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Challenges of Digital Media Preservation in an Active Archive Webinar
Original Broadcast:  May 15, 2013

Preserving digital audio and video files present their own unique challenges, which become particularly difficult in an archive that is constantly in use. WGBH has been attempting to manage this problem for over 10 years. With producers currently delivering born digital files, trying to keep up with the technology keeps the archive scrambling. New workflows, file naming, organizational standards, and flexible systems to accommodate a wide range of incoming media are all needed. WGBH, with the support from NEH, is currently looking at utilizing an open source system called Hydra to help solve some of the challenges.

Karen CarianiKaren Cariani
Karen Cariani is the Director of the WGBH Media Library and Archives. Since the founding of the department in 1990, the Media Library has provided access to the WGBH Archives by providing research services, rights clearances, and licensing services. In 2003, the Media Library and WGBH Archives merged to form the Media Library and Archives (MLA) which encompasses circulation, accessioning, and preservation activities. Karen has worked at WGBH since 1984 in television production and archival-related roles. She has 20 plus years of production and project management experience, having worked on numerous award-winning historical documentaries including MacArthur, Rock and Roll, The Kennedys, Nixon, and War and Peace in the Nuclear Age. She has been project director for WGBH’s Teachers’ Domain, an online collection of multimedia resources for K-12 classrooms; WGBH Open Vault, a digital library for the WGBH Archives; WGBH Mellon Digital Library prototype project, IMLS funded WGBH Vietnam digital library, and for development and implementation of the WGBH DAM system. She also worked with the WNET, PBS, NYU and WGBH Preserving Public Television partnership as part of the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Project. She served two terms (2001-2005) on the Board of Directors of Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA). She was co-chair of the AMIA Local Television Task Force, and Project Director of the guidebook “Local Television: A Guide To Saving Our Heritage,” funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. She is currently co-chair of the LOC National Stewardship Digital Alliance for the Infrastructure working group. AMIA Copyright Committee and AMIA Open Source Committee. She also serves on Digital Commonwealth executive committee. Recent projects include managing the American Archive Inventory project for CPB, and project director of PBCore development and Boston Local TV News Digital Library project.

Dave W. MacCarnDavid W. MacCarn
David W. MacCarn is Chief Technologist, WGBH Educational Foundation. He is responsible for long term planning, investment and adoption of new technologies for use in production, post-production, information technology, interactive systems, and accessible media. David serves as new-technology advocate and researcher, working with WGBH departments to conceptualize innovative applications of new media to serve existing and new audiences. He is in-house expert on media formats and containers and advises on their preservation.

David is creator of the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary Project (, a metadata standard for the exchange of Public Broadcasting content and has served as director of the version 2 standards work. He continues work on large-scale digital asset management (DAM) initiative; having worked with technology partners to create the DAM Reference Architecture: an innovative hardware and software solution that allows different components to work together to manage a complete digital library of video, audio, text, and other assets. Mr. MacCarn has been with WGBH since 1985, starting as director of engineering.

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