DAP Project

With the widespread transition to digital formats, large portions of ITMA's sound and video collections have become endangered and at high risk of obsolescence and degradation. For carriers such as Digital Audio Tapes and Digital Video Tapes we lack the machines to play them on site, and the familiar CD may soon follow suit. As an organisation with the long-term preservation of Ireland’s traditional sound heritage at the core of its mission, ITMA recognises the need to adapt and re-strategise in order to build a preservation plan for the digital age.

The 2019 Digital Audio/visual Preservation (DAP) Project was made possible with generous funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the Department’s ‘national digitisation investment programme’. This project involved the digitisation of over 2,500 sound and video carriers, resulting in the generation of more than 24,000 audio and video files. The digitisation of the Michael McNamara Sound Collection of reel-to-reel tapes and sound cassettes was made possible through this funding grant. These 'new' master digital files have been ingested into a newly established digital preservation system, from where they can be actively managed, and access copies made available through a new online platform. The online platform is now currently in development.

Producing high-quality digital surrogates or user copies for ITMA’s vibrant multimedia collections, at the scale made possible by the DAP Project, means that it is possible to do much more with collections and further engage with audiences and potential archive users. Online exhibitions like the Furls of Music and the recently launched Dusty Bluebells are a testimony to this digital strategy.

In today’s world the preservation of traditional music is not possible without ongoing digital preservation and investment in a digital preservation strategy. The DAP Project is the first phase of ITMA’s new strategy for preservation and access, and we feel confident that ITMA users will see the fruits of our investment for many years to come.

For more information on the DAP Project please see DAP blogs:

Preserving Ireland’s Traditional Sound Heritage

An update on DAP, ITMA’s latest digital preservation project