In 2022, APAC and the Manchester Digital Performance Archive project held a workshop with collections managers, collections users and creators which led to learnings about how to describe archive recordings in a clear and helpful way.
Catalogue entries for archive recordings should include:
- Clear terminology used in the title and description fields
- Clarity about the quality and use consistent terms to describe it – it could be useful to make a scale for audio and visual quality and share this with researchers, see Appendix A (National Theatre Archive Recordings Quality Guide, October 2022, downloadable pdf below)
- Information on the number of cameras, whether they are fixed, and whether there was a camera script
- Technical details about equipment to help researcher determine quality
- Information about where edits might have been made post filming and when and why splicing of footage may have occurred
- Where creative decisions were made in the process of filming – i.e. mediation choices
- Purpose of the recording, whether it is an archive recording, a recording made for TV, a live broadcast etc.
- Any specific parameters such as when it was filmed, who was working on it, are there any external factors to consider such as the impact of the weather etc.
- File format information and size
- Carrier format of the asset e.g. DVD, VHS
- Copyright information alongside access and reuse information
- Links to contextual information such as cast and creative teams, associated photography and designs etc.
- Names of key creative members of the team
- Categorisation of types of recordings e.g. NT Live, archival, user/customer generated, donated etc.
Download the guidance and appendix
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