ArLiSNAP has migrated to our new home!


 As of September 1st, 2015, we are now located at

Update your bookmarks and join us there!


ArLiSNAP Annual Meeting at ARLIS2015

We’ve prepared an agenda for the ArLiSNAP Annual Meeting at the ARLIS/NA conference next Saturday. Have a look at the agenda here, and feel free to comment with any ideas you’d like to discuss!

Reminder: the polls are still open for the ArLiSNAP 2015-2017 Co-Moderator Election until the end of day on Wednesday March 18th. Vote for your favorite candidate here!

The Polls are Now Open for ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator Elections!


Help to choose your Co-Moderator for the 2015-2017 term!

Have a look at what our five candidates have to say in the comments on this post.

Cast your ballot here.

Voting closes Wednesday, March 18th, 11:59 pm.

The results will be announced on Thursday, March 19th, 2015.

After the election question, we’ve included a few questions about what you’d like to see on ArLiSNAP. These questions are not mandatory; feel free to answer as many or as few as you like, but be sure to skip to the last page to click “Done” and have your vote counted. Thank you to all those who take the time to answer these extra questions, and help us shape ArLiSNAP for the coming year!

What’s it like to be an ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator?

I’ve had a few questions about the responsibilities surrounding the Co-Moderator position, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on my experience with ArLiSNAP over the past two years.

What are the main responsibilities?

ArLiSNAP Co-Moderators are the main contacts for the group to the ARLIS/NA Board. We alert them to any issues raised by students and new professionals, and submit an annual report on the group’s activities, as well as updates on projects throughout the year. Through this and our other projects, I’ve met many wonderful and supportive people in ARLIS/NA, and learned a lot about how these professional organizations function.

The most common work you would do as Co-Moderator is to respond to inquiries about the group via email, and update liaisons and other members on current ArLiSNAP news. Around conference time, you would also help to organize events at the ARLIS/NA conference – check out what we have planned for this year here. If you choose to, you also have the opportunity to help plan events like our virtual conference, which provided a platform for students and new professionals to connect and share their work without any of the costs associated with presenting at a physical conference.

What are some of the benefits?

As Co-Moderator, you will also be organizing the efforts of our volunteers. If you don’t have any supervisory experience on your resume, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of, as it gives you the chance to hone your leadership skills. ArLiSNAP has grown into a great little community – the liaisons support one another, and grow to become friends the longer you work together. During my tenure as Co-Moderator, I’ve met so many fantastic people from across Canada and the US. I’ve also greatly increased my number of contacts in the art libraries world; if you’re serious about making a career as a librarian or archivist in an arts-related field, being a Co-Moderator for the group is a great step to take.

How much time will I have to commit?

If you can commit at least one hour per week to the group, you’ll be helping to keep ArLiSNAP thriving and active. The workload is a bit heavier when we’re gearing up for a big event, like the ARLIS/NA conference this month; and it’s a bit lighter at other times, like during the summer. If you choose to make other events happen, like our virtual conference, that will also take a bit more time, but you will have the support of many volunteers backing you up.

I hope that answers most of the questions for those of you who are considering becoming our next Co-Moderator! To submit your candidacy, comment on this post. If you have any other questions, feel free to email myself (Ellen) or Rachel (emails found in sidebar). Good luck to all candidates!

Reminder: post your candidacy to be the next ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator!


Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP) seeks candidates for its next Co-Moderator.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity, read this post, and comment to apply. The deadline is Wednesday, March 11th.

Conference Mentoring Program and Alternative Lodging at ARLIS2015


The ARLIS/NA Conference Mentoring Workshop, which matches first-time conference attendees with veterans, is currently accepting applications! Fill out this form to make the most of your first ARLIS/NA conference.

We’re also hoping to find one more roomie to join our thrifty group at the Motel 6!
Read more about the alternative lodging option here.

20 more days until ARLIS2015! Looking forward to meeting more of you there.


