Whats New At MTS?
The first half of 2017 has us finishing up the continued projects for Dharma Ocean
Foundation, The Sisters of Saint Joseph Archives, as well as a new collection of 3/4" U-Matic
tapes from SUNY Brockport's Writer's Forum. The shows were produced in the 1970's and
1980's for local cable access and is now regarded as a collection of historical significance.
Many famous writers and poets were on the show including names such as Isaac Asimov and
Gene Roddenberry just to name a few. We've worked on enhancing video for several
interesting law enforcement and legal cases. We also started scanning a second round of still
image assets from the Caesarea collection for the Universities of Cornell and Cincinnati. St.
John Fisher College has commissioned us for another round of reel-to-reel audiotape digitizing
for their Rochester Radio History Collection. Progressive Insurance has also commissioned
us to digitize another round of audiovisual media in their corporate archives collection.
In the works for 2016 Larger projects of note include high-resolution scans of over 8,000 still
images including slides, large format transparencies, large format photos and 35mm roll film
negatives. These images document the excavation of the Promontory Palace, built by King
Herod in 25 BC in the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima (located on the shores of Israel). The
dig was co-funded by Cornell University and the University of Cincinnati. As the palace was
unearthed 8,000 photos were taken, documenting the excavation and the palace. The palace
was then buried again to preserve it. The scanned photos will serve researchers and scholars
for generations to come. Another large project has us digitizing 1,000 videotapes from the
Dharma Ocean Foundation, one of the most well respected Tibetan Buddhist teaching and
meditation foundations in America. Digital derivatives will be used for both educational
streaming now and archival master preservation files for future content preservation. We also
digitized another round of promotional and advertising assets from Progressive Insurance.
We've started moving digital information from over 1,000 aging DVD video disks to file based
format for the University of Rochester's Mount Hope Family Center. We're also digitizing a
collection of oral history interviews on cassette audiotape and historical 16mm film for the
Sisters of Saint Joseph archives. We've upgraded our video capabilities adding several legacy
videotape formats to accommodate new client requests. We're also pleased to announce a
new partnership with the George Eastman Museum's Selznick School of Film Preservation -
one of the highest regarded schools for film preservation and archiving in the world. We hire
masters degree students to help with the growing workload at MTS. The students work in a
real world environment that is related to their degree and MTS gets help from serious young
professionals that are up to speed in many aspects of archiving.
2015 Finds us working on more content from Georgetown University, and the estate archives
of well-known Jazz musician - Don Elliott. New projects include digitization of video and audio
oral history interviews from the organization - Densho: The Japanese American Legacy
Project. Based in Seattle Washington, they are one of the largest repositories of Japanese
American history in the country. MTS also took on a project digitizing the archives of
commercial producer Steven Vaughan. Back in the '70's and '80's, Steve was a very
successful commercial producer on contract with companies such as US Air, Channel
Fragrances, Giorgio Armani, Fanta, Nestle, Anheuser Busch, and Chrysler to name a few.
His 1" master videotapes had taken on mold contamination and moderate sticky shed
breakdown. After treating the tapes, we transferred them to archival digital master files and
reference files. By September, our new facility was operational with plenty of projects to work
on. The second half of 2015 found us continuing with another round of historic interviews of
Japanese Americans interned during WWII from the Densho organization. At the same time
we began a new project digitizing several hundred video and audio tape interviews of
Holocaust Survivors from WWII for the Jewish Federation of Rochester. Digital derivatives will
be used as part of an educational curriculum for city schools as well as master archival file
versions for preservation. We digitized another round of media from the archives of the
corporate offices of Progressive Insurance. We also digitized original music produced for
NASA that was played to astronauts while on missions during the 80's like Skylab. This
music was also inserted into landers and probes as part of a time capsule representation.
MTS announces the move into a new 2,200 square foot facility in September 2015!
Only four years ago we expanded our current facility. With the increase in business, average
project size and amount of equipment acquired, it has necessitated another move. The Eyer
Building in East Rochester, NY is the perfect fit. It is the largest commercial structure in East
Rochester, NY. In 2014 the building was gutted from the basement up. 10 million dollars in
improvements replaced all electrical, plumbing and HVAC. A new fire suppression and video
security system was also added. The building's foundation is concrete, cinder block and brick
with 18" thick concrete floors between each level making the building extremely stable and
virtually fireproof. The building is owned by and houses most of the municipalities of the
Town/Village of East Rochester, so it is very secure and very well maintained. With the Police
Department in the same building and the Fire Department right next door, we feel very
comfortable about keeping our client's materials safe, as well as a half million dollar
investment in MTS equipment. Located on the third floor, our new space will have an
additional video surveillance system and our own HVAC system separate from the main
building. Client projects will be stored in a secured room that offers a secondary fire barrier,
protection from the building sprinkler system, and is accessed only by security keypad. We
plan to be moving into our new space in August and be operational in September.
2014 continued our success.
The Walter Williams PBS documentary finally finished in February. Overall - a very nice piece
to go to broadcast in the spring of 2015. Continuing projects for the Memorial Art Gallery, St.
