The Library of Congress has contracted to purchase the System for the Automated Migration of Media Archives, or SAMMA, to migrate its massive collection of audio visual material in preparation for its move to the National Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA. Over the next several years, the Library will use SAMMA to migrate and digitize many of the hundreds of thousands of recordings in its collection.
The Library realized that it would take many decades and be prohibitively expensive to migrate and digitize the audio visual collections manually. To have the material available at the Culpeper facility when it opens in 2007, a more practical, cost effective, and efficient method had to be found. In examining the alternatives, the Library concluded that Media Matters' innovative migration automation system would provide the high quality necessary to preserve the recordings, while meeting the required cost and time restraints.
SAMMA combines robotic tape handling systems with proprietary tape cleaning and signal analysis technologies. SAMMA's expert system automatically supervises quality control of each media item's migration. >From a thorough examination of the physical tape for damage, to real time monitoring of video and audio signal parameters during migration, SAMMA ensures that magnetic media is migrated with the highest degree of confidence and the least amount of human intervention. SAMMA uses specially designed components to gather technical metadata throughout the entire migration process, ensuring that the process is documented in depth while gathering important metrics about the health of an entire collection. The modular, portable system will be installed on site at the Library and run 24/7. The final product will be a lossless compressed Motion JPEG 2000 digital file copy of each master tape at preservation quality, and the technical metadata describing the condition of the media item and the migration process.
Upon completion, the National Audio Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress will be the first centralized facility in America especially planned and designed for the acquisition, cataloging, storage and preservation of the nation's heritage collections of moving images and recorded sounds. It is expected to
be the largest facility of its kind in the world. The NAVCC, funded by the Packard Humanities Institute and the U.S. Congress, will open fully in 2007.