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PBCore in Use
Applying PBCore: Case Examples
of the Elements in Use

NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program)
& the PDPTV (Preserving Digital Public Television Project)

PBCore Integration

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Preserving Digital Public Television (PDPTV)is a project funded by the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). The Preservation project is chartered to identify the technical standards, content selection criteria, and operating structures necessary to develop a national strategy for the collection, archiving and preservation of the burgeoning amounts of digital content, especially materials that are created only in digital formats, for current and future generations. The PDPTV project is managed by WNET, partnering with the Library of Congress, WGBH, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and New York University (NYU).

NDIIPP is considered a public service project of major importance to the United States as well as the world. The availability of electronic information is frequently taken for granted. With the rapid growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web, millions of people have grown accustomed to using these tools as resources to acquire information -- from a Ph.D. candidate conducting research for a dissertation, or a teacher who might not be able to take a class on a field trip to see historical artifacts, to a lifelong learner.

Digital is rapidly becoming a principal medium to create, distribute and store content, from text to motion pictures to recorded sound. Increasingly, digital content embodies much of the nation's intellectual, social and cultural history. The Digital Preservation Program seeks to provide a national focus on important policy, standards and technical components necessary to preserve digital content. Investments in modeling and testing various options and technical solutions will take place over several years, resulting in recommendations to the U.S. Congress about the most viable and sustainable options for long-term preservation.

A related project, called The American Archive, is a new initiative...

...to assist public broadcasting as a whole. The archive, as proposed by the Association of Public Television Stations, would “harness the power of digital technology and telecommunications to preserve public broadcasting’s audio, film and video history and make it available to the American people. It aims to give people universal, transparent access. A viewer could simply search, point, click and view. On the other side of the interface, of course, media professionals know that creating and maintaining such a repository is not nearly that simple. Archiving digital productions is more complex than putting tapes on a shelf. There are many technical, operational and legal problems to solve.
(as reported in CURRENT, http://www.current.org/dtv/dtv0708preservation.shtml)





From its "Recommended Metadata Guidelines for Describing Born-Digital Master Programs for Preservation and Deposit with the Library of Congress and Other Digital Repositories," the NDIIPP project’s recommendation is to adopt PBCore and encourage its use widely across the public broadcasting system. PBCore is seen as a System-Wide Standard for Public Broadcasting.

At the local station level during production processes, metadata ought to be created and attached to digital objects as they are created. As stated in NDIIPP's recommendations, "The process of ingesting, archiving, accessing, managing, and delivering digital media files is becoming an essential requirement in the everyday life of multimedia producers, and the workflow involved offers numerous opportunities for production efforts to be integrated with the needs and workflow of the archive." (Felix-Didier, Rubens and Van Malssen, - 2006)

These integrations foster education and standardization within a station, but across the public television community, NDIIPP-PDPTV notes that a broader standard needs to be implemented. PBCore (the Public Broadcasting Metadata Dictionary) fulfills that function.

The following discussion from NDIIPP-PDPTV's reports was based on PBCore v.1.0 (published in April 2005). Since then, PBCore v.1.1 was released (January 2007), and while the ideas outlined below by NDIIP still hold true, additional elements and sub-elements found in PBCore v1.1 should be accommodated.

Based on Dublin Core, an international standard for electronic documents, PBCore is intended for describing video, audio, text, images and interactive learning objects for television, radio and Web activities. It consists of a core set of terms and descriptors (elements) used to create information (metadata) that categorizes or describes media items (assets or resources). Key to PBCore’s acceptance is its relation to the already widely used Dublin Core, its creation specifically for public broadcasting, and the relative ease with which it can be mapped to current in-house databases. (Van Malssen 2006)

An example of such a mapping was generated in the NDIIPP-PDPTV reports for the purpose of discovering the cross-overs and element matches between several dictionaries. It maps PBCore, Dublin Core, and PREMIS (a data dictionary for preservation metadata) to existing sample records in WGBH's Digital Asset Management (DAM) system (internally referred to as TEAMS) and to the WGBH Filemaker database called MARS (MARS tracks physical items only). The review showed that...

While not a perfect fit, the in-house [WGBH] database serves as a basis for a PBCore record that could be shared with other stations or archives. The current [in-house] database and data entry procedures need not be abandoned.

The NDIIPP-PDPTV Project has generously allowed PBCore to publish several of their working papers and research regarding mappings and sample metadata. To learn more, go to the PBCore Mappings and Crosswalks page for NDIIPP-PDPTV.





Nan Rubin
Dave MacCarn

NDIIPP Project

Preserving Digital Public Television Project

The American Archive

"Recommended Appraisal Guidelines”
by Mary Ide and Leah Weisse




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PBCore in Use


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