Fort Meade, Maryland, Oct. 24, 2018 —
A new digitization contract valued at $25 million over five years was awarded to the University of Southern California (USC) Libraries’ Digital Repository Sept. 20, 2018, by Defense Media Activity (DMA).
The new contract will follow the previous five-year contract, which expires in February 2019.
USC has a long history as a pioneer of digitizing legacy physical media, and has developed processes for restoring degraded films and tapes for digital preservation.
DMA has placed an order of nearly $4 million against the $25 million cap. The initial order will digitize a variety of still, video and audio media.
According to Defense Imagery Management Operations Center (DIMOC) Lead Archivist Julia Hickey, the contract could produce up to 500,000 digitized assets
per year, which is the entire capacity of the previous contract.
The USC Libraries, which are home to the USC Digital Repository and the USC Digital Library, can also digitize a much wider variety of legacy media formats.
According to DIMOC Director Barbara Burfeind, the increased capabilities will preserve aging assets much more quickly.
“Without this effort, DoD would risk losing historic VI on various formats due to the deterioration of the physical media, and the lack of playback equipment.
Very little of this imagery would ever be viewed without this effort to digitize the physical media,” Burfeind said. Burfeind also credited the DIMOC Records Center in Riverside, California, with recognizing the need for increased digitization capabilities.
“Our VI Records Center team has worked diligently to apply what we’ve learned about digitization and increase our throughput with this new contract,” she said.