A group of volunteers is helping the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration place videos online for easy public access. The International Amateur Scanning League, an invention of the longtime public information advocate Carl Malamud, plans to upload the archives’ collection of 3,000 DVDs in what Mr. Malamud calls an “experiment in crowd-sourced digitization.”
The league is a small demonstration that volunteers can sometimes achieve what bureaucracies can’t or won’t. David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, said the archives were fully supportive of what the citizen group was doing.
“My goal is to make available electronically as much content as possible,” he said, adding that the FedFlix copies are sufficiently high-quality that the archives would not have to duplicate them once more.
The scanning league is starting with the 3,000 or so DVDs in the collection, because they are the easiest to duplicate. But there is much more to be done: the archives are said to house more than 200,000 videos.
You can read more in the New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/technology/15fedflix.html