The Documentalist

UT Human Rights Archiving and GLIFOS

Posted in Archiving Solutions, Reports, technology by Sarah on November 4, 2009

T-Kay Sangwand, the human rights archivist at he University of Texas Libraries in Austin has contributed a guest post to the WITNESS Media Archive blog to close out Grace Lile’s series for Archives Month last month.  The post discusses a non-custodial archiving arrangement that the University of Texas Libraries has established with the Kigali Memorial Centre (KMC) in Rwanda.  Funded by the Bridgeway Foundation and the University of Texas Libraries, the project–called the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI)–consists of a collaborative effort to digitize, preserve, and catalogue a variety of documentation from the Rwandan genocide.  In order to accomplish this, HRDI project team members traveled to Rwanda this summer to help KMC set up an archiving system that utilizes the GLIFOS media toolkit–a rich-media storage program and reader developed in Guatemala:

In order to facilitate access to KMC materials, the HRDI has been working with the Guatemala-based company, Glifos, that provides powerful software that allows for cataloging, indexing, and syncing audiovisual materials with transcripts and other materials for enhanced access. Using Glifos, the HRDI built a prototype for a digital archive for KMC and in July 2008, three members of the HRDI project team (Christian Kelleher, T-Kay Sangwand, and Amy Hamilton) traveled to Rwanda to demo the prototype.

A unique piece of this project is the supportive role that the University of Texas Libraries is playing as KMC establishes and maintains their archive.  Specifically, the library is serving as a repository of the digitized materials created at Kigali, while Kigali maintains the original collection of physical paper documents, film footage, or audio recordings.  GLIFOS will allow users in Rwanda to directly access the digital materials held in the Texas repository.  See the entire article at the WITNESS Media Archive for the complete discussion of this project.

As illustrated by the HRDI project at Texas, the GLIFOS program proves to be a good means of cataloguing, indexing, and preserving rich-media content (that is, video, text, audio, and even materials in multiple languages) in a way that allows for ease of archiving and ease of access and use.  A future post on this blog will discuss the technical specifications of GLIFOS in terms of its utility for digital archiving.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Archives*Open, Melissa Mannon. Melissa Mannon said: RT @archivesopen: BlogSearch: UT Human Rights Archiving and GLIFOS: A Preview « The Documentalist […]

  2. […] on UT HRDI’s work with Glifos and the Kigali Memorial Centre materials. The article, “UT Human Rights Archiving and Glifos” will be followed up with a more in-depth post on Glifos’ unique features and its […]

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