Abu Dhabi's ADM converts UAE's history to digital

Abu Dhabi Media says three million items converted as it eyes new commercial archive hub
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 15 Apr 2013 09:05 AM

Abu Dhabi Media has announced the completion of the first phase of its digital archiving initiative, which has seen the restoration and conversion of more than three million of the company's rare and historical media materials into digital form.

ADM's digital archiving project is a nine-year programme that aims to restore and protect the company's historical videos, sound files and documents, by converting them into a secure digital format.

Set for completion in 2020, the archiving project is divided into a number of stages, beginning with the foundation phase, which ADM has successfully completed on time over the past two-years, the company said in a statement.

Abu Dhabi Media said it plans to integrate a commercial model into its archiving plans that will allow the company to make the restored and archived materials available to other entities outside of the organisation.

Abu Dhabi Media added that it will be engaging an international archiving firm to partner with the company and oversee the remaining stages of the project.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Abu Dhabi Media's chief operating officer said: "As the oldest media organisation in the country, many of Abu Dhabi Media's assets chronicle the history of the UAE from 1950 up until today.

"The company is committed to preserving this legacy for future generations, and the conversion of its archives into digital form will result in a comprehensive archive of classified digital content, that will ensure the durability, security and easy access of these valuable resources."

Abdul Hadi Al Sheikh, Abu Dhabi Media's executive director of Digital Media Services, added: "We are working steadily towards the creation of a world-class digital archive that captures some of the most important historical moments in the UAE's history across print, radio and TV."

During the foundation phase of the project, more than three million of the company's records, which were previously held on tape or in physical form at risk of damage, have been converted into a secure digital format.

The files were also given a full restoration, improving image and sound quality, before being classified and archived for future use.

ADM led a delegation to Europe in March to meet with reputable international media companies, including the BBC in London and NBIG in Amsterdam, to benchmark its current progress against world-class expertise.

The second phase of Abu Dhabi Media's digital archiving project is now underway, and will include the restoration, digital transformation and archiving of thousands of important documents and files from within the company's records.

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