Film Screening – Vancouver Impressions (The early 1960s) – A programme of archival films produced by CBUT (CBC Vancouver) between 1961 and 1965.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the CBC’s (English Services) Mass Digitization Project and their plan to trash all the original analogue media (16mm film, tape, transcription disc, etc.) once digitized. Their reasoning behind this plan is that they will no longer need the original artefact once it is digitized, so why pay for the storage of this material? In their minds digitization equals preservation – end of story.
This is the height of hubris – CBC [mis]management are so confident in their digitization process that they aren’t even going to consider that anything could ever go wrong in the future, so they do not need to keep the analogue original? Nor, it seems, do they need to take into consideration that this “plan” is against all archival best practices for digitization. They don’t even appear to be willing to discuss the possibility of working with an outside archival repository to see if a mutually beneficial agreement could be made – like the recent agreement between PNG and the CoV Archives for the Sun & Province newspaper photographs.
Sadly, the destruction of original formats is only the tip of the iceberg in this story. The inside scoop is that the selection process is also flawed, namely that much archival material that won’t even make it to the digitization stage of the project. The CBC is only interested in digitizing (saleable) complete programs and not interested in program inserts, individual news items, stox footage, etc. This means the loss of much of Metro Vancouver’s and the Province’s audio-visual history. Check out my CBUT (CBC Vancouver) posts from a few years ago to see what kind of history could be lost forever: 60th Anniversary of CBUT part 1; Part 2 –All That Jazz ; Part 3 – 1954 British Empire & Commonwealth Games; and Part 4 – Drama from the left coast.