Libraries and Collections
Preservation Program

Standards for Audiovisual Preservation

Analog to Digital

Film [i]
Preservation Master: Motion Picture Film Stock
Intermediate: Motion Picture Film Stock
Digital Intermediate: Digital Betacam and/or DV25 AVI

Audio [ii]
Preservation Master: BWF, 96 kHz, 24 bit
Intermediate: BWF, 44.1kHz, 16bit

Preservation Master: Uncompressed 10 bit [iii] AVI [iv]
Intermediate: DV25 AVI [v]

Born Digital

Preservation Master: Original specifications
Intermediate: BWF, 44.1 kHz, 16 bit

Preservation Master: Original specifications
Intermediate: Dependent on original specifications

Desired format and specifications of access/viewing/streaming copies are made from intermediate files upon request.


[i] The Film Preservation Guide: The Basics for Archives, Libraries, and Museums from the National Film Preservation Foundation

[ii] IASA Technical Committee Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects, edited by Kevin Bradley; second edition, 2009 (= Standards, Recommended Practices and Strategies, IASA-TC 04); International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives

[iii] George Blood Audio and Video white paper, Refining Conversion Contract Specifications: Determining Suitable Digital Video Formats for Medium-term Storage, circa 2011; drafted for the Library of Congress Office of Strategic Initiatives, which manages the library's main external contract (LCOSI10C0099) for reformatting paper documents, still photographs, and audiovisual materials; George Blood Audio and Video is an audiovisual specialist subcontractor for the UCLA Library, while the main contractor is the Crowley Company.

[iv] AVI was chosen because UCLA Library is primarily a Microsoft environment, and this is a Microsoft-created container format; link accessed September 6, 2012. Also, the National Archives has chosen it as its standard and has created tools in support of it and its preservation work, including the metadata embedding/reading tool AVIMetaEdit.

[v] See above regarding AVI above.  DV25 was chosen following discussions about how it opens on all platforms, does not require the purchase of an additional decoder, and is easily transcribed into other types of formats.