Ready, Set, Archive!

Last April 15, 2021, Jackie Zammuto and Yvonne Ng from WITNESS shared their experience collaborating with grassroots collectives to develop a low-cost database for tracking community documentation of police abuse as well as practical archiving workflows aimed at a volunteer-run organization.

A forum topic to continue the discussion and sharing of experiences related to video archiving.

Some of the resource links mentioned during the learning session:

Tech and Tools:

Thanks for putting this together King. Looking forward to people’s comments and ideas. Let’s all make sure we invite those who attended the session to join the conversation here.

Thank you King and Egbert!

It was great to be in the learning session with many of you last week! I hope we can continue to conversation online here.

A couple other recent resources to add to what King already shared (sorry that our archiving resources are a bit spread out on our sites!):

“Should I Collect and Archive These Videos?” decision tree

Transcript of Archiving for Human Rights tweetchat with WITNESS and Videre, organized by WITNESS Africa.

Various blog posts by Yvonne and other archive-related blog posts from our blog.

I’d love to see any resources that other V4C members have developed! Or to hear about what resources people think are needed but don’t yet exist – would be interested to collaborate with the V4C network on these!



Thank you King and Egbert!

Here is a short explainer video about the database/archive project that we did with Berkeley Copwatch:

I’m looking forward to hearing about other archive/databases that people are working on, especially if you have any tips or resources for creating and maintaining this type of project.




Was just going through the notes and some transcribing software was also shared. People have good experiences using: TRINT and SONIX


I know these work well for English and Spanish, not sure about other languages. Here are some others to check out:

  • – not free, but very reliable.
  • – cheaper than You can also get a student or nonprofit discount
  • – 10c/minute
  • – hourly/monthly options
  • – up to 600 minutes free per month
  • – free trail, can export directly to Premiere!
  • – free version available, this doesn’t transcribe for you, but makes the process a lot easier

Hi all,

Thanks for organising this helpful forum and for the interesting discussion last week.

As some of you were interested in knowing more about maintaining the chain of custody and eyeWitness’ approach, please have a look at our piece on this topic: eyeWitness News - Technology is not enough to secure justice: Why we still need the human touch

As mentioned during the call, for footage to be admissible in court you need to archive the footage securely, in an access-controlled way, keeping a secure record of who has had access to the footage since it was captured. In legal terms, you need to safeguard the chain of custody. This is important to be able to prove that the footage has not been modified in any way. eyeWitness maintains the chain of custody for our partners by enabling them to securely upload their footage directly from the eyeWitness to Atrocities app (where the footage and metadata are locked until upload – after that they are free to share the footage or save it in their own system) to our encrypted server where it cannot be altered. The eyeWitness server is not open-source for security and confidentiality purposes. We maintain the chain of custody for our partners until the footage is used for justice, which may take a long time.

If you want to have a chat about our approach, do get in touch with us: eyeWitness | Connect


@JackyZ I watched the Berkeley Copwatch project video and was wondering if over the course of the project there have been attempts to collaborate with the police force as well. How has the relationship between Berkeley Copwatch and the Police Force itself developed over the course of this project. Ups and downs, or?

Hi everyone

Those of you on the learning session a couple weeks ago will remember hearing a bit from Refugee Law Project about their video archives. With their permission, I’m re-sharing WITNESS Talks to Patrick Otim of the Refugee Law Project about Video Archiving, an interesting Q&A we collaborated on in 2015. We’re planning to do a follow up post in the near future to catch up on all the progress they’ve made in the last 6 years, so stay tuned!


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Hey Egbert, there is a lot of distrust/disgust for the police department (both Berkeley police and University of Berkeley police), so there is not a lot of collaboration. That said, one member of the group sat on the Community Oversight Board for the local police and the Berkeley Copwatch is known to the police because of their presence documenting incidents and their regular requests for information. The group also participates in city council meetings, public policy discussions and meets with local legislators about issues with the police.


HuriDocs is doing a survey to collect data from human organizations that document violations and abuses in areas with barriers to connecting to the internet such as low bandwidth/ speed, internet shutdowns and electricity shortages.
If you are working for such an organization, or know people that are, please share or fill out this survey

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