Historic Hawaiian footage preserved with Front Porch Digital technology

A new audiovisual archive of historic film and video footage in Hawaii that has been out of sight for decades will soon be made available to the public, after being carefully digitized using a Front Porch Digital SAMMAsolo system. The new Henry Ku'ualoha Giugni (HKG) Archives began deploying the SAMMA system in January as part of a project that eventually will migrate tens of thousands of hours of video and film content to safe, managed digital storage for long-term preservation and easy access.

Until recently, the irreplaceable media had been effectively inaccessible and subject to deterioration in tape cases on shelves, but the archive's plans call for it to be available online as early as this summer.

In the pilot phase of the migration project, the Archive’s staff of three is relying on the SAMMA equipment to digitize a magazine-style series, "Enduring Pride," that has not been seen since it was shown on Hawaiian television in the 1980s. For the first time ever, not only the shows themselves but also the raw footage shot for them will be available for viewing.

Among the visitors to the HKG Archives have been local filmmakers, broadcast professionals, educators, and government officials, all of whom can now access footage that includes the 1978 Hawaii State Constitutional Convention, rare footage of island life dating back over 50 years, and various political and cultural milestones in Hawaii.

The HKG Archives is funded by Congress through the U.S. Department of Education under the Academy for Creative Media, University of Hawai'i System. The archive, which will move to a new, state-of-the-art facility at the University of Hawai'i West Oahu campus in 2012, is still being populated but already has amassed more than 10,000 tapes and reels of historically significant footage, with much of the content residing on videotape.

The Front Porch Digital SAMMAsolo is a compact, single-stream appliance that automatically migrates archive-quality content from videotape to digital files in multiple formats while also monitoring and quality controlling the process. The migration preserves source time code and also associates indexing and technical metadata. Digitized content is automatically moved to nearline spinning disk storage and can then be exported to external data tape storage.