3 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2020 1:13 PM by Kaitlyn Crain Enriquez

    Are RG 342 Air Force photograph videodiscs candidates for the Catalog?

    techhistorynerd Adventurer

      When looking for WWII era Air Force photographs, following the trail of National Archives Catalog entries leads to NAID 542375 - "National Air and Space Museum Archival Videodiscs": U.S. Air Force Pre-1954 Still Photograph Collection, 1985 - 1995. Given the interest in the original images was high enough to motivate such an effort in the videodisc era, they would seem to be a good digitization candidate for digitization in the Catalog - all the more so since the videodiscs aren't the original images/negatives and duplication of them has a correspondingly lower risk from an archival perspective.  Given the timeframe of the original effort I'm assuming these are analog videodiscs and therefore would require some sort of analog to digital conversion, but if that is practical the possibilities would seem to be quite intriguing. Are there any plans to convert these videodisc images (sans of course the copyrighted discs) into digital images that could be loaded into the Catalog?

        • Re: Are RG 342 Air Force photograph videodiscs candidates for the Catalog?
          Kaitlyn Crain Enriquez Wayfarer

          The Still Picture Branch does hold the original videodiscs, which were created by the Air and Space Museum around 25 years ago. They have since been converted to CDs, but the images are rarely used. Given advances in technology and evolving digitization standards, the videodiscs are not considered a good candidate for the catalog, especially since the resolution of the images is extremely low. The largest section of this series, WWII, has been digitized by Fold3 and is available through their site (https://www.fold3.com/browse/251/hbSH1CZcR). It will eventually be available through our catalog, and the rest of the series will be scanned during a future digitization project.

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            • Re: Are RG 342 Air Force photograph videodiscs candidates for the Catalog?
              techhistorynerd Adventurer

              I see, thank you!  As an interim measure until the eventual inclusion of the newer scans, would it be possible to make ISO images of the CDs and make those the digital representation in the ARC?  Even a relatively low resolution collection of all the images in the group would be a useful starting point for people hunting for specific types of images.  My suggestion would be to upload ISO images of the CDs as digital artifacts for NAID 542375, unless the copyright held by the Smithsonian on the videodiscs precludes the Archives from doing so (I don't know the details of the agreement between the Smithsonian and the Archives so I don't know whether the Archives might have enough usage rights to make the CD images available for viewing from the ARC...)

               

              I completely agree trying to catalog individual low resolution images would be a waste of time given that the Fold3 work will eventually be added to the catalog and more scanning efforts are planned.  I don't know how the catalog folks would react to the idea of ISO images as digital artifacts, but if they are game and the legalities could work it would a) preserve the record of the videodisc efforts digitally and b) increase discoverability of the images' contents with (hopefully) a relatively minimal effort.