One of the first institutions to use ProQuest Video Preservation and Discovery Service (VPDS) was Dartmouth College. Its holdings comprise several thousand videotapes of events, speakers, and lectures that depict life on campus at Dartmouth. Examples include speeches given by past presidents before embarking on their political life; Kurt Vonnegut giving a lecture at the college; Sun Ra leading a jazz master class; and Al Gore delivering a talk as part of a business school lecture in the late 1980s.
Although these instances occurred at Dartmouth, their historical importance means they are of high interest to students and scholars of politics, literature, history, philosophy, and more around the world. However, the physical media on which they are recorded is fast becoming obsolete.
Regarding its participation in VPDS, David Seaman, Associate Librarian for Information Management at Dartmouth, said, “We were really pleased to work with ProQuest on this project. We have thousands of videotapes that chronicle several decades of Dartmouth history. The physical media is at end-of-life and we wanted to address this problem cost-effectively and at scale. ProQuest offered an all-inclusive service, one whose design we could participate in. We wanted to learn more about it and address the needs that were not being met by other services that we use for our video content; for example, discoverability.”