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REEL RESCUE

Help save Queensland’s memory
State Library needs your help to save more than 4000 fragile films and videos which contain precious pieces of history. Please donate so we can make these wonderful Queensland memories available for future generations. All gifts of more than $2 are tax deductible.

Meet Swee Cheng Wong, Audiovisual Conservator at State Library of Queensland

Swee Cheng Wong

What do you do at State Library?

I conserve and help protect original moving image and sound collections, so motion picture films, video and audio tapes, and also discs such as optical and sound.

Some of my daily activities include:

  • Responding to enquiries from libraries, the public and staff about audiovisual conservation
  • Inspecting the media formats when they arrive at State Library
  • Compiling condition reports
  • Treating materials and rehousing collections
  • Providing access to films and other at-risk media
  • Preparing collections for digitisation
  • Quality checking items and digital content when they have been digitised
  • Encoding and converting digital media to new formats
  • Organising the cold store to ensure our stored media is safe until we can digitise them

How did you become interested in audiovisual conservation?

I used to work in video production and had an opportunity at archiving audiovisual media. I quickly realised I was interested in preserving audiovisual collections for the long term. I’ve spend almost 10 years now archiving and preserving audiovisual media.

Why do you consider digitisation to be important?

Digitisation is incredibly important because it preserves the collections, and at the same time, enables the public to access to the content more easily. For example, magnetic media collections, like VHS and Beta tape videos, are at most risk as we are running out of suitable equipment to view them on. We need to digitise them now so they are not lost forever.

What are you working on at the moment?

A private donation of films produced between 1948 and 1987 and oral histories from Australian Fishing Industry. Both provide wonderful insights into how Queenslanders lived and worked.

What do you love most about your job?

When I get to view or hear that gem of a collection.

What would you like our donors to know about State Library’s digitisation project?

That your donation is greatly appreciated! You will not only help us to preserve video and film, but your contribution allows us to speed up the process of digitisation so that incredible content become available to the public a lot sooner than originally planned.