An MDPI team member prepares an open reel tape for digitization.
An MDPI team member prepares material for digitization


Indiana University Bloomington is home to at least 3 million sound and moving image recordings, photos, documents, and artifacts. Well over half a million of these special holdings are part of audio, video, and film collections, and a large number of them are one of a kind. To preserve its vast audio, video, and film holdings, IU has become a national leader in the development and implementation of digitization efforts. The 2008-09 IU Bloomington Media Preservation Survey identified more than 560,000 audio and video recordings and reels of motion picture film owned by Indiana University and stored on its Bloomington campus. The subsequent report, published in August of 2009, demonstrated that large portions of these holdings were seriously endangered due to degradation of the media and format obsolescence. The ATM was an early leader in the United States in developing best practices for digital audio preservation through joint work with Harvard University on the Sound Directions Project. This work led to ATM's leadership in the campus media survey and the following media preservation strategy, Meeting the Challenge of Media Preservation: Strategies and Solutions, published in 2011. Representatives from ATM worked with other campus media holding units to refine a preservation plan and in 2013, IU President Michael McRobbie announced a 15 million dollar commitment to establishing a media preservation center at IU and digitally preserving 350,000 audio and video recordings.  Film has since been added to the overall plan. The Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative will digitize approximately 90% of the 100,000 recordings held at ATM by the end of 2020. More information about the Media Preservation and Digitization Initiative can be found at