Digitization of European Parliament audio collections

Vectracom signed contract to preserve documents

Vectracom has been selected by the European Parliament to digitize an audio collection of European Parliament meetings records that is made up of 50,000 cassettes.

Source: Vectracom

The project is part of EPHA’s mission as they collect, process, preserve and make the documents available that are produced or received by the various departments and bodies of the European Parliament. The contract signing took place during the second half of 2015 and the initial test phase is now complete.

In the following Vectracom built a new parallel digitization system with 24 stereo transfer channels. It is made of 24 double deck cassette players feeding SSL converters associated with Pro Tools solution. Audio signals are digitized at 48 kHz with 24-bits according to the recommendations of IASA.

After digitization, an operator identifies the limits of content. A Dubbin system analyses the files including short headers and trailers that are kept for security purposes. It creates a report including measures and potential issues to help quality control operators to validate the files.

Archiving files are delivered together with MP3 files. All the files are checked after creation by an automatic system and an operator finally carried out a validation.

No restoration is performed at this stage, but Vectracom’s mission includes the provision of advising the EPHA for potential digital treatment.

The company also delivers a set of files including technical and transfer metadata as well as scans of the covers of the cassettes.

Production has started with a first batch of 3,500 cassettes. The logistics department of Vectracom collected it in Luxembourg and brought it to Paris at the main operations center of the company. Production will continue at the pace set by the EPHA during the four year contract.