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An extensive overview
of preservation strategies

The Plan
The Living Archive Restoration and Preservation Project

For the JEM archive, which contains thousands of videotapes with irreplaceable recordings, we clearly must do what we can now, to restore and preserve our materials, ensuring their existence today and in future generations.

We have therefore embarked on a landmark video preservation and digital reformatting project aiming to permanently safeguard our collection.

This project grew from a recent self-study and analysis, and is part of the broader national effort to preserve and make accessible the cultural and historical heritage of this country.

The videotape archive, which spans almost four decades, beginning with the first videotaped Farbrengens in the 1970s, and featuring the satellite transmissions of the Rebbes' Fabrengens in the 1980s, is a particular focus of this effort.

Once restored, the collection will be a stable resource for varied users and purposes. The success of JEM’s smaller preservation and access projects over the past ten years and the increasing use of our collection, has demonstrated the wide range of uses for these materials.

Working with the premiere video restoration laboratory facilities in the country, we will analyze the physical condition of every tape, film and photograph, reformat the media onto archival preservation masters, making additional working copies for access purposes. The preservation masters will be stored in an off-site climate-protected facility monitored around the clock.

The goals of the preservation project include:

Gathering – Identifying and collecting recorded images and sounds in our core subject areas.

Many of the treasures in our archive have been donated by individual photographers or institutions who have recognized the enormous responsibility in the preservation of historic materials. The owners’ care for the future of the materials, and their interest in seeing that the materials are utilized to their fullest, has led them to entrust us with the task of caring for them into the future.

Restoring and Preserving – As explained on this site, the ongoing crisis for film, audio and video materials – and especially for magnetic media, necessitates decisive action. We will do everything in our power to see to it that these treasures do not disappear, utilizing state-of-the-art technology, and maintaining these recordings in a secure, climate controlled facility.

Recording – To continue to document the ongoing story of our subjects, as they unfold – by photographing and archiving the story of Judaism today.

Providing Access – Even the most precious collection is only as valuable as the access it affords. We intend to use technology to index and catalog our materials, and to make them available to the public, thereby allowing users to leverage the content in ever-more meaningful ways.

As part of this effort, we also intend to:
    • Present screenings and seminars about our collections in collaboration with academic
        and cultural institutions.

    • Make our collection accessible on-site and online.
    • Initiate outreach to the public to familiarize them with the importance of preservation.

Please help us implement this vital plan. Join us in saving these treasures for this and future generations.
Click here to learn how you can help.

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