Other MATRIX Projects with Video Content

MATRIX has implemented two other projects with considerable video content. These projects have both benefited from the experience with American Black Journal and built our capacities in ways that advanced working with the ABJ archive.

The Community Video Education Trust archive project was undertaken to preserve and provide free and open online access to a large video archive. In the early 1980s, CVET had trained community members to document anti-apartheid demonstrations, meetings, political funerals, press conferences, celebrations, and interviews with activists. The output was more than 400 videotapes of unique footage from the period of resistance to apartheid during the 1980s and early 1990s. The videos were being stored in boxes and were inaccessible to CVET or other users.

The CVET preservation and access project is a partnership among MATRIX, Community Video Education Trust (CVET) in Cape Town, and the MSU African Studies Center. In this project, MATRIX further developed its capacity to digitize and provide access to significant amounts of video content. Archival-quality digital files were made and are stored under safe conditions at MATRIX at MSU, at the request of CVET. The original tapes are stored at the Western Cape Provincial Library. A CVET videographer viewed the videos as they were digitized and created metadata about them, considerably enhancing the value of this raw footage to users. Access copies of the video files were ingested into MATRIX's digital repository, along with associated descriptive and preservation metadata. A searchable website was built to stream the videos to the public for free and is available for viewing at www.cvet.org.za. More than 140 hours of streaming video is already available on this site, and a sustainable work plan involving African history graduate students in the MSU Department of History is continuing to expand the videos available online.

The South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy is a model educational project in which video is incorporated with other primary source materials into a curriculum resource for high school and undergraduate students and educators. This website is built from MATRIX's digital repository application, KORA, which also is used for the American Black Journal project and many other humanities and cultural heritage websites. The open source KORA application has been released on SourceForge.

This Overcoming Apartheid website contains 45 born-digital videotaped interviews with South Africans who were active in the anti-apartheid struggle, some internationally known and others known only in their communities. In order to make these unique interviews accessible to teenage and young adult students, we created 140 short segments from the interviews and grouped them by topic with other primary source materials historical documents, photographs, and visual art.

Rather than editing the video to create new files for each interview segment, MATRIX used another digital tool, MediaMatrix, to set start and stop times to play segments from video files of the full-length interviews. The MediaMatrix tool is incorporated into the KORA application so content experts can create video clips to be outputted on the website without assistance from a video editor or programmer. The video segmenting tool and the digital repository application are valuable resources for multimedia humanities and social science online projects.