Item level inventories can be resource intensive and slow. However, with audiovisual collections there is significant benefit to capturing at least a minimal amount of item level data in order to support planning for preservation, storage needs, and digitization. To help overcome the challenges of inventories and large processing backlogs, AVPreserve developed the Catalyst Inventory Solution.
Catalyst is an innovative method of creating item-level inventories of audiovisual collections. The process uses a team of photographers onsite to image each item in a collection, capturing all information-carrying sides of a cassette/reel/disk, its housing, and any paper inserts. Photos are uploaded to our central server where they are sorted into item records. Database records are immediately accessible by a team of offsite catalogers who use the images to enter further metadata. A small team can work through hundreds or thousands of items a day. Catalyst data can be exported to generate reports for planning, or to become the basis of a finding aid. Materials can be searched for and reviewed without the need to pull tapes until correct items are identified, minimizing handling and staff time. Fuller descriptive cataloging can take place at a more reasonable pace or after reformatting has been completed.
See examples of the Record List interface and Cataloging interface. AVPreserve can help you deploy Catalyst in several ways:
Full Service
AVPreserve will plan, staff, and fully manage the inventory process. Includes hosting of data and software for one year. Lowers burden on the institution to staff or manage employees.
AVPreserve will provide an inventory plan, project management, data hosting, systems licensing, and training/supervision to staff provided by the client. Internal staffing can be more cost effective if infrastructure allows.
Client licenses the Catalyst software from AVPreserve and provides their own project management and staffing. AVPreserve provides help with set up, workflow development, and training. This option may also make sense after a Full Service or Managed pilot project is completed.
As part of the inventory workflow, AVPreserve can also simultaneously pack materials in boxes for shipping to digitization vendors or storage relocation, as well as barcode items and capture the ID for asset management. An outcome of all inventory projects can also include a collection assessment with recommendations on prioritization, digitization, and collection management.