IASA Initiatives affected by COVID-19

Dear IASA Community,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on IASA initiatives, as I am sure it has with all our professional lives. The Executive Board of IASA first and foremost hopes that everyone in the IASA Community is healthy and safe. We are also aware that many cultural heritage institutions are seeing a significant reduction of resources, putting additional pressure on staff and the valuable heritage items we maintain. We hope that the effect of this disruption is minimal, and that governments and institutions have a heightened awareness of the importance of audiovisual archives as content creators have heavily relied on these resources during the pandemic when the creation of new content has become more difficult.

We would like to address a few IASA initiatives being affected:

  1. The Dietrich Schüller Award for Audiovisual Training: Announced at the 50th IASA Conference in Hilversum, NL, this new award is named in honour of IASA member Dr. Dietrich Schüller in recognition of his major contributions to the development of audiovisual archiving standards and for his passionate advocacy and participation in training of audiovisual archiving practices worldwide. Audiovisual training can be expensive, and for some IASA members, cost prohibitive, especially if no training is available locally. This Award is intended to provide opportunities for professional development by providing successful candidates with funding towards a training programme of their choice. As most training programmes have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, IASA has not fully launched this award programme until there is a return to normal training programmes worldwide. We have, however, increased the budgeted award amount in hopes to better serve our community. More news to come as things develop.
  2. IASA Research Grant: While applications are currently open for this grant programme, IASA asks for patience as our processing time has slowed due to the pandemic. https://www.iasa-web.org/research-grant
  3. IASA-FIAT/IFTA conference 2020: The joint 51st IASA Conference and 44th FIAT/IFTA World Conference hosted by RTÉ was due to be held from 26 to 29 October 2020 at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. As you know, this conference will be held virtually. Still hosted by RTÉ, the IASA and FIAT/IFTA conference planning committees are working hard to bring you an exciting online conference that will hopefully be the most inclusive and accessible conference in our Association’s history. More exciting news to come. Stay tuned! http://www.fiat-iasa-2020.org/
  4. Executive Board meetings and CCAAA: As the world shut down in March, the EB mid-year board meetings in Dublin and the yearly CCAAA meetings in Paris did not take place. Virtual meetings have been utilized instead. And, while business carries on, the mode of working has changed. While adjustments are being made to new workflows, the EB again asks for your patience as replacing a two-day face-to-face meeting with telecom meetings is perceptually slower. We will get better at this over time.

With those issues, IASA has made significant progress on a number of fronts. We will soon publish the anticipated Magnetic Tape Alert Project. There are new Training proposals in the works. We have contracted many new translations of our TC documents. And, we are in the midst of an Executive Board election with an excitingly diverse slate of candidates.

Again, the Executive Board hopes you are well, and we thank you for your continued trust and hard work for the benefit of the IASA Community.


Toby Seay
International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) | President