|SOIMA 2007: Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections
6 – 31 August 2007
- National Archives of Brazil (AN)
- Laboratório de Ciência da Conservação (LACICOR)
- Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Cinemateca Brasileira, São Paulo, Brazil
- Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections, (CRCC), France
- Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA), UK
- European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)
- Masters Degree Program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation, New York University (NYU), USA
- Office of Records Services, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), USA
Duration: 3 weeks (6 to 31 August 2007)
Place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nineteen mid-career professionals responsible for managing audiovisual collections in heritage institutions from fifteen countries attended the course, thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The SOIMA 2007 course was held within the framework of the four year SOIMA programme (2006-9) aimed at promoting preservation of audiovisual collections in institutions that care primarily for non-audiovisual materials (libraries, museums, and archives).
The course aimed to provide heritage professionals with the skills and knowledge to:
- recognize materials and media of their audiovisual collections;
- identify risks posed to them and making informed choices for preservation and access of such collections;
- improve communication skills in order to promote teamwork and interdisciplinary exchanges.
Selected introductory readings available on the World Wide Web were chosen as mandatory pre-course reading so that participants could become familiar with the terms and concepts used internationally in the field of audiovisual preservation.
During this phase participants collected images and documentation about the problems of preservation confronting sound and image collections in their respective institutions.
The four-week course workshop gave an overview of issues related to preservation and access of audio visual collections in cultural heritage institutions. The course topics were grouped into five units.
Unit 1 - AV Collections: History Use and Meaning
Provided a theoretical framework for collecting, handling, documenting, and conserving audiovisual collections.
Unit 2 - Materials, Formats and Documentation
Offered an examination of audiovisual materials. Topics covered within this unit provided skills and knowledge for identification of AV carriers and for dealing with various issues related to documentation and cataloguing of audiovisual records.
Unit 3 - Caring for AV Collections
Covered topics such as deterioration of audiovisual materials, assessing risks, current conservation practices and handling and storage of audiovisual collections.
Unit 4 - Digital Preservation and Access
Aimed to promote better understanding of the opportunities provided by new technologies. Topics covered within this unit offered insights into planning for digitizing and providing long term access.
Unit 5 - Copyright, Legal Issues and Professional Networks
Emphasized the need for increasing awareness and generating consensus through professional networks for evolving preservation friendly legislations.
The course workshop also offered a variety of teaching and learning activities. These included:
- A 'mini conference'. At the end of the first week, a mini-conference on Sound and Image collections: current challenges and strategies for their conservation and use included presentations from participants and the teaching team. It was aimed at documenting challenges and issues in preserving audio-visual heritage in different cultural and institutional contexts. It also served in creating better understanding of participants’ needs and expectations from the course.
- A special session within the International Seminar. The first week of the course coincided with the international seminar on Management, Preservation and Safety of Digital Records organized by National Archives. Participants had the unique opportunity to meet and interact with international experts through a panel discussion on issues related to preservation and access of sound and image collections in various institutional contexts.
- Study Visits. During the course, study visits to institutions in Rio, School of Fine Arts, Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte and Cinemateca Brasileira in São Paulo were organized. The aim was to review and assess the key course ideas and concepts within live institutional contexts.
- An online SOIMA community. A limited access website has been created to facilitate communication, serving as an information and exchange platform for the course and as a support in the learning process during and after the course.
- Professional capacity-building: nineteen professionals from fifteen countries, representing nineteen national or regional cultural heritage institutions have increased their knowledge and skills in audio-visual preservation. Training opportunities in this field are few and far between.
- Institutional capacity-building: Host institutions in Brazil i.e., the National Archives , Rio de Janeiro, the Laboratório de Ciência da Conservação, Belo Horizonte and the Cinemateca Brasileira, São Paulo were able to benefit from the advise of the recognized team of experts teaching in the course, for the preservation of their sound and image collections. At the same time their capacity to develop international training events was enhanced;
- Networking: The network for audiovisual preservation was reinforced with the involvement of 25 professionals from 22 countries in the SOIMA course. Through the direct collaboration of CCAAA (Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations) that is comprised of seven professional associations, participants have been able to connect with all of the CCAAA member associations;
- Final evaluation results: participant evaluations show very high levels of overall satisfaction with project coordination, themes, materials, lectures and study visits;
- Impact: All nineteen participants are engaged in projects that range from improving conservation conditions in their home institutions or increasing awareness for AV preservation to assessing risks or introducing training courses on audiovisual preservation. After the first course, SOIMA has received expressions from interest from leading organizations for holding further such training activities.
5 March, 2010