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The future of audiovisual archives

A visual presentation of the session to formulate the vision. Made by Visuality.

To celebrate the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage the SOIMA community has shared their ten-year vision for audiovisual preservation and access. This ten-year vision was formulated last September during the SOIMA: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritageconference held in Brussels. They now invite the wider audiovisual archive community to provide feedback on their vision, and how to reach it.

Formulating the vision

The SOIMA (Sound and Image Collections Conservation) programme was initiated 9 years ago by ICCROM, an IGO formed founded to promote the conservation of all types of cultural heritage. SOIMA courses for audiovisual archivist were started to help audiovisual archives gain the required knowledge, skills and resources in the transition from analogue to digital formats. The SOIMA conference in September was held to broaden the discussion on the future of audiovisual heritage. It brought together many former SOIMA course participants as well as numerous additional voices. During a session delegates jointly mapped out their ten-year vision for audiovisual preservation and access.

Smart, connected and open

SOIMA envisions the future of audiovisual archives to be smart, connected and open. The future for audiovisual archives is digital. Managing born digital archives is already a reality for many archives. Audiovisual archives will grow to become nodes in a network of communities along with other content providers and a variety of stakeholders from various industries. Multiple formats and standards will need to be adopted to allow interchange between collections. Therefore the role of archivist will change to a media manager, managing assets from inception to distribution and long-term storage. Archives will need to use smart technologies and collaborate with third parties to co-design and co-develop new technologies. But also be connected to other sources of information, to a variety of often niche user communities, researchers and the creative industries. And finally fully embrace ‘open’ as the default to have maximum impact in society.

From vision to reality

To make this vision a reality a number of actions will have to be taken. The SOIMA community elaborate on how they propose to realize this vision in this piece. Feedback can also be left there or by contacting Johan Oomen.