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Radio Belgrade Safeguards Patrimony With NOA

Radio Belgrade, part of public broadcaster Radio Television Serbia (RTS), launched its first broadcast in 1929. In an effort to protect its rich history and facilitate access to valuable content, the media house recently decided to take on a major database migration project. To do so, it called on the help of archiving specialists NOA.

NOA — in collaboration with its Serbia-based partner and systems integrator Kompani DigiTV — thus embarked on a scheme to modernize Radio Belgrade’s entire archiving process, phasing out its various legacy databases and replacing them with a single NOA mediARC Archive Asset Management system.
 
In theory, this task may seem simple, but in practice it presented quite a challenge. To achieve the required results, it was necessary to normalize all source databases before importing the information into the central mediARC archive database. The new mediARC system works in collaboration with Radio Belgrade’s already existing NOA Record workstations and supersedes the jobDB workflow system.
 
What’s more, for some 50 years, Radio Belgrade had transferred catalog information towards Winisis and an MS Access databases, and because of changing working patterns over such a long period of time, consistency differed greatly, necessitating considerable consolidation. Fortunately though, thanks to mediARC’s semantic and relational approach, consolidation and normalization were not only possible but resulted in a consistent data design improving the archiving work of Radio Belgrade including separate item entities for persons, carriers, and content segments like Albums and Titles.
 
In addition, because much of the archival material was tagged insufficiently or in a discrepant manner, a majority of the tagging process had to take place during the migration phase. A delicate job, when dealing with ten different databases, also considering the fact that this legacy data from the last 50 years constitutes the broadcaster’s complete, irreplaceable patrimony. That all translates into a huge digitization project, comprising the work of 10 cataloguers over so many years — and potentially representing some 500 years of work!
 
NOA CEO Christophe Kummer explains that, given the context, and despite the fact that it was inevitable for errors to arise due to inconsistency in how data is described, the goal was to consolidate 80–90% of the data toward a “meaningful corpus” of mediARC.

“It’s so important to be able to help institutions safeguard their cultural patrimony and to do so in an efficient manner. Having to standardize material from ten different databases over so many years certainly presented a challenge. But thanks to our expertise and experience, we managed to successfully migrate Radio Belgrade’s valuable repertoire in a coherent manner which will facilitate access to and preserve this content in the future.”

With recent installations in Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and United Arab Emirates, NOA mediARC has gained a strong base of users in both broadcasting and institutional archiving. Providing customers with structured and flexible high-performance content management that will last for decades, mediARC allows access to a deep level of the database and makes it easy to create extremely specific business procedures using intricate and sophisticated workflows.

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