Digitising the collection

Both the Capturing the Past and the Into the Future digitisation projects adopted an innovative approach based on high-quality uncompressed digital capture of the video, which ensured that there was no loss of data from the original analogue materials. This uncompressed data is stored on Linear Tape Open (LTO), a digital tape medium, enabling long-term preservation of the complete data, and has been output onto hard drives as compressed versions and also onto DVD for access in the Theatre Collection. In making the archive material available to researchers online, the Drama Department and the Theatre Collection worked closely with the University of Bristol's High Performance Computing team to store the data on a dedicated server which will ensure sustainability of the data migration and thereby avoiding media obsolescence.

Digitisation schematic

The system was developed with advice from the Arts and Humanities Data Service, the Technical Advisory Service for Images, PrestoSpace and the Vienna Phonogrammarchiv. Further technical details are available on request from the Theatre Collection.