Introduction to Audiovisual Preservation

Course Information

Instructor: Siobhan Hagan & Walter Forsberg
Location: Smithsonian Libraries and Archives / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00


How do we care for audiovisual collections, particularly those born-analog ones (like motion picture film, recorded sound, and videotapes) held on degrading and obsolescing physical formats? More and more rare manuscript collections include unique audiovisual material in addition to objects, paper documents, and photographs, with visitors expecting this content to be widely available and accessible. This course introduces the practice of audiovisual preservation and access through a balance of lectures and experiential, hands-on activities working directly with the equipment and expert guidance available at the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.

Through this week-long theoretical and hands-on intensive course students will:

  • Build conceptual and linguistic vocabularies about audiovisual collections care, including: handling, conservation, storage, and digitization reformatting.
  • Gain exposure to key technologies, historical developments, texts and documents about the discipline and practicum of audiovisual preservation.
  • Learn basic handling and care procedures for a variety of physical analog media carriers.
  • Visit Smithsonian media conservation and digitization laboratories, meet staff and expand professional networks and educational resources for audiovisual preservation.
  • Have much fun.





Completion of this course helps to meet requirements for one of the following certificate requirements:

  • 1 of 3 elective credit courses for Certificate in Rare Books and Manuscripts, or
  • 1 of 2 elective credit courses for Certificate in Librarianship, Activism, and Justice