Partners at the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia visit SMPL

June 4, 2018
Hannah Frost
Latvian collaborators visit the Stanford Media Preservation Lab

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) team was thrilled to host Evita Feldentāle and Lelde Neimane, our partners in the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia audiovisual archive project, on May 31 at SMPL’s facilities in Redwood City.  Lelde is the archive curator and oral historian, while Evita is responsible for developing detailed descriptions, including English abstracts, for each of the 4,000 recorded oral histories in the archive. Through a multi-year project between the Museum and Stanford Libraries, this unique collection has been digitized for preservation and access at Stanford. All of the project work has been done in a distributed fashion between our respective locations plus the digitization vendor's facility, so it is a genuine treat to meet together as a team!

Lelde and Evita traveled to California to attend the 2018 AABS Conference at Stanford University. Organized by our very own Liisi Esse, Associate Curator for Estonian and Baltic Studies, the conference took place at Stanford on June 1-3 and is notable as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and the 100th anniversary of independence for the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

At the conference on Friday, June 1, Evita and Lelde co-led a participatory workshop on oral history methods. Then, Michael Angeletti, Geoff Willard and I presented on the “Making of the Baltic Video Archive at Stanford”, sharing key take-aways about the challenges and decisions we faced in this complex effort, the workflows and systems we employ here at Stanford to manage and promote the content for long-term use, and the incomparable value that an engaged, inspired curator like our colleague Liisi brings to such efforts. The SMPL team was delighted to share our experience with other Baltic Studies scholars and enthusiasts.

Working on this project has been a rewarding adventure and we looking forward to seeing more of the content highlighted on the exhibit at: .