Acquire: Introduction

Acquisition refers to the process of receiving video and metadata from a source and adding it to your collection. Your aim at this stage is to acquire your materials in a complete and intact form. Actions you take at this stage are critical to the later usability and preservation of your video.

A Scenario

Inundated with Videos

The Elections Monitoring Center wants to collect reliable videos that document the aftermath of recent elections in its country in order to report to the international community, and to retain for the historical record. Fortunately, the days following the election were widely documented on video by news outlets, ordinary citizens, and the Center’s own staff. There are so many videos, in fact, that the Center is overwhelmed by the quantity.

Rather than try to collect every single video about the election, the Center decides to prioritize videos that best meet its purposes. It decides to acquire only videos whose source they can confirm; that they have the rights to re-use; and that emerged from electoral districts in which news media were not present.

Some of the most important video documentation was shot by ordinary citizens. In order to ensure the authenticity and reliability of these videos, the Center asks citizens to submit their original files if they can, and to fill out a metadata form with their names, district, and other information.


Check for viruses

Malware like viruses and Trojans can spread through the Internet or on portable devices. Protect yourself from inadvertently acquiring malware by using virus detection software, and only downloading or opening attachments from known and trusted sources.

There are many commercially available virus scanners. Some free virus scanners include ClamXAV, Immunet, and ClamWin.

ClamAV is an open source anti-virus engine for detecting Trojans, malware, viruses, and other malicious threats.

Protect sensitive information

Find out from your sources if there is any sensitive information in your video and metadata that needs to be kept confidential (e.g. names, locations). You should acquire and retain this information but restrict access and store securely as needed.

What’s Next

Deciding What to Keep
Setting criteria for what to keep.

Acquiring Raw Video and Metadata
Best practices for getting raw materials complete and intact.

Acquiring Edited Video and Elements
What to keep from your edits.