SOIMA 2013: Safeguarding sound and image collections

23 Sep 2013 to 16 Oct 2013
Nairobi, Kenya

SOIMA 2013: Safeguarding sound and image collections

Dates: 23 September- 16 October 2013

Place: Nairobi, Kenya, with study visits to partner institutions.


  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • Trust for African Rock Art (TARA)

The Course
Today sound and image records account for a large portion of the world’s memory and are found in diverse cultural institutions. As documents of intangible heritage and contemporary culture, they are of immense value. Yet archives, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions around the world are struggling to conserve their sound and image collections in both analogue and digital formats. Moreover, conservation of sound and image materials is complex and requires specialized guidance, skills and infrastructure. While digitization offers new possibilities for wider access and preservation, many institutions lack expertise to assess the technological implications and to make informed choices that do not strain institutional resources and at the same time respect the authenticity and inherent values of this heritage.

The course will provide an overview of issues related to the preservation and access of sound and image materials, for example, photographs, films, video and audiotapes, and digital materials. It will discuss the value, meaning, selection, and use of sound and image collections in various institutional contexts, exploring the potential of sound and image media to transmit knowledge and cultural traditions. Initial sessions will especially focus on identification of various formats including the playback equipment, life expectancy of media, and ways of detecting deterioration. Additional course topics will include: current knowledge and practices for documenting and cataloguing, media handling and storage, risk assessment of collections, emergency preparedness and response, criteria and technologies for migration and reformatting, planning preservation projects, outsourcing options, digital preservation, and management. Other issues such as curating and access, copyright laws, legal deposit, and institutional and national preservation policies, will be discussed in context with participant working realities. Adaptation to technological changes and related cost-effective preservation strategies will form a key component of the course.

Application deadline: 1 March 2013