Why Consider Library Migration?

Library Migration for Preservation

Archive preservation is at the root of everything you do with your legacy content. After all, that’s why you have all those tapes in the first place, to preserve and store your content output for future use.

Equally the starting point for any monetisation activity is also archive preservation. If your tapes deteriorate, or have been compromised already, you won’t be able to generate revenue from them. So guaranteeing the longevity and usefulness of your content for years to come is a vital step that you should take as a priority. Otherwise there was no point in bothering to store the tapes – at a cost – in the first place.

At LMH, our team is vastly experienced in carrying out massive archive preservation projects. We work with some of the largest film and video archive organisations in the country, helping them to prepare, digitise, catalogue and store thousands of hours of content along with its associated metadata. And we also work with commercial rights holders in sectors such as sports and arts to help them preserve their content and make it accessible to a far wider audience. We can bring this experience and knowledge to bear on your library migration project too.

Archive preservation versus preservation for monetisation

You might make the point that all library migration projects are about archive preservation, and of course you would be correct.

When we talk about library migration for preservation purposes, we mean specific projects such as national or historical archives, where the content owner wishes to ensure the content is around for generations to come. Or they might wish to enrich their content output on social media and other platforms by drawing on relevant historical footage. The principle is the same whether you are preserving your library or preserving it with the goal of making money from it. Monetisation simply takes those digitised, catalogued files and finds a revenue-generating stream for them.

Technical considerations for archive preservation

So why make the distinction? The answer lies in the intended usage. This will have an impact on how we approach your library migration project – both in terms of the workflow design and, especially, the codec choice.

Codec choice

Choosing the appropriate codec for your content is critical. This is the main separator in terms of the rationale applied to preservation and monetisation projects. File size and the associated storage costs are a major consideration for all library owners, but especially important to commercial archives being processed for monetisation. To make the monetisation worthwhile, the costs need to be sustainable. That means the chosen codec needs to be good enough to resolve the level of quality required to serve any client requirements. But it should not be “over done” to the extent that it raises storage costs and increases the complexity of property applications needed to resolve the content.

Preservation archives on the other hand might place less emphasis on this careful financial balancing act, and would tend to prioritise quality over everything else.

Digital library location and access

The location of your archive is a key consideration. Commercial cloud, hybrid cloud or on-premises are all valid options. Much like codecs, the final preference tends to be closely linked to the reason you are migrating your library in the first place.

User access to the library is very important. Preservation organisations tend to prefer on-premises data storage due to increased access control, as well as skill-set considerations. Also, their user base tends to need a much wider access architecture, often extending to public access. For a commercial library owner access is equally important but they will tend to focus more on content security and digital rights management. Typically, their user base will be much more restricted.