Information Bulletin no. 23, October 1997

Cinématique au feu!

IASA received this report in August from the Cinémateque française in Paris:

"Un incendie a ravagé la toiture du Palais de chaillot ou se trouve la Cinématheque française dans la nuit du 23 juillet. Plus de 200 pompiers ont été mobilisé pour venir a bout du sinistre. Des litres d'eau ont rapidement envahi tout le Musée du Cinéma et la Salle de projection. Les collections (affiches, decors, maquettes...) ont heureusement pu etre evacuées a temps, et les quelques objets touchés pourront etre restaurés. Mais le musée a du etre entierement demonté et mis en caisse. La salle de projection entierement innondée sera inutilisable pendant plusieurs mois, les appareils de projection étant detruit. Les quelques films entreposés à Chaillot n'ont pas été endommagé. Nous sommes donc a la recherche d'une nouvelle salle de projection".

[During the night of the 23rd July a fire broke out on the roof of the Palais de Chaillot where the French film institute is based. More than two hundred firemen attended the blaze. Due to the amount of water used the film museum and projection room were badly flooded. Most of the collection items (posters, scenery, models) were fortunately removed to safety before it could be damaged and those items which were damaged are repairable. However, all the museum displays have had to be taken down and the items put into boxes and it will not be possible to make use of the projection room again for several months since all the projection equipment was destroyed. Fortunately there was no damage done to the few films kept at Chaillot. We are therefore looking for a new projection room].

Director change at Phonotèque

Following the departure of Gerald Grunberg to Alexandria last spring, the Département de la Phonotèque et de l'Audiovisuel of the Bibliothèque National de France will be nominating a new director in December. Until then, Isabelle Giannattasio is the Acting Director.

IASA President commissioned

Sweden has a long tradition of legal deposit. The Statutory Deposit Act dates from 1661 and since 1979 has covered audio-visual as well as printed material. One copy of every printed publication must be delivered to the Royal Library and one copy of every broadcast programme (radio and television), film, videogram and phonogram must be delivered to the National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images (ALB). The law also includes certain electronic documents like CD-ROMs and floppy discs.

Now the Swedish Government has appointed Sven Allerstrand (President of IASA and Director of the ALB) to chair a committee with the task to investigate whether it is desirable and possible to amend the law in order to include such electronic documents that fall outside the scope of the present legal deposit legislation: documents on the Internet, databases that are publicly available, etc. The committee will study selection criteria, the technological aspects of acquisition and storage, access and copyright and also the costs associated with the extension of legal deposit. A group of experts had been appointed and a report is due to be delivered to the Government not later than September 1st, 1998.

An international overview of legal deposit will certainly form part of the final report and Sven is interested to get into contact with people who are doing similar work in other countries. If you have any information that you would like to share with his committee, please send an e-mail to Sven. The committee has set up its own website,, but unfortunately it is only in Swedish for the moment. Sven promises to keep the IASA membership informed about the work and will present a full report at the 1998 Annual Conference in Paris.

Digital Jukebox - a Swedish test project

Olle Johansson writes: "Arkivet för ljud och bild (ALB) - the Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images - has developed a digital jukebox together with the Swedish Rock Archives.

The jukebox contains two hundred Swedish rock and pop songs from the 1950's and later, stored in digital form together with the sleeves, catalogue information and factual material on the groups and artists. The jukebox is accessible only at ALB (for copyright reasons, it will not be available over the Internet), but it is available to all visitors, not just to researchers, until the 25th of August 1998.

This is a way of testing the new digital technology. In the future, jukeboxes of this kind will probably be in use in most sound and moving image archives. Instead of the time-consuming procedures of today, the researcher will simply go to a PC, look in the databases, find an interesting recording, push a few buttons and will be able to listen or watch instantly.

It will, naturally, take some time and effort to digitise the material in the archives - the ALB has approximately three million hours of recorded sound in its vaults - but it is possible to start with the most frequently demanded material, and then move on. This is at least a start for ALB".

