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ADM completes phase 1 of archive initiative.

Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) has completed of the first phase of its digital archiving initiative, which has seen the restoration and conversion of more than three million of the company's rare and historical media materials into digital form.

ADM's digital archiving project is a nine-year programme that aims to restore and protect the company's historical videos, sound files and documents, by converting them into a secure digital format, using the latest digital archiving technology.

Set for completion in 2020, the project is divided into a number of stages, beginning with the foundation phase, which ADM successfully completed on time over the past two-years.

Abu Dhabi Media will engage an international archiving firm, with expertise in this type of digital archiving, to partner with the company and oversee the remaining stages of the project, in order to ensure it is completed according to international best-practice, a statement from ADM said.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Abu Dhabi Media's chief operating officer, said: "As the oldest media organisation in the country, many of Abu Dhabi Media's assets chronicle the history of the UAE from 1950 up until today."

"The company is committed to preserving this legacy for future generations, and the conversion of its archives into digital form will result in a comprehensive archive of classified digital content, that will ensure the durability, security and easy access of these valuable resources."

Abu Dhabi Media also plans to integrate a commercial model into its archiving plans that will allow the company to make the restored and archived materials available to other entities outside of the organisation.

Abdul Hadi Al Sheikh, Abu Dhabi Media's executive director of Digital Media Services, said: "Abu Dhabi Media's digital archiving initiative is of particular importance to the company, as we have a responsibility to ensure the preservation of these unique and valuable historical records for the future."

"We are working steadily towards the creation of a world-class digital archive that captures some of the most important historical moments in the UAE's history across print, radio and TV. Our digital archiving project will ensure these resources are available to be utilised and shared for the benefit of the wider community."

The foundation phase of the digital archiving project began with a full review and audit of the existing historical assets within ADM. During this phase, more than three million of the company's records, which were previously held on tape or in physical form at risk of damage, have been converted into a secure digital format. The files were also given a full restoration, improving image and sound quality, before being classified and archived for future use.

A team of dedicated ADM employees have been trained to lead the ongoing initiative and to utilise the company's cutting-edge digital archiving technology, the statement said.

To date, the project has seen the successful digital transformation and archiving of more than 5,000 hours of unique television footage of the UAE history, most of which was content related to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Over 16,000 hours of radio broadcast, and 3.5 million files and images from across the company's newspaper and publishing records have also been restored and converted. The resulting archive documents many of the country's most important social, cultural, artistic and historical events.

Looking ahead to the next phase of the project, ADM led a delegation to Europe in March to meet with reputable international media companies, the BBC in London and NBIG in Amsterdam, in order to benchmark its current progress against world-class expertise, it said.

During the meetings, the organisations shared knowledge and exchanged ideas on archiving best-practice, as well as discussed future collaboration. ADM was also given a full review of the two organisation's media archives, including the private archives of the British royal family.

The second phase of Abu Dhabi Media's digital archiving project is now underway, and will include the restoration, digital transformation and archiving of thousands of important documents and files from within the company's records.

This will build on the first phase of the project, and bring ADM closer to achieving a comprehensive digital archive that preserves both the company's and the nation's historical media assets, it said. - TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Apr 14, 2013
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