Sustaining Sound and Image Collections (SOIMA 2017)

July 19, 2017

From 9 to 23 July 2017 in Accra, Ghana

Photos, films, audio and video records capture memories, creative expressions and vital scientific data. “Wherever the collections of these records exist, they are being used to create jobs, feed research and provide multidimensional narratives of our past and present,” says Dr Stefano De Caro, ICCROM’s Director-General.

To discuss these topics, the 2017 SOIMA International Course on Sustaining Sound and Image Collections has brought together 17 participants from 12 countries at the Institute of African Studies and the J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. The shared objective is to exchange knowledge on sustaining sound and image heritage, which is threatened by constantly changing technologies and the lack of cohesive institutional policies.

This course, which runs from 9 to 23 July 2017, was conceived by ICCROM in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies and with the cooperation of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), the International Council on Archives (ICA), and the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA).

Group photo

During the two-week intensive course, participants have engaged in activities ranging from group discussions, hands-on activities and structured learning exercises.  The shared topics include defining what audiovisual heritage is, why should we preserve it, and how can we use it for creative purposes. This learning opportunity focuses on a case study at the J.H. Kwamena Nketia Archive, which was founded to study the vibrant oral heritage of Ghana. This archive is led by a former SOIMA participant, Judith Opoku-Boateng, who is now sharing the fruits of her labor with other participants. Continue reading…

Japanese Paper Conservation course begins

September 1, 2016

Japanese Paper Conservation course begins

The 2016 edition of the JPC-Japanese Paper Conservation course was inaugurated in Tokyo on 29 August.  This highly specialised three-week event will be held from 29 August – 16 September 2016.

The course has been organised once a year since 1992, in collaboration between the Japanese heritage authorities at National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and ICCROM.  This year’s edition brings together ten professionals from around the world.  For the first time, colleagues from Bhutan, Croatia and Iceland are joining the course. Continue reading…

Japanese Paper Course – NRICP and ICCROM Memorandum

March 14, 2016

On 14 March 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICP) and ICCROM, at the ICCROM offices in Rome, Italy.

The agreement consolidates the collaboration ongoing since 1992 between NRICP and ICCROM for the organisation of training events for paper conservation.  It will strengthen a partnership which has succeeded since 2003 in foreseeing implementation of the International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper.

The MoU was signed by Prof Stefano De Caro, Director-General of ICCROM, and Dr Nobuo Kamei, Director of NRICP. Also in attendance were Dr Masato Kato, researcher at NRICP,  Katriina Similä, Project Manager, ICCROM and Akiko Umezu, Project Manager, ICCROM.

This MoU forms the basis for implementing the joint hosting of international training courses concerning Japanese restoration techniques of washi, or Japanese paper. The training course will be hosted  by the independent administrative institution of NRICP once a year in Japan. ICCROM is pleased to be able to reconfirm this longstanding collaboration with Japan, and is grateful for the commitment of the Japanese heritage authorities to this joint activity.

DSC_0097-Japan MoU
DSC_0067-Japan MoU
DSC_0076-Japan MoU
DSC_0057-Japan MoU

Member State represented: Japan




International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper (JPC)

January 7, 2016

Course Announcement

Conservation of Japanese Paper course participant

Dates: 29 August – 16 September 2016

Place: Tokyo, Japan


The course
Many collections all over the world house Japanese paintings, calligraphic works and other paper–based artifacts. The purpose of this course is to offer those caring for such collections outside of Japan an insight into the materials and techniques of the Japanese paper-mounting tradition, and to the principles guiding the care of such collections in Japan. Through improving their understanding of the basic characteristics of the Japanese paper tradition, the participants will be in a better position to make decisions concerning the care of Japanese artifacts in their collections. The course aims also at offering opportunities to build bridges between the Japanese and the Western paper conservation traditions and to assess the applicability of the Japanese approach, materials & techniques also to non-Japanese cultural heritage. Continue reading…

ICCROM celebrates World Audiovisual Day

October 27, 2015

A 10-year vision for protecting sound and image heritage

Last September in Brussels, over 200 delegates from around the world attended the 1st international “Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage”, to jointly define a 10-year vision for audiovisual archives. To celebrate World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, the SOIMA community invites colleagues from the audiovisual archive field to provide feedback on our vision and how to reach it.

