Section 4: conclusion
The inventory and assessment of collections is a critical process that will have a lasting impact on an audiovisual media collection at every subsequent stage of reformatting and preservation planning. When creating an inventory, the entry of the required fields: Unique ID, Location, Media Type, Format, and Title will provide an institution with the basic level of knowledge needed to determine which of its materials need to be reformatted first. Optional fields such as Collection Name, Generation, Description, and Condition, among others in this chapter, will further enhance an institution’s decision making abilities.
There are helpful tools that can streamline the inventory process, ranging from third party software that is selected and downloaded online to spreadsheets that come installed on nearly every computer. Whatever the chosen tool, once the information is gathered, a repository must make careful choices when selecting materials for digitization. These decisions should take into account the institution’s mission statement, the materials’ content value, and the technical needs of the collection. As discussed in Section 3: Prioritization for Digitization, the application MediaSCORE can help make these technical needs clear.
The inventory and assessment of audiovisual media underpins and supports all future projects for the collections, making the time spent reviewing and describing your materials worthwhile. In the long term, these steps will help you develop metadata for digital audiovisual collections, which makes conducting effective salvage efforts easier. In the short term, an institution will be prepared to draft a Statement of Work and submit a Request for Proposal to a vendor while applying resources efficiently. These are the key components of pursuing a reformatting project and are discussed further in Chapter 3: Planning, Preparing, and Implementing Reformatting Projects.