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Irish Film Institute wins second International award for its digital preservation work
07 Oct 2019 : News Desk
Irish Film Institute
The Irish Film Institute (IFI) has been awarded an inaugural JTS Award, given by the CCAAA (Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations), in recognition of its pioneering digital preservation work.

The award, which was presented at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum on Saturday night, joins the Digital Preservation Coalition Award which the IFI won last December.

The IFI Irish Film Archive developed a suite of 55 open source scripts (IFIScripts) that support its digital preservation activities in a sustainable and efficient manner. IFI Digital and Data Systems Manager Kieran O'Leary and the Archive team created a set of open source Python tools for use in their moving image digital preservation work, and those tools are now being used by moving image archives around the world, including the British Film Institute and the University of California, Berkeley.

IFI has been an active advocate for open source approaches to film digital preservation challenges, and acknowledgement of their great achievement in this area is evidence of the increasing awareness in the digital preservation community of the pioneering work being done in moving image archives.

Speaking about the award IFI Director, Ross Keane said:

The IFI is hugely proud to receive this prestigious award, which further reinforces the reputation of the Irish Film Institute as a global centre of excellence. This award rightly celebrates the collaborative spirit of the open source IFIScripts, an innovative and ground-breaking project that is making an impact in archives around the world.”

The challenge of preserving the IFI's digital collections necessitated the development of new custom tools, including the creation of a computer programme that allowed the IFI Irish Film Archive to identify where there were multiple copies of the same file, partial files and fragments, and devising an automated way to appraise the millions of digital objects it would have been impossible to assess otherwise. The team drew up guidelines that allowed them to identify duplicate and corrupt files which were then isolated and eliminated via a verification tool.

Footage restored using IFIScripts is available free-to-view worldwide on the IFI Player – Click here for more details.

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