Swindon Viewpoint Interview

We met with William Perrin from King's Cross's today in Swindon and spent some time discussing Swindon Viewpoint, online local content and digital media production in general. Will was very interested in the production workflow we've put in place for Viewpoint and recognises that we have achieved a huge amount on virtually no budget. It would be great to share our approaches further so that other archives in the UK and around the world could also start to expose more of their potential value. We did a short interview with Will on the digitisation, processing, upload and tagging processes our archive videos go through before they are shared with the world!


William Perrin
Swindon viewpoint - great volunteers being smart in digitising community video (audio i.view) 

Working with Dinosaurs

As some of you probably know, when Viewpoint was first set up 'industrial' video recording was still in it's infancy and we used what is now a very old tape format known as 'Sony EV'. As it was peculiar to Sony (unlike VHS or DVD) there are very few machines left in the world. Even less that actually work. Viewpoint has been scouring the world for either a machine or a company to transfer the tapes for the last few years.
We're pleased to report that one has finally turned up, oddly close to where our ex-engineer, Phil Reed now lives in Sussex. Phil has collected it, dusted it down and put a tape on it. Surprisingly a picture of sorts came from the machine, but sadly, not good enough yet to transfer. The machine is however, very low mileage (judging by the pristine condition of the buttons, always a giveaway) but the mechanics have been tampered with and it needs realignment.
Sony EV320
All VTRs are delicate and a 40 year old one especially so. To fix it properly a manual is required. Again, after scouring the world with Google and calling on all of Phil’s contacts - a very kind man in Sony Belgium has looked in the library and found one which he is currently scanning and emailing to Phil so he can print it out.
We are very hopeful that this machine can be nursed back to health and once that happens the restoration of the deeper SVP archive can begin in earnest.

Swindon Viewpoint Word Cloud for 2011

Its been 30 months already since we launched Swindon Viewpoint online. In that time you've seen the site start to become more and more of the resource we hoped it always would. There are over 1000 videos on the local area, a mixture of both old and new content. We've also got some very exciting news to update you on shortly regading accessing some of the as yet untouched oldest Swindon Viewpoint archive materials. More to follow shortly on that but we are all very excited about it here.

To mark this somewhat arbitrtrary passing of time here is a word cloud showing all the topics we're covering with our video content. Its a great way to see what we have and in what proportions.

If and when you would like to start exploring our online vaults, remember, everything is available on this site for free and in its complete original quality. You can explore our 'Map', find subjects on 'Tag Cloud', gems in 'Featured' or travel back on the 'Timeline'.

Swindon Viewpoint word cloud

Word Cloud generated at

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