NSA is moving

The National Sound Archive will be transferring the bulk of its services to the new British Library building at St Pancras on 29th October and will re-open to the public from November 24th.

The postal address for NSA from October 29th will be:

96 Euston Road
St Pancras
Tel. + 44 (0)171 412 7440
Fax. + 44 (0)171 412 7441

Individuals' phone and fax numbers remain as they are, i.e. Chris Clark ext. 7411, fax 7413.

The British Library has also used this opportunity to change its website, doing away with the "portico" label altogether and obliging all callers to enter via the "main gate" rather than slipping in to the part they most need to consult! Therefore to access the National Sound Archive you now have to write, select from the first page "Collections" and then select "Sound archive".

FIAT out of TCC

George Boston, Chairman of the Technical Co-ordinating Committee (TCC) writes:

"It was with a feeling of regret that I received the news that FIAT had decided to withdraw from the TCC. FIAF, IASA and ICA retain for the moment their representation on the Committee.

The world of archives is undergoing major technical changes. The introduction of storage systems able to hold many types of information - sounds, images, texts, data etc - and provide much improved access to the material will radically change the way that we work. It would be far better for the archive NGOs to co-operate to ensure that these changes are to the benefit of the materials that are entrusted to our safe-keeping.

The role of the TCC is not to replace the existing technical bodies in the NGOs. It is to help prevent the duplication of work by each NGO and, thus, make better use of scarce resources. The TCC has provided a channel for the exchange of information and a means of organising co-operative projects for the benefit of all three NGOs.

The future of the TCC will now have to be examined to see if it is possible for it to continue to work effectively without representation from one important area of interest".

Library of Congress revises AMIM

Harriett Harrison reports: "The Library of Congress announces plans to revise its AACR2-based cataloging manual, Archival Moving Image materials (AMIM). First published in 1984, the manual was designed to provide instructions for the bibliographic description of moving image materials held by film and television archives. The manual was the result of the joint efforts of moving image cataloging experts from archives throughout the United States and was funded in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Work was carried out under the auspices of the Library and the joint Committee on Specialized Cataloging of the Council of National Library and Information Associations (CNLIA).

The aim of the AMIM manual was to adapt existing library standards for cataloging audiovisual materials to the special requirements of moving image archives. Among the most ground-breaking of the special provisions of the manual was the recording of sets of multiple details within a single record. The concept took into account the reality that for moving image archives there was little of the "normal" situation underlying library cataloging standards: the existence of single, ideally complete, physical units in multiple copies bearing identical bibliographic indicia. The AMIM manual enabled archives to describe various print, pre-print, and viewing copy generations -- both in film and video -- within a single record. As the introduction to the 1984 edition stated:

"A moving image archive considers that these sets of multiple details need to be given in one catalog record: a complete "item" may be the sum of these parts."

Rapid advances in moving image technology, coupled with the expansion of television and video archives since the early 1980s, have combined with the increased application of automated technologies for cataloging in moving image archives to invite a review of the provisions of the manual, and to incorporate the content designation of USMARC within its examples. This perceived need has been paralleled in the library community where a major study of cataloging principles is underway. This study will reach its first concerted expression in an upcoming International Conference on the Principles and Future Development of AACR. The conference is sponsored by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR (JSCAACR) and will be held on October 23-25, 1997 in Toronto, Canada. Attendance at the conference will be by invitation only.

These forces have led the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office to undertake the AMIM review. For the purposes of the review, we are seeking advice and suggestions from as broad a range of specialists and interested professionals as possible. Already the Cataloging and Documentation Committee of AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists), is working on contributions, and we encourage additional suggestions and comments from the IASA members. Comments and suggestions will be accepted until January 15, 1998 at:

Cataloging Policy and Support Office
Library of Congress
10 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20054-4305
Tel: (202)707-4380
FAX: (202)707-6629

Sites and sounds

Continuing our quarterly round-up of websites of interest to IASA, here is a trio which may be of use in documentation and rights clearance:

ASCAP Clearance Express (ACE) contains a database providing information on all compositions in the ASCAP repertory which have appeared in any of ASCAP's surveys, including foreign compositions licensed by ASCAP in the United States.

