections, assessing their condition, and how this captured data can inform future digitization projects. In addition, attendees will see examples from the outcome of The Strong’s Endangered Media Pilot Project, funded by a Technology Grant from the Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC). The presenters will also demonstrate the use of floppy disk conversion equipment and discuss how they built up their digitization lab for endangered media formats.

Participants will learn:

  • What media formats are endangered and why
  • What factors affect media stability and longevity
  • How to identify and quantify endangered media formats within their collections
  • How to use this data to plan digitization projects and accession workflows
  • How The Strong’s digitization lab was created and whether it is a good solution for your institution’s endangered media
  • How the equipment for floppy disk conversion is set up and used
Workshop Length:
Speaker Name:
Julia Novakovic, Hillary Ellis, and Andrew Borman
Speaker Bio:

Julia Novakovic is the Archivist at The Strong. She processes, preserves, and makes accessible the archival collections housed in the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play; these materials include papers of prominent play scholars, childhood education specialists, toy inventors, game designers, authors, illustrators, and video game company records. Julia earned her Master’s of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management.

Hillary Ellis is Director of Conservation at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. She performs and oversees conservation treatment of the museum collections and works closely with the curatorial team to develop procedures for long-term artifact preservation. She holds a Master’s of Art Conservation from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Art History from University of Virginia.

Andrew Borman is digital games curator at The Strong and coordinates the museum’s efforts related to digital preservation of electronic games. He holds both an undergraduate and master's degree in Information Science and as has long taken an active role in game preservation, focusing on the preservation of unreleased game prototypes and development material.


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