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.
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…
Call for International Collaboration to Build Capacity for Safeguarding World’s Audiovisual Heritage
ICCROM’s SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) programme was invited to participate in the International Audiovisual Archival Training Summit, organized by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) at the Cinémathèque française in Paris, France on 8 March 2017. Aparna Tandon, ICCROM’s Project Manager for SOIMA, met with members of leading institutions in the audiovisual field to identify prospective partners for the SOIMA programme and to discover future collaborative capacity-building opportunities.
The audiovisual experts in attendance made plans to develop an overview of shared resources for audiovisual archives, define a set of common principles for cross-institutional collaboration, gather best practices for capacity building, and create a common scholarship fund for all institutions present. Continue reading…
Recorded sound and images have captured our world, our lives and our imagination. They bring us knowledge, enjoyment and inspiration. They also enhance many professions, from education, design, software development and human rights advocacy, to those more directly related to audiovisual media, such as film and documentary production.
Thanks to rapid advancements in social media and information technologies, it has become much easier to share and use sound and image content. Yet contrary to common perception, not all content is readily usable. Beyond large broadcasting archives and dedicated audio-visual repositories, there is extremely valuable sound and image content, both still and moving, spread among diverse cultural and research organizations and individual collections, including in museums, libraries, universities, and archives.
Collaboration, and exchange of information and know-how between institutions and specialists is key to unlocking this heritage
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.
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.
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.
Experts Ponder Ways of Preserving Priceless Sounds and Images from Extinction
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.
What? As a precursor to the two day SOIMA 2015 international conference, ICCROM and its partners are pleased to announce a five-day intensive workshop on Sustaining Sound and Image Collections. The workshop is tailored to address the challenges of collecting, preserving and using (and reusing) sound, still, and moving image content within the broader context of rapidly changing technology and shrinking resources. It will focus on collection management issues in different institutional contexts that are unique to these types of materials.
The overall emphasis is on strategic decision-making and practical execution of solutions. In particular, it will showcase cost efficient strategies for prioritizing content, developing robust digitization and preservation programmes, and promoting wider use of collections.
Participants will have the opportunity to think through common challenges in a multidisciplinary setting. The goal is to enable change within their own institutions and help develop customised strategies for preservation and use. Continue reading…
See, Listen and Share! 3 -4 September 2015, Brussels, Belgium
Locked in obsolete formats and threatened by degradation and decay, nearly all of sound and image collections held by museums, archives, libraries, universities and other cultural or research repositories face 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.
With the participation of 16 sound and image conservation specialists from various parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, the SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) course began on 3 November in the Paul Coremans auditorium of the National Coordination for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC). The course works towards a common approach and awareness for the preservation of audio, photo and video archives in analogue and digital format.
This programme was launched in 2007 by ICCROM, with the goal of increasing the know-how of specialists, who will then spread awareness in their countries on digital preservation. It is the first time that this course is taught in Spanish, particularly targeting Latin Americans. Continue reading…