Likewise, BMI [Broadcast Music Incorporated] Repertoire provides details about millions of songs, while SESAC Repertory On-Line, another major licensing organisation, prefaced with dire warnings in red on black, offers its own fascinating resource for consultation and perusal.

In less commercial vein, the IAT Music Link Library , which replaces Online Music Scholarship Resources from the Institute for Academic Technology at the University of North Carolina, is described as "an evolving resource meant to serve those interested in the move of music in higher education into the information age. It was compiled initially as part of a planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The kinds of resources we are collecting reflect our research interests. These include music in particular, but also resources which help us understand Internet issues germane to research and education in the humanities and to the information age in general. Our goal is to provide a representative, annotated guide, not an exhaustive compilation.

For applications of IT in higher education see Computers and Texts (online from vol.11) at Although primarily concerned with textual studies, topics relevant to IASA work are occasionally featured, such as David Silver's Multimedia, Multilinearity, and Multivocality in the Hypermedia Classroom, vol.14 (April 1997) which examines the chief characteristic of multimedia, namely the simultaneous presentation of a multiplicity of meanings and messages, thereby providing the opportunity for new modes of interpretation and learning. In the latest issue, vol.15 (August 1997) Murray Weston of the British Universities Film & Video Council clarifies some misunderstandings which had followed his institution's earlier response (also included here) to the U.K. Government consultation paper Legal Deposit of Publications. This material may be of wider interest to IASA members concerned with the archiving of broadcast material. The article also includes links to the British Library's proposal for extending legal deposit to non-print publications in the U.K.

IASA rules in London

Mary Miliano reports on a busy session of the IASA Editorial Group to develop the Cataloguing Rules for Audiovisual Media With Emphasis on Sound Recordings:

Our thanks and appreciation to the National Sound Archive in London for hosting our meeting on 10-11 April 1997. Most of those attending were also available to participate in an extension of the meeting on the Saturday morning (12 April) at another venue. Those who attended were Daniele Branger, Chris Clark, Elsebeth Kirring, Maria Gallego, Olle Johansson (minutes secretary) and Mary Miliano (convenor). Apologies were received from Frank Huck and Lasse Vihonen, and from Harriet Harrison, who for private reasons, has retired from the project.

Prior to the meeting, drafts (some running to twenty pages or more) were circulated for Area 0 (Preliminary notes), Area 1 (Title and statement of responsibility), Area 2 (Edition), Area 3 (Publication, production, broadcasting, distribution, etc and date(s) of creation), Area 4 (Copyright), Area 5 (Physical description), Area 6 (Series), Area 7 (Notes - 2 drafts), Area 8 (Standard numbers) and Area 9 (Analytics/Multilevel description). In addition some written comments on these were circulated prior to the meeting.

Fruitful discussion on the finer points of the drafts generated a necessary reschedule for this year's work. The 1997 schedule is now: 1. Circulate revised drafts in June; 2. Circulate written comments in September; 3. Discussion to finalise revisions in October (at 3 day pre-conference meeting in Oman); 4. Prepare and circulate/mount on the IASA home page of the Internet the final version for international comment in/before December.

Two additional meetings following this are anticipated: a mid-year meeting in London early in 1998, and a pre- conference meeting in Paris. The deadline for camera-ready copy remains at end 1998.

Comment: The opportunity for the Editorial Group to hold the mid-year, face-to-face discussion in London was truly invaluable for progressing our work and its quality. Without the London meeting, we would have had to postpone the work until the Oman conference in October."