ICCROM’s SOIMA programme is aimed at building capacity for preservation of – and access to – sound and image collections held by museums, archives, libraries and a variety of other cultural institutions. The programme came as a response to UNESCO’s 2005 call to safeguard the world’s endangered audiovisual heritage.

In addition to training, SOIMA activities include the creation of instructional and reference materials, and promoting knowledge exchange through meetings and symposia. Thanks to six international courses, ICCROM has been successful in building a community of 100 professionals spread over 56 countries.

The programme has created a pool of international trainers who are now being engaged to lead SOIMA training activities in different languages.

The 10-years vision outlined by those who attended the September conference envisages a world where digital sounds and images will be fully integrated into peoples’ lives.

As a result, collecting institutions will have to manage large quantity of assets in a dynamic and multifaceted context. The professionals who will be managing such content will need to liaise with a variety of stakeholders from dfferent sectors ranging from education and research, creative industries (publishing, broadcasting and games), tourism, journalism and many others.

Illustration of SOIMA's 10 year vision

Parallel to the the SOIMA programme, ICCROM is working to preserve and digitize its own unique audiovisual collection. Embedded within this content is the story of ICCROM’s evolution and that of field of the conservation of cultural heritage.


SOIMA 2015: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage

October 7, 2015

Brussels, Belgium, 3 – 4 September 2015

Locked in obsolete formats and threatened by degradation and decay, nearly every sound and image collection faces the imminent threat of extinction. As a result, the world stands to lose a wealth of knowledge and information – a wealth that binds communities together and is crucial for conserving our natural and cultural diversity.

Is it possible to prevent this loss?

ICCROM and the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Belgium joined forces to address this issue by hosting an international conference on Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage. The initiative was supported by 15 national and international cultural institutions involved in audio-visual heritage, and attended by over 150 creators, collectors, cultural heritage practitioners, policy makers, innovators and business leaders from over 40 countries.

Today’s knowledge on the preservation and access of audio-visual heritage is fragmented, often trapped in separate areas of expertise. ICCROM’s Sound Image Collections Conservation programme (SOIMA) has been actively engaged in developing a response to this global challenge. This international conference called for the fostering of cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange, to ensure that sound and image heritage is available in the future.

Continue reading…

SOIMA 2015: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage

August 19, 2015

Experts Ponder Ways of Preserving Priceless Sounds and Images from Extinction
Call for SOIMA 2015 International Conference

Brussels, 2-4 September – International experts from across the world this week will discuss ways to look beyond professional and institutional boundaries, actively listening to each other and sharing strategies to ensure a safe and creative tomorrow for sound and image heritage.  Their concrete strategies will sustain this unique heritage, creatively using it to promote social development.

Continue reading…

Stone Course 2015 closure

July 29, 2015

stone course 2015 participantsOn Thursday 2 July, twenty mid-career professionals completed their training at the joint ICCROM-Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) course focusing on theoretical and practical aspects of stone conservation.

The Stone Course participants spent approximately 720 hours learning about stone characterization, consolidation, conservation, structural repair, graffiti removal and non-destructive analytical techniques. In addition, over 40 worldwide experts provided multiple inputs and teaching approaches.

Continue reading…

Measuring the impact of heritage science

July 15, 2015

ICCROM Forum follow up: Think-tank meeting Evaluating the Outcomes of Heritage Science

How to measure impact? Where to start?

Grupo photoDemonstrating impact is a high priority in many fields – especially those which rely on effective fundraising and public support for survival – and in recent years there has been increasing activity in this area with regard to culture and cultural heritage. However, while there is growing recognition of the importance  of evaluating outcomes and impact, at the same time there are widespread difficulties in establishing common frameworks, language and methods. In other words, although it is easy to see the merits of the exercise, it remains difficult to apply in practice.

Continue reading…

Paper Conservation in Latin America: Meeting East

June 18, 2015

Course Announcement

Course participants doing hands-on activity.

Descarga el anuncio del curso en español (pdf)

Dates: 4 to 20 November 2015

Place: Mexico City, Mexico