The Egyptian Participation in Med-mem project
The Egyptian Radio and Television Union is considered to be the biggest owner of the Audio visual content in the Arabic region. This is according to its huge Archive which is distributed over (8) main libraries in Maspiro building in addition to the regional channels and the massive production since the establishment of the Egyptian radio in 1934 and the establishment of the Egyptian Television in 1960, even the number of tapes in libraries have exceeded half a million bar. This heritage was exposed to poor storage and the worn of the Media which requires effort, high technology and financial cost to save this heritage.
Med-mem initiative:
ERTU has welcomed the invitation of Med-mem project to save the Mediterranean patrimony to make it available via new media. ERTU had begun serious steps years ago to save its Audio-visual heritage on advanced video tape but not digital.
ERTU found a golden opportunity for international engagement with Mediterranean partners to save its audio visual media by converting the analogue material from its analogue image to digital image to be not worn out or stored badly for many times without effect on the quality of the content. And as soon as the first meeting for Med-mem in Marseille February 2009, ERTU began to take positive and effective measures in the project as follows:
Gathering the tapes of ERTU in more than 20 libraries which exceeded a number of 444, ooo tapes according to 2010 statistics with excluding the tapes of the news sector library. These tapes consists of programs-series-plays-Films-dramatic shows-Documentaries-Quizzes;
- Working to identify duplicate tapes; select the best and exclude the other.
- Identifying the material which consists of cultural content and separating it from others.
- Buying digitization unit according to specifications approved by Med-mem.
- By taking into consideration that Egypt’s share in this project is 400 works.
- And for the inability to move all the documents, so we have selected the distinguished documents and divided the work to four groups as following:
1-      The library
Searching for the tapes in database.
Preparing a report for the classification proposed for being displayed for the watch group.
Getting the required tapes to be viewed in the work time of the group.
Implementing of watch group’s recommendations.
Collecting the required tapes to be used in transferring the data to montage units.
2-      Watching
- Selecting the best of documents to be copied.
- Studying the documents according to its classifications.
- Watching the selected documents
- Determining the paragraphs proposed to be digitalized.
- preparing two copies from the recommendations report one for the library and other for the translation group.
The work of the two groups shows that the documents that has been selected does not exceed 20% , accordingly a great effort has been done to select 400 from 8,000 documents recorded on different media ranging between 1 or 2 inch, betacam and digital tapes.
And followed to this a work of two groups:
3-      Editing and Translation
-Entering the data on the computer.
-Preparing a summary for the suggested documents to be transferred.
-Writing all the required data for example; the duration of the program, the production year…
-Translating the data of the documents to French and English.
4-      Digitization
- Receiving the tapes that were choosing to be transferred.
- Ascertain the validity of technical tapes.
- Identifying the paragraphs approved by watch commission.
- Copying and digitization.
- Saving the digital material on server.
- Uploading the documents on Med-mem site.

And as often as it was a great effort and hard for the different working groups but our happiness of completing this work as a civilized project to safeguard the audio visual Mediterranean heritage cannot estimated .We are now in front of the biggest challenge to transfer all ERTU audio visual archive to Digital format and establish database to have the possibility of retrieval the archive, marketing it and exploitation the possibilities of digitization to use Meta Data for ERTU production in order to protect intellectual property rights and save this huge production from piracy and abuse.
Mohamed Ahmadein
ERTU Project Manager
Mohamed Ahmadein

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