Guest Post: Kristin MacDonough of the Audiovisual Artifact Atlas

From March to December of 2014, I was the Coordinator for the Audiovisual Artifact Atlas. The AVAA (or “Atlas” if I’m feeling affectionate) is an online resource for identifying and diagnosing artifacts and errors you might encounter when reviewing or digitizing analog video and audio.  The Bay Area Video Coalition, located in San Francisco, currently hosts the site. As a technical resource, the AVAA is unique in its structure: developed as a wiki, it is an inherently community-based resource, which users can edit and contribute.


Video and audio artifacts are often hard to define, and even harder to diagnose. Errors can be recorded into the original content or introduced anywhere in the digitization workflow. Another difficulty is that separate fields use different terms and descriptions for the same errors. AVAA developers and contributors at BAVC and Stanford University wanted to strengthen the work being done with audiovisual reformatting by providing a resource with examples, a common vocabulary, causes and descriptions, as well as troubleshooting guidance wherever possible.   Determining if the error is correctable or if it is recorded in, and therefore permanent, helps us preserve the best quality possible.

Practitioners in any field that incorporates a/v reformatting—including librarians, archivists, conservators, curators, and service providers—benefit from using, sharing, and contributing to the AVAA.


In 2013, the National Endowment for Humanities awarded BAVC a grant to develop their project Quality Control Tools for Video Preservation. The project focused on a suite of open-source software tools (QCTools) designed to provide efficient analysis of digitized video content. (More information about QCTools is available here and the regularly updated software is available on GitHub.) Included in the grant was a position for an AVAA Coordinator to popularize the resource and help expand the analog video portion of the site.


There are just too many controllable and uncontrollable variables to accurately predict the life of any given videotape. Of equal, if not more, concern is the limited availability of playback equipment and technical expertise over time. With this in mind, more and more audiovisual stewards are digitizing their videotapes, either in house or with a service provider. In both cases, the archivist (or librarian, conservator etc.) responsible for the longevity of the collection is also responsible for ensuring the quality and accuracy of the digitized content. The AVAA and the QCTools software are designed to help people discover any artifacts and determine if the tape needs to be digitized again.


This position was one of my first jobs after graduating from a moving image archiving program, one which takes a holistic approach to the field of audiovisual archiving, However, I consistently found myself drawn to the technical side of video preservation, so I was already familiar with the Atlas and its usefulness as an educational resource. Most terms, examples, and definitions are provided by experienced technicians, many with decades of experience to cull from. Some video artifact terms are pulled from other available resources, notably BAVC’s Preservation Glossary and the Compendium of Image Errors in Analogue Video.


So how can you use this resource? If you’re looking at the site for the first time, you can start with the Table of Contents, which lists all of the audio and video errors on the site. Other good pages to browse are the Image, Video, and Sound Galleries. The galleries provide a quick view of many examples on the artifact pages and are a great visual and audible index if you’re looking for something in particular but you’re not sure what to call it or how to describe it.


On each artifact page, you’ll find a summary of the artifact, including a description of how it looks or sounds and possible causes. In the “Can it be fixed?” section, proposed remedies to the problem are provided. In some cases however, artifacts may be recorded in from the original production or introduced through a previous tape dubbing or reformatting. Nearly all of the artifact pages have video examples or screenshots. However some pages we are still trying to source some examples, so if you see such a gap and you think you might have material to fill it, please let me know!


At my current position as a Digitization Specialist for a video collection, I use the Atlas to reference potential causes I encounter. In a recent case, I started to notice that certain tapes with minor skew problems (when a videotape stretches or shrinks, and the top of the image appears to angle to the left or right) had an occasional vertically shaky display and extreme skewing along the top of the image in some scenes. I determined the skew problem was recorded in and thus irreparable, and a review of the Video Gallery helped me determine it was a TBC (Time Base Corrector) processing error: the equipment was overcorrecting for the skew and introducing more errors.


The AVAA strengthens the audiovisual preservation field as an easily accessible reference. If you have any questions or content you would like to add, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at  kristin(dot)macdonough (at)gmail(dot)com.