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July 1, 2008

AVPS Working in Ghana to Help Save the Country’s Moving Image and Sound Heritiage

Chris Lacinak of AVPS traveled to Ghana for three weeks early this summer as part of the Audiovisual Preservation Exchange (APEX) team. APEX is a recently established effort stemming from NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) Program . The team’s activities were multi–faceted and focused on Ghana’s moving image and sound heritage.

These activities included visiting and interfacing with partner organizations, vendors and technicians to determine current audiovisual preservation capabilities, and to obtain the functional resources needed for local involvement in preservation efforts.

The APEX team met with archives and libraries of cultural institutions located in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghana. These institutions hold rich collections of sound and moving images documenting Ghana’s history. These meetings focused on issues of archiving and preservation while exploring ideas for possible collaborative projects with NYU and MIAP in Ghana.

A considerable amount of Chris Lacinak’s time was spent in supporting Seth Paris, a Fulbright Scholar, who is in Ghana working on preserving the recordings of Ghanaian music legend Kofi Ghanaba (Guy Warren). Chris Lacinak performed an assessment of the audio collection and installed an audio digitization lab at the NYU in Ghana Academic Center. Documentation of preservation workflows, metadata specifications and training materials were also developed in support of the current and ongoing efforts of the audio lab. The lab is capable of preserving content housed on open reel audiotape, audiocassette and analog discs.

The Ghanaba collection serves as a pilot project for the audio digitization lab. The goal is to establish ongoing capability for use as a resource in the preservation of Ghana’s audio heritage.

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