Finnish vintage on-line

It is only a matter of time (and perhaps money) before all the catalogues of IASA member archives are available over the Internet. Latest to appear is the Catalogue of Finnish Records 1901-1945 elegantly compiled by the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound. The main access is by record label. By selecting a particular label you then get brief entries in prefix/serial number order describing the contents: e.g. select "Tri-Ergon", the second recording in the sequence for this label is displayed:

TE 5585 EMIL SVARTSTRÖM, tenori, orkesterin säestyksellä (1929)

02548-1 Hyv'yötä vaan (The sunshine of your smile) (3:43), (Lilian Ray)

02549-1 Soi vienosti murheeni soitto (2:42), (Oskar Merikanto, san. Heikki Ansa)

More details about the Catalogue can be obtained from Pekka Gronow.

Digitisation as a Method of Preservation?

The report Digitisation as a method of preservation? is now available free of charge from the European Commission for Preservation and Access in Amsterdam. Tel: +31 20 5510 839; FAX: +31 20 620 4941; E-Mail:

This is a translation of a report written in German for ICA by Hartmut Weber and others of the Bundesarchiv. It concerns the problems of digitising texts and the comparative advantages of microfilming, taking the view that carriers used for digitisation are "notoriously unstable", a view which is shared by the computing world in that it recommends that magnetic tapes containing data should be renewed regularly with safe Life Expectancies of five years being commonly quoted, and even of one year according to some commentators.

First in the land?

ADAM, the Art, Design, Architecture & Media Information Gateway, is a service being developed to help people find useful, quality-assured information on the Internet including IASA-related concerns such as:

  • contemporary media, including those using technology

  • film, television, broadcasting, photography and animation

  • theory; relevant historical, philosophical and contextual studies

  • museum studies and conservation

  • professional practice related to any of the above

ADAM helps locate the relevant information by providing a searchable on-line catalogue describing Internet resources such as web sites or electronic mailing lists, in much the same way as a library catalogue describes bibliographic resources such as books and journals.

Take a look at At the time of writing, a search for "sound" under the "conservation" category only yielded seven sites, mostly connected with film. The same seven appeared when searching the same term under "media", but it's a start.

Copyright focus

IFLA Journal (vol.23 nol.4), 1997 was a special issue devoted to Copyright, presumably aimed at priming their International Conference on Rights and Exceptions to be held in Amsterdam at the end of October (see Events page). Contents include:

  • Ethics and Copyright: A Developing Country Perspective

  • Copyright in Mexico: An Overview

  • Libraries and Publishers in the Digital Environment

  • Availability and Copyright

  • Royalties and Payments: Why Pay for Copyright? What Are Words Worth?

  • Copyright, Library Provision and the Visually Handicapped Reader

  • Copyright, Libraries, and the Electronic Information Environment: Discussions and Developments in the United States

  • Electronic Copyright Management Systems: Dream, Nightmare or Reality?

  • European Copyright User Platform

  • Copyright Legislation, Fair Use and the Efficient Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge

  • Copyright and Fair Use in the Electronic Information Age

  • PLR in a Copyright Context

The consideration given to exceptions, notably the Anglo-American concept of "fair use" or "fair dealing" is very timely in view of the present call from certain copyright owners (mainly publishers) to curtail or even abolish fair dealing in the electronic environment (see message posted to from Sandy Norman (UK Library Association), 17 September 1997. Abstracts of these articles can be found at

Meanwhile, a concise explanation of "fair use" Fair Use: Overview and Meaning for Higher Education by Kenneth D. Crewscan be found at

IFLA advertisement

The following personnel advertisement for the position of Co-ordinator of Professional Activities has been received from IFLA. The deadline for nominations may well have passed by the time you read this but there will still be time to put in an application:

"IFLA seeks a recognized professional in the library/information field with a demonstrated record of increasing professional and managerial responsibilities for the position of Coordinator of Professional Activities. She/he will coordinate IFLA's professional programmes, through which IFLA contributes to the development of the library and information profession worldwide. IFLA is a non-governmental organisation (grouping together more than 1600 members in over 140 countries) with its headquarters (10 persons) located in The Hague, Netherlands.

