Recorded sounds and images are an integral part of our daily lives and play an important role in our heritage. These materials educate, inspire and shape views about the past, present and future.
Cultural and memory institutions often have valuable sound and image collections, but lack the skills and resources to safeguard and provide access to them. Audiovisual content is frequently trapped in obsolete formats (e.g. video cassettes) due to lack of opportunity to migrate to modern formats. As audio and visual material grows at an exponential rate, the resources available to collection institutions remain fixed. Unless urgent action is taken, most sound and image heritage from the last century will disappear.
In response to at-risk sound and image collections, ICCROM introduced its Sound and Image Collections Conservation (SOIMA) programme in 2007. With its aim of building capacity for preservation and creative use of sound and image heritage, the SOIMA programme educates professionals on the importance of sound and image preservation in the rapidly expanding digital universe. The ultimate goal is to find creative uses for sound and image collections, ensuring their accessibility both today and for future generations.