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Work by RU Libraries' techie attracts international attention

When a skilled staff member is fielding inquiries from the UN, the U.S. National Archives, and others, chances are good that he's riding the cutting edge on some important work.

The Rutgers University Libraries have distinguished themselves with their technical expertise and innovation in a number of areas, attracting state and federal grants and drawing in a number of significant partners for different projects. One area where the Libraries have blazed a path is in the still-developing field of digital video preservation. And one of the point people at Rutgers managing this challenging area of the digital future is Isaiah Beard, digital data curator in the Libraries Scholarly Communication Center, based in Alexander Library.

Isaiah was one of the featured speakers at a conference of the Association of Moving Image Archivists/International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives in late fall in Philadelphia. The session he participated in was held to outline three distinct approaches that have emerged to handle digital video preservation:

  • The Library of Congress model, which offers a format supported by one vendor company
  • The Stanford University model, whose format is based on QuickTime software and is dependent on Macintosh computing systems
  • The Rutgers University Libraries model, which uses our home-grown institutional repository, RUcore, as its platform and can preserve video in multiple formats.

After his talk Isaiah received inquiries from the United Nations media dept., the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Rockefeller Center Archive, and others seeking more information on how Rutgers' system works and its strengths and weaknesses.

Isaiah maintains a blog that chronicles his work in this area and also comments on other areas of the digital future. To read his blog, go to:

Posted March 24, 2011