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/policies-and-standards/CCAAA-world-call-for-the-preservation-of-broadcast-archives.php
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CCAAA World call for the preservation of broadcast archives

  • It is universally acknowledged that radio and television now have a central place in the modern history of our society and that archives are an essential part of the collective memory of the 20th century and beyond;
  • There are considerable volumes at stake, estimated at 200 million hours;
  • Broadcast archives contain a wealth of works, documents and treasures that are invaluable to world cultural heritage and constitute irreplaceable records of our cultural diversity and identities;
  • This heritage is endangered by the fragility of the media and the obsolescence of equipment required to read the recordings ; entire collections of programmes on film, magnetic tape and disc are at risk of being lost for ever;
  • In the very near future, i.e. within the next 10 to 20 years, a significant portion of this memory will inevitably and irreparably fade away ; the disparity of countries in the face of this threat will further widen the "digital divide" between the poor countries and the rich countries, between the North and the South. This will lead to, in the short term and in an even more profound way, unequal access to the collective memory of nations;
  • There is even greater urgency because the deterioration is not, unlike other types of heritage (such as historic buildings), immediately perceptible to the public, and it is precisely this lack of physical and immediate sense of loss that contributes to a lack of awareness and action;
  • Furthermore, there are now technical solutions to ensure the long-term preservation, access, and reuse of archival records. Among these solutions, is the transfer to a digital format combined with the implementation of appropriate storage conditions. Both require the urgent application of appropriate human and financial resources.

Continuing the action led by UNESCO and the Council of Europe (1), the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) appeals for the attention and vigilance of all to:

  • Alert, mobilize and urge the authorities concerned to understand the seriousness and urgency of the impending threats to the audiovisual heritage of the nations of the world;
  • Implement preservation policies and migration plans for these archives;
  • Define the priority criteria by which preservation action must be taken;
  • Develop cooperation among states to facilitate the implementation of joint solutions for safeguarding and digitization;
  • Encourage knowledge transfer through expert missions and training;
  • Apply immediately measures as recommended by its member federation FIAT/IFTA, to stop the loss of these treasures and encourage support operations in the least developed countries.

(1) Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images, 1980. Memory of the World Programme, initiated in 1992. European Convention for the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage, adopted in Strasbourg on 9 November 2001.

Ten emergency steps recommended by FIAT/IFTA for endangered broadcast archives

  1. Upgrade storage conditions
    • environmental conditions : film (12°, 30% humidity, air circulation), video (18°, 35% humidity)
    • separate storage for film and video material
    • for film affected by the vinegar syndrome : separate storage from the rest of the collection, separate conditioning for film and sound tapes in plastic bags
  2. Create an inventory of the collections
    • considering the physical condition of the material and the value of contents
    • identify the most valuable parts to be preserved in priority
  3. Assess the importance of the collection
  4. Involve your top management in the crusade for archive preservation
  5. Create a culture within the organisation that values the archive
  6. Assess the most urgent training needs, and train archive managers. Provide them with the relevant tools
  7. Draw up rules/guidelines for intake/collecting the archives and access/use of the archives
  8. Make a preservation programme
  9. Market the archive / lobby within the organisation and influential political officials
  10. Acquire the minimum equipment that will give you technical independence
    • viewing and copying equipment
    • documentation software
    • ensure expertise in the use of the equipment and long term maintenance

CCAAA World call for the preservation of broadcast archives

  • It is universally acknowledged that radio and television now have a central place in the modern history of our society and that archives are an essential part of the collective memory of the 20th century and beyond;
  • There are considerable volumes at stake, estimated at 200 million hours;
  • Broadcast archives contain a wealth of works, documents and treasures that are invaluable to world cultural heritage and constitute irreplaceable records of our cultural diversity and identities;
  • This heritage is endangered by the fragility of the media and the obsolescence of equipment required to read the recordings ; entire collections of programmes on film, magnetic tape and disc are at risk of being lost for ever;
  • In the very near future, i.e. within the next 10 to 20 years, a significant portion of this memory will inevitably and irreparably fade away ; the disparity of countries in the face of this threat will further widen the "digital divide" between the poor countries and the rich countries, between the North and the South. This will lead to, in the short term and in an even more profound way, unequal access to the collective memory of nations;
  • There is even greater urgency because the deterioration is not, unlike other types of heritage (such as historic buildings), immediately perceptible to the public, and it is precisely this lack of physical and immediate sense of loss that contributes to a lack of awareness and action;
  • Furthermore, there are now technical solutions to ensure the long-term preservation, access, and reuse of archival records. Among these solutions, is the transfer to a digital format combined with the implementation of appropriate storage conditions. Both require the urgent application of appropriate human and financial resources.

Continuing the action led by UNESCO and the Council of Europe (1), the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) appeals for the attention and vigilance of all to:

  • Alert, mobilize and urge the authorities concerned to understand the seriousness and urgency of the impending threats to the audiovisual heritage of the nations of the world;
  • Implement preservation policies and migration plans for these archives;
  • Define the priority criteria by which preservation action must be taken;
  • Develop cooperation among states to facilitate the implementation of joint solutions for safeguarding and digitization;
  • Encourage knowledge transfer through expert missions and training;
  • Apply immediately measures as recommended by its member federation FIAT/IFTA, to stop the loss of these treasures and encourage support operations in the least developed countries.

(1) Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images, 1980. Memory of the World Programme, initiated in 1992. European Convention for the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage, adopted in Strasbourg on 9 November 2001.

Ten emergency steps recommended by FIAT/IFTA for endangered broadcast archives

  1. Upgrade storage conditions
    • environmental conditions : film (12°, 30% humidity, air circulation), video (18°, 35% humidity)
    • separate storage for film and video material
    • for film affected by the vinegar syndrome : separate storage from the rest of the collection, separate conditioning for film and sound tapes in plastic bags
  2. Create an inventory of the collections
    • considering the physical condition of the material and the value of contents
    • identify the most valuable parts to be preserved in priority
  3. Assess the importance of the collection
  4. Involve your top management in the crusade for archive preservation
  5. Create a culture within the organisation that values the archive
  6. Assess the most urgent training needs, and train archive managers. Provide them with the relevant tools
  7. Draw up rules/guidelines for intake/collecting the archives and access/use of the archives
  8. Make a preservation programme
  9. Market the archive / lobby within the organisation and influential political officials
  10. Acquire the minimum equipment that will give you technical independence
    • viewing and copying equipment
    • documentation software
    • ensure expertise in the use of the equipment and long term maintenance