Figures from 2020 that you DO want to see

7 Feb 2021

We don’t need to tell you that 2020 didn’t go fully according to plan. There was a shift in priorities, our colleagues started working from home full time, and a few things changed for our partners too. But this doesn’t mean that 2020 was a lost year. As always, we’d like to share some significant and remarkable figures with you.

Almost 24,000 hours of content migrated to sustainable format

In 2020, we migrated content from 35,950 carriers to sustainable file formats. This accounts for some 23,603 hours of audiovisual content. To make this tangible for you: this means we digitised three hours of audiovisual content for every hour in the year.

Factoid: more than half of all the media we migrated in 2020 came from DPG Media. We have been busy digitising their Betacam SP and Betacam SX cassettes. We also converted our 500,000th carrier last autumn. Half a million!

Our digitisation work took place in four countries this year: Belgium (Memnon), Netherlands (Picturae), France (Vectracom) and the United Kingdom (R3Store). We originally planned to digitise some 50,000 carriers this year, but ultimately ended up doing much less due to the following reasons:

  • Not all figures are yet known and might be updated slightly over the coming months.

  • There are fewer carriers than we thought: lots of content partners overestimated their numbers. This usually becomes evident in the year when projects come to an end, i.e. 2020.

  • Measures put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic caused delays in many projects. We had a new record low in April with only 387 carriers converted due to coronavirus restrictions. For comparison, our long-term average is almost 5,800 per month.

All digitisation projects suffered during the pandemic, except for the digitisation of the White Fathers collection. This project actually accelerated slightly because digitisation company R3Store already had all our films, whereas supplies from other clients were halted. This meant they could focus fully on the films from KADOC.

Almost 1 million new objects stored in the archive system

More than 900,000 objects found their way to the meemoo archive system in 2020, coming from both digitisation projects and the influx of digital collections. We also archived our 5,000,000th object in 2020! At the end of the year, our archive system comprised over 5,250,000 objects.

In order to safeguard the readability – and so also the accessibility – of all this content, and increase the archive capacity, we started a large storage migration in the summer. We’re continuing to use our existing tape infrastructure but switching from LTO-6 to LTO-8 tapes. This switch has increased the capacity of our infrastructure from 17 PB to over 70 PB.

For illustration purposes, we have added a total of 2.5 PB of audiovisual content for long-term storage over the past year. By the end of 2020, we had clocked up 16.3 PB of content which we store in the archive system for our partners. Our updated infrastructure means we still have enough space left over to keep us going for a few more years yet.

Over 1000 people attended our (online) expertise events

We’re actively building up our knowledge, expertise and experience of digital archive operations in projects and advisory processes, and under our own initiatives. We share this knowledge with organisations and players in the fields of culture, media and the government via events, training and publications. The coronavirus pandemic threw a spanner in the works in the first half of the year, but we were soon able to successfully switch to online events. We organised 24 training courses, peer groups and coaching sessions, to which we welcomed 1,112 participants in total. We wrote 18 publications about a wide range of subjects, from digitising documents to SEO and linked data, for external websites and magazines.

We also received lots of specific requests from the field, and answered 255 requests for information in 2020. These are all provisional figures. Sometimes our responses are short and to the point, sometimes they lead to new projects together with the requester.

Our expertise colleagues worked on a total of 27 projects in 2020. Sometimes we launch these projects ourselves, but often we are asked to join as a partner by other organisations. We completed eight projects by the end of the year. The other projects are continuing into 2021 or even longer. You can find more information about our projects here.