August 9, 2013
Story written by: Taylor Sharp ’16
Please note that this story first appeared on Elon University’s E-Net website.
Elon’s archive of historic video recordings is being digitized and made available online through a special project of the Elon University Archives and Special Collections in Belk Library. The first set of recordings is available through the archives website at: http://elonuniversity.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/collection/p16128coll4
Work began on digitizing the video files in late 2012. There are currently more than 4,000 audio and video recordings in the archives, including on-campus performances, lectures, Elon annual events and a walking tour of campus by President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley.
Linda Lashendock, video archive technologist, and Katie Nash, archivist and special collections librarian, developed the procedures, policies and workflow for digitizing the collection. The first files selected for conversion include concerts by the Emanons musical group, the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Luncheons beginning with 1986, and recordings of President Danieley’s winter term course, “Elon: Past, Present, and Future.” Additional content will be added to the collection regularly.
“We really think this will be an excellent resource for everyone,” Nash says. “Students can use it for research, alumni can look back at videos recorded while they attended Elon, and people outside of the Elon community can benefit from it as well.”
According to Lashendock, the useful life of a VHS videotape is about 15 years. After that, the tape begins to deteriorate, and audio and video can become unusable. Converting the content to digital format not only makes it more widely accessible, but also preserves the recording that otherwise would have been lost.
The digital collection can be found online by visiting http://www.elon.edu/archives, selecting “Digital Collections” and then selecting “Audio and Video Collection.”