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This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Video Preservation, Annotation and Publishing for the Arts and Humanities - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

Collection Date: 1/9/2009
Project Info:

  • Name: Alan Burdette
  • Email:
  • Title: Director, the Archives of Traditional Music; Director, the EVIA Digital Archive Project
  • Institution/Organization: Indiana University
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor: Ethnomusicology

Notes on Methodology:

self report


Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Education
  • Institutional Support
  • Scholarly Networking
  • Shared Services
  • Stories
  • Tools and Content Partners

2. Suggested keywords: Does this story contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

Video, ethnography, collaboration, archive, preservation


Video Preservation, Annotation and Publishing for the Arts and Humanities - The EVIA Digital Archive Project

The EVIA Digital Archive Project is a collaborative effort to establish a digital archive of ethnographic video recordings and an infrastructure of tools and systems supporting scholars in the ethnographic disciplines. With a special focus on the fields of ethnomusicology, folklore, anthropology, and dance ethnology, the project has developed a set of tools and systems for use by scholars and instructors, as well as librarians and archivists. Since its inception in 2001, the archive has been built through funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, and the collaborative efforts of ethnomusicologists, archivists, librarians, technologists, and legal experts.

The primary mission of the EVIA Project has been to preserve ethnographic field video created by scholars as part of their research. Its secondary mission is to make those materials available in conjunction with rich descriptive annotations that create a unique resource for scholars, instructors, and students. Project staff and contributors have created a support system and a suite of software tools for video annotation, online collection searching, controlled vocabulary and thesaurus maintenance, peer review, and technical metadata collection.

The EVIA Digital Archive Project Summer Institute provides the principal channel for individuals depositing ethnographic materials in the Archive. The Summer Institutes are a wonderful opportunity for depositors to spend two weeks on the campus of Indiana University focusing on their own work without the distraction of every-day commitments. During the Summer Institutes of 2004, 2006 and 2008, EVIA depositors spent their days writing descriptive and analytical annotations time-coded to digital video images through the use of an EVIA Project software interface developed specifically for the project, called "Annotators Workbench."

Scholars apply to participate in the summer institute and are vetted by an editorial board.  Once chosen, their 10-hour video collection is sent to us for preservation transfer and we prepare access versions for annotation purposes.  Approximately 15 scholars have participated in each of the 4 summer institutes we have held.  These scholars spend 2 weeks together in a computer lab facility working on their own collections.  They not only have access to technical support staff, administrative staff, and a cataloger, but can consult with each other about the annotation process.  We organize presentations by each of the scholars so that they can share their work with the others.  After the intensive 2-week period that have the bulk of their segmentation, annotations and controlled vocabulary assignment complete and typically spend the next year finishing their collection.  Once their annotations are completed, they are reviewed by our managing editor, send to our co-editors, peer reviewed, and then revised based on feedback from the various reviews.  Upon completion, the collection is copyedited and published to our online Search and Browse application.

Key open-source software development has included the Annotator's Workbench, a Controlled Vocabulary and Thesaurus Maintenance Tool, and an online Search and Browse application.  The disciplinary scope of the project began with ethnomusicology and has gradually broadened into the fields of anthropology, folklore, and ethnochoreology.  The tools and system were conceived, however, to be useful to broad range of disciplines and the tools can conceivably be used by any scholar needing to create descriptive annotations of a video collection.

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