Archiving video is an essential but often overlooked component of video advocacy. Learn about best practices for organizing, storing, preserving, and sharing your footage.
- Do you want your videos to be available in the future?
- Do you want your videos to serve as evidence of crimes or human rights abuses?
- Do you want your videos to raise awareness and educate future generations?
If the answer is yes, it is important to begin thinking about archiving before it is too late.
Still not sure? Here is what might happen if you do not take steps to archive:
- Your videos may be accidentally or deliberately deleted and lost forever.
- Your videos may exist somewhere, but no one can find them.
- Someone may find your videos, but no one can understand what they are about.
- Your videos cannot be sufficiently authenticated or corroborated as evidence.
- Your videos’ quality may become so degraded that no one can use them.
- Your videos may be in a format that eventually no one can play.
What is Archiving?
- Archiving is… a general term for the range of practices and decisions that support the long-term preservation, use, and accessibility of content with enduring value. In this Guide, our focus is on your digital videos.
- Archiving is … an ongoing process that begins when a video is created and continues infinitely into the future.
- Archiving is…a process that can be incorporated into your existing video workflows.
- Archiving is … a way to ensure your videos remain authentic and intact, so you can use them as evidence.
- Archiving is … a way to ensure your videos are available, findable and playable long into the future.
- Archiving is NOT… a one-time action.
- Archiving is NOT… putting your videos on a hard drive and leaving it on a shelf.
Start archiving your video at the point of creation.
- What Metadata to Capture
- How to Capture Metadata & Documentation
- Outputting Edited Videos
Move video and metadata from one device or location to another.
- Offloading from Cameras
- Uploading and Downloading Video
- Keeping Files Intact (and Proving It)
- Physical Transport
- Transferring Videos and Metadata Together
Receive video and metadata from a source and add it to your collection.
- Deciding What to Keep
- Acquiring Raw Video and Metadata
- Acquiring Edited Video and Elements
Organize your digital video files and documentation.
Store your videos, manage the storage environment, and recover from errors.
Create a structured and searchable system for creating and managing metadata, and finding your videos.
- Getting Started
- Types of Metadata
- Structure and Rules
- Tools for Inventories and Catalogs
Ensure that your collection will be preserved and accessible far into the future.
- Aspects of Long-Term Preservation
- Prioritizing for Preservation
- Working with an Archive
- Other Preservation Options
Make your collection accessible to others outside your organization.
- Identifying Your Users
- Helping Users Find Videos
- Providing Videos to Users
- Controlling Access
- Understanding Copyright
WITNESS is an international nonprofit organization that empowers human rights defenders to use video to fight injustice, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools that can pressure those in power or with power to act. By bringing often unseen images and seldom heard stories to the attention of key decision makers, the media, and the public–WITNESS catalyzes grassroots activism, political engagement, and lasting change. We bridge the worlds of human rights, media and technology by incorporating cutting-edge innovations into traditional approaches to advocacy. WITNESS’ unique contribution to the human rights community is to serve as global authority on best practices in the use of video for human rights purposes and a frontline resource for training and expertise.