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AV Think Tank

Through a new Audiovisual Think Tank, visionary experts in the AV cultural heritage sector are working together to map out our shared strategic priorities and put into place a research and action agenda to shape the coming decade. The AV Think Tank looks to represent major AV archives and digital cultural heritage professionals from across the globe and closely connects these key players to work collectively at the forefront of the sector in consultation with the wider community. Initiated and actively supported by Sound and Vision, the AV Think Tank aims to lay the groundwork for an AV archiving sector that enables more long-term use of, learning with, and education through AV materials.

White Paper

As one of the AV Think Tank’s first steps, the 2018 White Paper, Towards a New Audiovisual Think Tank for Audiovisual Archivists and Cultural Heritage Professionals, was commissioned by Sound and Vision. The White Paper aims to facilitate stakeholders large and small in the preservation of audiovisual heritage to identify their strategic priorities over the coming decade and define the collective action needed to enact these priorities.

Towards a New Audiovisual Think Tank, written by Peter B. Kaufman of Intelligent Television and MIT, addresses the current context of the work that audiovisual archivists and cultural heritage professionals do and many of the challenges they face. The paper is meant to start a collective conversation with the wider AV archiving and cultural heritage communities and within the AV Think Tank itself in an effort to map out a forward-thinking, relevant, and impactful research and action agenda for the coming ten years.


From the White Paper

“Archiving, properly defined, is the establishment and then stewardship of the human record, and the remembering that it facilitates may be the most critically important imperative in modern human society.” The paper considers archiving to be a vitally proactive process and emphasises the productive publishing nature of archiving, stating, “It’s not preserving alone, but also capturing and creating the human record – especially when activist groups are involved – and taking forward-facing steps to fulfill these urgent and giant social mandates and imperatives to remember, for today and for tomorrow. And archives that recognize themselves as media producers, too, in their preservation and access roles [...] often have an easier time of articulating their mission publicly in the digital age.”

This White Paper puts forth ten recommendations as strategic priorities, recommendations around which action, research and development, and resources could be organised. Each recommendation is accompanied by a timeline with a proposal of the first collective actions to take. From exploring new partnerships and revenue models to experimenting with technology, supporting free and liberal licenses, and working more closely with creators, the ten recommendations paint a picture of the next decade of audiovisual archiving and the importance of collaboration and collective action.

To join the conversation about our shared strategic priorities, follow and comment on the White Paper on Medium here.


Download the White Paper

Next Actions

The AV Think Tank is committed to following up on these recommendations through a series of activities. The AV Think Tank is creating task forces and working groups focused on these issues. These groups will conduct further research and connect with other relevant stakeholder groups; lay the groundwork for policy and practice recommendations through the creation of handbooks, strategy papers, and other publications; and develop actions plans that connect directly to the interests of AV archivists and cultural heritage professionals. Through these activities, this group of international experts, in consultation with the wider community, is working to articulate an international research and action agenda of our shared strategic priorities for the next ten years.


The core team of the AV Think Tank currently includes:

  • Bill Thompson, BBC, Head of Partnership Development, Archive Development & Partnership Lead, Make It Digital
  • Erwin Verbruggen, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Project Lead R&D
  • Giovanna Fossati,  EYE Film Institute Netherlands, Chief Curator & University of Amsterdam, Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture
  • Johan Oomen, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Manager, Research & Development
  • Louise Broch, DR Arkiv (Danmarks Radio /Danish Broadcasting Corporation), Information Specialist
  • Dr Phang Lai Tee, National Archives of Singapore, Deputy Director, an institution of the National Library Board
  • Paul Gerhardt, BFI, Director of Education
  • Pelle Snickars, Umeå University, Professor of Media & Communication Studies
  • Peter B. Kaufman, Intelligent Television, Founder and Executive Producer & MIT Office of Digital Learning, Research Affiliate
  • Rachael Stoeltje, Indiana University Bloomington, Director, Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
  • Richard Ranft, The British Library, Head of Sound & Vision
  • Tony Ageh, New York Public Library, Chief Digital Officer
  • William Uricchio, MIT, Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Principal Investigator Open Doc Lab & Utrecht University, Professor of Comparative Media History
  • AV Think Tank Coordinator: Rachel Somers Miles, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision



Connect with Us

The core team of the AV Think Tank is by invitation, but we openly invite comment from and conversation with anyone interested in our shared audiovisual cultural heritage.

To contact the AV Think, please email:

Stay tuned to this page for updates on AV Think Tank activities and future calls for conversation and participation.


Download the White Paper
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