The Co-ordinator of Professional Activities serves as executive secretary to the Professional Board (PB), ensuring that PB decisions are carried out. The work of the PB involves identifying, developing and evaluating projects, seminars, etc. With the PB, the Coordinator encourages, supports and monitors the work of IFLA's five permanent Core Programmes and IFLA's 45 professional volunteer groups (Divisions, Sections, Round Tables). Further responsibilities involve financial management, fundraising and international representation. Candidates should be prepared to engage in an international travel schedule.

The position requires both professional and managerial expertise, preferably in international (library) work; strong language abilities: IFLA operates with English, French, Spanish, German and Russian as official languages - strong command of two of them preferred; leadership and communication skills. Library and/or Information Science education and work experience would be an advantage.

The fulltime position will become available from April 1998 and will be based in The Hague, Netherlands. Salary commensurate with the responsibilities of the position. Send full CV and names of 3 references to Leo Voogt, Secretary General, PO Box 95312, 2509 CH, The Hague, Netherlands in an envelope marked "Personal" or by fax to 31 70 3834827. Applications will be treated in confidence and must be received by November 30, 1997. (Nominations welcome - deadline October 15).

For information on IFLA check A more extensive profile of the position is available on request."


Further to the report in IASA Journal No.9 by Albrecht Haefner, details of a survey of existing music projects under the European Commission's aegis can be found at This includes a new project relating to copyright,, concerned with agreements for libraries in the music area.

Sound confection

The NSA has in its collection of artefacts a Stollwerke machine designed to play the company's own brand of hillandale sound recordings which were made of chocolate. To the NSA's knowledge, no chocolate discs have survived (would they still be playable, let alone edible?). Latterly, no less a company than Microsoft has emulated the Stollwerke example by providing compact discs made of chocolate in lunch boxes given to software developers and programmers at company functions. According to the report which appeared in New Scientist (9 August 1997), each disc is accompanied by a piece of paper which states: "Warning: Do not place chocolate in any CD drive or device; for human consumption only".

Short changed?

As you can see, the volume of material arriving at the IASA news desk has been rather less than usual during this period and preparations for the IASA Conference in Oman during the first two weeks of October have meant that this issue has had to be produced to a deadline which is tighter than normal.

Calendar of events

Date Event Location
Oct 4-9 IASA Annual Conference Muscat, Oman
Oct SEAPAVAA Executive Council meeting Hanoi
Oct 21 - Nov 12 UNESCO General Conference Paris
Oct 27-29 FIAF Executive Committee Beijing
Oct 30-31 IFLA International Conference on Rights and Exceptions Amsterdam (changed from Budapest)
Nov 17-22 AMIA conference Washington DC
1998 March SEAPAVAA Annual Conference Hanoi
Mar 13-14 FIAT Executive Council Meeting Lisbon
Apr 21-26 FIAF Annual Congress Prague
May ARSC General Conference Syracuse, NY
June 14-18 X International Oral History Conference Rio De Janeiro
Jul 20-24 Conservation conference: Care of photographic, moving image and sound collections York, UK
Aug IFLA Council and General Conference Amsterdam
Aug - Sept IASA Annual Conference Paris
Sep 27 - Oct 1 FIAT Conference & General Assembly Florence
November FIAF Executive Committee San Juan, Puerto Rico
March SEAPAVAA Annual Conference Kuala Lumpur
April FIAF Annual Congress Madrid
May IASA Annual Conference Vienna
August IFLA Council and General Conference Bangkok
November FIAF Executive Committee Toulouse
April FIAF Annual Conference London
August IFLA Council and General Conference Jersusalem
November FIAF Executive Committee New York

This Information Bulletin was compiled by:

The Editor of IASA, Chris Clark,
The British Library National Sound Archive, 29 Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AS, UK,
tel. 44 171 412 7411, fax 44 171 412 7413, e-mail,

Elsebeth Kirring, Statsbiblioteket, Universitetsparken, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark,
tel. 45 8946 2055, fax 45 8946 2050, e-mail

Printed in Budapest, Hungary


In particular, you are urged to notify IASA (via this Bulletin, or via the Secretary General) of any changes to the contact details printed in the current IASA Directory.