Facilities

Facilities 

The MDPI digitization facility is located on the first floor of the Innovation Center in the IU Technology Park on the Bloomington campus. This floor was renovated to house both Memnon and IU Media Digitization Studios and now contains 21 rooms and over 8400 square feet.

Audio Digitization RoomAudio Digitization RoomVideo Digitization RoomProcessing and Prep Room MDPI Tour Map MDPI Tour Map

AUDIO DIGITIZATION ROOMS

Two identical audio preservation studios are designed for digitization of fragile formats and problem items using a 1:1 workflow.

These rooms are used to digitize materials such as open-reel tapes, cassette tapes, wax cylinders dating from the 1890s to the 1930s, unique lacquer discs from the 1930s and 1940s, and wire recordings from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

AUDIO DIGITIZATION ROOMS

Two identical audio preservation studios are designed for digitization of fragile formats and problem items using a 1:1 workflow.

These rooms are used to digitize materials such as open-reel tapes, cassette tapes, wax cylinders dating from the 1890s to the 1930s, unique lacquer discs from the 1930s and 1940s, and wire recordings from the late 1940s and early 1950s.

VIDEO DIGITIZATION ROOM

The playback machines, or “legacy machines,” in this room are for obsolete formats. They date from the early 1970s to about the year 2000.

The neutral gray color on the walls enables critical viewing; the walls of the room do not influence the video that is seen on the monitor.

PROCESSING & PREP ROOM

Technicians prepare each item for digitization using special tools such as a microscope or magnetic viewer when needed. They are then passed on to the studios, keeping them fed with a steady stream of items ready to digitize. This ensures optimal productivity.

QC ROOM

IU must certify that files produced by both the Memnon and IU operations meet specifications. During peak production, Memnon will create around 900 digital files per day. IU will perform quality control on a random sample of this output.

RECEIVING DOCK

Carefully screened carriers arrive here, ready to be sorted, barcoded, and entered into the system.

LOCKER ROOM

Personal electronics are not permitted in the studios as they may compromise the integrity of transfers. Lockers are provided here for personnel.

POWER DISTRIBUTION UNIT (PDU) ROOM

A 50 kVA Power Distribution Unit provides clean, dedicated power to playback equipment throughout the Memnon facility. This is to ensure elimination of any potential noise in the electrical system.

The facility is supplied with three sources of power: clean power for sensitive equipment, service power for other equipment, and separate power for the lighting.

CHECK-IN ROOM

The check-in room is where custody of the carriers changes from IU to Memnon. Each carrier is scanned into the Memnon Production Asset Management system for processing. From this point, different carriers follow different paths.

TAPE-BAKING ROOM

Damaged tapes are restored in an “incubator,” which resolves most issues with Sticky Shed Syndrome (SSS). Special software controls the temperature of the incubator, the fan speed, the air flap position, and the program duration.

RECORD CLEANING ROOM

Before they are digitized, records are cleaned with ultra-clean demineralized water provided by Elga Purelab. Up to 98% of inorganics are rejected using reverse osmosis—a special water purification technology.

The ultrasonic cleaning happens at 39kHz. Records are cleaned and rinsed at 60 rpm, and they are dried at 1100 rpm.

RECORD DIGITZATION STUDIO

The record digitization studio currently supports parallel transfers from four professional turntables mounted on custom-built tables.

  • A shock absorber on the inner table isolates the turntable from vibrations that come from the floor; the outer table isolates each turntable from accidental operator movements.
  • The software, developed by Memnon, manages and monitors parallel workflows.
  • The top-of-the-line preamplifiers provide a wide variety of equalization (EQ) curves to provide faithful reproduction and flexibility. Playback EQ must exactly match the EQ used during the record manufacturing process. Records manufactured in different countries and throughout history have used different standards.

OPEN REEL & DATS/CASSETTES DIGITIZATION STUDIOS

Studer machines are used for playback and digitization of open reel tapes. One operator can manage four to eight Studer machines at one time. High-quality meters on each tape machine enable efficient and reliable machine calibration.

These Studer machines were originally introduced in the early 1980s.

The custom-modified head blocks found on each Studer machine make it possible to digitize tapes of different track configurations with a flip of a switch.

It is possible to digitize eight DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) or eight audio cassettes at one time with the potential to digitize 40 DATs or 24 cassettes at one time.

OPEN REEL & DATS/CASSETTES DIGITIZATION STUDIOS

Studer machines are used for playback and digitization of open reel tapes. One operator can manage four to eight Studer machines at one time. High-quality meters on each tape machine enable efficient and reliable machine calibration.

These Studer machines were originally introduced in the early 1980s.

The custom-modified head blocks found on each Studer machine make it possible to digitize tapes of different track configurations with a flip of a switch.

It is possible to digitize eight DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) or eight audio cassettes at one time with the potential to digitize 40 DATs or 24 cassettes at one time.

QC STUDIOS

The video Quality Control (QC) room is painted with a specially selected gray paint to enable the best environment to evaluate the true color on a video monitor.

Each QC room has a player similar to those used in production to compare the generated files directly with the physical carrier.

MEMNON CHECK-OUT ROOM

All carriers in this room are still considered Memnon Work In Progress (WIP). Every carrier is scanned to ensure that all physical media is returned in the same bin in which it arrived.

IU CHECK-OUT ROOM

All carriers in this room have been checked out and are in IU’s custody once more. The items remain here for up to 40 days before returning to the archive.

VIDEO STUDIO

The racks in this room are configured for many different video formats.

A wide variety of test equipment for both analogue and digital video was installed in the racks to ensure the faithful reproduction of all video formats.

The 1” C machines were introduced in 1976. Cell phones today provide a much better picture and can play back recordings much longer than the one-hour time limit of the 1” tapes.

INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ROOM

The Isilon currently provides a total of 360 terabytes of usable storage and can scale to a 144-node cluster with over 20 petabytes of storage — all in a single file system. There are two dedicated 10 Gigabit fiber connections between this room and IU’s Scholarly Data Archive (SDA) in the Data Center.

The ICT room HVAC has a capacity of 5,000 cubic feet per minute (a normal house contains around 1,000 cubic feet). In theory, the air can be totally replaced in the room every 35 seconds. It’s powered with more than 425 amps—more than twice the requirement for the average home.