NBN Television Archive Report- Communication student project

This Report is written by William Chen Greentree, Media Production Student at the University of Newcastle


GLAMx digitasation lab.jpg
GLAMx Video Digitisation Lab

The GLAMx Video Digitisation Lab was established early 2017 and is a collaboration between NBN Television and the UON Library. The aim of the Lab is to digitise as much of the archive as possible. NBN Television was established in the early 1960s and documented important  footage associated with Newcastle and the surrounding areas. Many thanks to Phillip Lloyd and Barry Nancarrow (former NBN Television staff) who are digitising various forms of material including BVU tapes, Index cards and footage, and prepared footage for communication students to work on.

CMNS2035 Media Production: Television, Student involvement

CMNS2035 Media Production Team

During semester 1 of 2018, the Media Production Television students where tasked with assisting with the archival process of digitising old NBN Television shows for 10% of the studio component mark. For this Process the students where requested to watch and document the newly digitised videos that where assigned to each student, usually around 2 hours of footage per student.

By final weeks of the course, students worked to create a one studio ‘as-live’ program based on ideas from the viewing of the NBN Archival footage. For the student’s production, the general format is set in place to keep consistence with each class contributing 1 of 3 episodes. However, the content showed in each episode is up to the digression of each class.

Episodes of the “Lowdown’ can be viewed here:-

The Lowdown – Monday

The Lowdown – Tuesday

The Lowdown – Wednesday

CMNS2035 Media Production: Television, students recording the archive show project called the “Lowdown”.

Reflecting on the Archive Process

As a student I was involved in both the documenting and organisation of synopsis for the first generation of students in the GLAMx Living Histories Digitisation Lab. During this learning experience the students were requested to write a short and long summaries of the footage. If the footage contained no audio, a shot sheet was provided to document visual content.

Although many of the synopsis the students completed provided thorough information about what was on the videos, I found the format of the summary’s and information captured was not overly useful. After the student project I have been working in the GLAMx Lab and have discussed the process in consultation with Josh Curley (Digitisation Officer) and reviewed how information should be recorded and what other important information should also be noted.  This was especially important when thinking about where much of the content will be uploaded to, in this case digitised audio-visual content will be available on the UON’S digital platform Livinghistories@uon and other platforms such as UONCC Youtube.

The main issues found are:

  • A lack of standardisation
  • No redundancies
  • Useful information needs to be search for in student’s summary’s
  • Speed of digestible information
  • Lack of timecodes
  • Lack of ability to easily interlink subjects across other content
  • No reference thumbnails for online platforms
  • No geo location tags
  • And many more minor issues

Fixing these issues not only will be user friendly in digesting relevant information. but also, greatly speed up the processing speed for the staff and volunteers. What Josh and myself have created to solve this problem is a standardised format where information can be collated more easily while still enabling even more richer information. Other perks of this system are that the form is self-explanatory, has a logical layout and user friendly for the student or volunteer to record audio and or visual content.

Archive AV TEMP example SC1
First and second page, metadata section of the example audio visual log sheet form.
Archive AV TEMP example SC2
Third, fourth and fifth page, image thumbnail section of the example audio visual log sheet form.

Going forth on this project, I foresee that with the introduction of the standardised form will improve the quality of documentation that the next generation of students will provide us at the GLAMx Living Histories Digitisation Lab .

NBN Television: The Valleys People 1980

NBN Television: The Valleys People 1981

Country Report | Living Histories

Country Report was a half hour program that aired on NBN for regional viewers in the Hunter Valley, Central Coast and the Manning Valley. Country Report focused on rural and regional issues for the man on the land.

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