What is AvSAP?
AvSAP (Audiovisual Self-Assessment Program) exists to assist cultural heritage institutions with audiovisual materials in their collections and staff who have little to no training in audiovisual preservation. AvSAP is also an excellent tool for those with experience with AV materials and its informational and advisory components can help fill out areas where the AV preservation expert could use some refreshers. Our goal is to help collections managers develop a prioritized preservation plan as well as educate them on extending the lives of their collections with the resources at hand. The scope of material AvSAP covers are: film, videotape (open-reel and cartridge based; analog and digital), audio recordings (extending from cylinder grooved media to disc; analog and digital) and optical media such as CD and DVD . AvSAP does not address issues related to still photographic processes or prints.
AvSAP is software that will help you identify your audiovisual (AV) collections and prioritize them for future preservation. Priority in preservation is based on several factors, including format type, physical condition, and storage conditions. AvSAP requires no prior knowledge about audiovisual materials and their preservation. The software will guide you to answer targeted questions about your AV collection and provide popup windows or “information kiosks” to explain audiovisual preservation concepts and principles. These kiosks can be viewed or skipped at your convenience. In this way, AvSAP can be tailored to your audiovisual preservation knowledge and experience. You can save your information at any time, which we recommend you do as you work through the assessment. Other staff members may also enter information as needed. At the end of the assessment, AvSAP will provide an assessment report prioritizing items based on their preservation needs.
Flexibility is a key component of AvSAP. Collection managers can decide if they’d like to download the program and host it on their own SQL server, if a server is available at their institution. They may also elect to work with AvSAP as a web-based interface; entering collection data via a web browser, with data archived by the University of Illinois .
Assessing Your Collections
The program collects data on repository, collection and item-levels and can be utilized to assess an entire repository on an item-level, or used for larger collections by working with a sample of a larger collection. Users answer these survey questions to evaluate several factors: repository and storage environments and item format, access, value. As with any assessment, the more detail that is provided about collections and items, the more targeted and useful data is produced by the tool.
AvSAP is designed to be used by non specialists and its interface is informative and educational – providing extensive help in the form of informational “pop-ups” that a user can access while completing the survey. These information pop-ups will provide additional information (both graphic and textual) about issues related to general AV materials, identifying formats, issues specific to particular media and glossary information. The pop-ups also serve to clarify survey questions.