|Main interests||digital preservation, Information Commons|
Howard Besser (b. circa 1952) is a scholar of digital preservation, digital libraries, and preservation of film and video. He is Professor of Cinema Studies and the founding director of the NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program ("MIAP"), a graduate program in the Tisch School. Besser is a prolific writer and speaker, and has consulted with scores of governments, educational institutions, and arts agencies on digital preservation matters. He was closely involved in development of the Dublin Core and the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standards (METS), international standards within librarianship.
Besser grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and earned a Bachelor's degree in 1976 from the University of California, Berkeley. He studied film in Paris at the Centre Internationale d'Études des Cinema. He earned a Master's and PhD in Library Science in 1977 and 1988 respectively, both from UC Berkeley.
Besser was on the faculty of UC Berkeley's School of Information for a number of years, before accepting a position as professor at UCLA's School of Education and Information Studies. He retired from UCLA, becoming a Professor Emeritas there, in order to found the MIAP program at New York University in 2004. He also taught at the University of Michigan's School of Information and at the University of Pittsburgh.
Besser is well-known for his habit of wearing only t-shirts, and for maintaining a t-shirt database. A number of his classes used the t-shirt database as a cataloging and metadata practicum, cataloging t-shirts into the database with appropriate metadata.
- Introduction to Imaging (1st ed. 1995, the "standard textbook on the construction of digital image collections")
- 1995, Outstanding Information Studies Teacher of the Year, American Society for Information Science
- 2009, "Pioneers of Digital Preservation", Library of Congress
- Howard Besser's website
- Museum Educational Site Licensing Project papers, 1983, 1992-1999, undated, bulk 1996-1998. Getty Research Institute, Research Library. Los Angeles, California.