John Fisher College, Georgetown University and Progressive Insurance kept a steady flow of
new audiovisual materials coming in. New projects included the first round of digitizing unique
video and audiotape masters from the estate of well known Jazz Musician; Don Elliott. With
the help of his friend, Les Paul, Don built one of the first multi-track recording studios in the
country. Content from his estate includes live public concerts and private jam sessions in his
studios, which include friends such as jazz greats: Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Phil Bodner
and Big Joe Williams.
2013 was our busiest year yet.
Projects for the PBS documentary on Walter Williams, Memorial Art Gallery, St John Fisher
College, University of Rochester mentioned below were ongoing. Highlights of new projects
includes: digitization of both video and audio assets from the Jean Craighead George estate
(famous child author), as well as 16mm motion picture film from the 1930's and 1940's for
Camp Pathfinder - the famous canoe camp based in Algonquin Provincial Park. We also
began a multi-year project with the Department of Neurology at the University of Georgetown,
digitizing their holdings of over 1800 hours of very valuable videotaped lab studies on brain
plasticity. MTS was commissioned to digitize Georgetown's collection that spans 40 years on
over 10 different legacy videotape formats for both laboratory coding and long-term
preservation. We also began a long term project with Progressive Insurance to digitize all of
their archival audiovisual media assets for reference, re-use in future advertising campaigns
and preservation. Finally we digitized camera original 16mm film taken by famed ornithologist
Gladys Gordon Fry, documenting her trip as one of the first woman to explore Trinidad and
Tobago as an ornithologist back in the 1930's. Gladys worked for the Museum of Natural
History in New York City and was know as the "Bird Lady of Central Park" for her unique bird
watching tours through Central Park..
2012 was a banner year.
MTS transferred 16mm motion picture film for the Naples Historical Society that highlighted
little documented Seneca Indian Nation pageant celebrations in the early 1960's The producer
of these pageants was Native American; Arthur C Parker, the second director of the
Rochester Museum of Science. The films also showed footage of Parker at the end of the
pageant taking a bow. It is probably the last known footage prior to his death six months
later. We also worked with the Eisenhower College Alumni Foundation to help digitize and
preserve unique motion picture film footage of Dwight D. Eisenhower, both personal family
footage donated to the college by the Eisenhower family and filmed visits of both the
President and Maime Eisenhower when they came to visit the college on several occasions.
The collection also contained unique audio recordings from both the President and his wife to
graduating students at the college as well as an interview with Maime. We also began
working with producer Tony Machi of Machi and Machi Communications. Tony has produced
many documentaries for PBS. This current documentary focused on the life story of
well-known black economist, Walter E Williams. MTS served as the central hub for all
archival media used in the documentary. We digitized slides, photographs, motion picture film
video from Walter's personal family collection. We also did the enhancement on these items.
We also served as coordinator for four archival media researchers, media pricing negotiator
and buyer as well as media reformatting for all the stock footage used in the documentary. It
is scheduled for release in late fall of 2014. MTS also began work with the nationally
acclaimed Memorial Art Gallery. Oral history interviews on both reel-to-reel and cassette
tapes with the museum's key personnel over the past 70 years were digitized and used for
both the Centennial Celebration and for preservation. A portion of the collection was 50
audiotapes of confidential interviews with Gertrude (second Director) and Isabel (Assistant
Director and Curator) Herdle. Their stories were incredible!
2011 highlights included:
Work with The Developmental Psychology Department at the University of Rochester. A
collection of several hundred videotapes needed to be digitized and enhanced for use in lab
studies work. MTS worked with both the company that made the coding software used for
visual analysis of the digitized video content and the department at the University to develop
an efficient workflow and come up with video codecs that could be used in the short term for
analysis along with other codecs that could also be used for preservation. MTS also worked
on a handful of projects for the ATF, The Office of Special Affairs in California and the CIA for
some special cold case files that were re-opened. Legacy format video and audio media were
transferred to digital formats for investigative work. MTS also transferred the personal film and
slide collection of Taco Proper, who was head of international sales for Kodak in both South
America and Asia. Content included a safari in Mato Grosso, Brazil with the famed jaguar
hunter Sasha Siemel. Also in the personal collection was the first Super 8mm motion picture
film, filmed by an American in China, with permission by the Chinese Government. We also
transferred unique motion picture footage of Dr Frank, founder of Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine
Cellars - one of the most celebrated and award winning wineries in New York.
2010 was a great year with all types of interesting projects.
Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY asked us to transfer a very rare reel-to-reel
audiotape in very poor condition. The recording was a four hour long interview with Paul Strand
on his life story. Mr Strand was born in 1890 and helped to establish photography as an art
form in the 20th century. He actually got Ansel Adams interested in photography. The tape
was acetate based and stored in unfavorable conditions to a point where Vinegar Syndrome
had significantly shrunk the tape. Special tape guide jigs along with adjustments on the
tensioning on our custom built ATR 100 reel-to-reel machine allowed us to successfully
transfer the tape and digitize this very important piece of history. At the same time, the
University of Rochester's Oncology Department had some special 16mm films of microscopic
blood cell testing that they needed transferring for scientific research. The high quality
transfers we provided to them, in turn, gave Media Transfer Service a qualified vendor status
with the University of Rochester. Shortly following we began work with the department of Brain
and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester converting a sizable collection of 3/4"
U-Matic and 1" videotapes for preservation and lab reference work.
Media Transfer Service, LLC. Rochester, NY . Phone: 585-248-4908 . Email: email@example.com
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