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Tools and technologies for enhancing access to audiovisual archives: The Singapore journey
The AudioVisual Archives Department of the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) appraises and acquires audiovisual (AV) records of national, historical and socio-cultural significance, and preserves and documents such records that are transferred to NAS. It also manages the prioritisation and digitisation of at-risk AV formats to ensure that valuable content remains accessible to future generations. When NAS was transferred to the National Library Board (NLB) in 2012, it opened up possibilities for NAS to leverage NLB's IT infrastructure to differentiate, manage and provide access to AV content with a variety of access restrictions. This paper focuses on NAS's experiences in working with library colleagues to deliver AV innovations, such as data harmonisation and linkages across different descriptive frameworks and systems; testing out new technologies, such as voice-to-text transcription and Mahout, to enhance the searchability and accessibility of the AV archives; and developing partnerships to extend the reach of the AV archives. The various measures, coupled with heightened public interest during Singapore's 50th anniversary as a nation and the passing of its founding Prime Minister in 2015, resulted in an average increase in access to the AV archives of 300 per cent over 2014 and 2015.
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