Information Bulletin no. 46, July 2003

Pretoria Conference, September 2003

This is an important message from the local organising committee of the forthcoming annual conference in Pretoria in September:

Please note that the payment details have changed. The revised procedure is as follows:

Payment can be made by electronic international bank transfer, or by simply sending a cheque.

  1. Deposits by delegates in South Africa:
    ABSA Hatfield
    Bank Code: 3355-4515
    Account no: 21400 00038

  2. Deposits by International delegates:
    SWIFT ABSAZAJJCPT (one word)
    Sort Code: 335545
    Account no: 204388-USD-1051-01

Contact person for all payments:
Leonie van Wyk
Tel No: +27 12 420-3651
Fax No: +27 12 420-2248

You need to specify that the transfer concerns the IASA 2003 Conference and include your name, address and institution. Please fax a copy of your deposit slip so that we can trace your payment.

No credit card transactions are possible.

This revised information has been updated on the web:

We look forward to seeing you in Pretoria!

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The rights of broadcasting organisations was the subject of a meeting Crispin Jewitt, past president of IASA, attended at WIPO in June. He was there as Convenor of CCAAA to bring some visibility to the concerns of audiovisual archives at an inter-governmental organisation that sets the agenda for national legislation in the field of intellectual property rights. Apart from governmental delegations, the back rows of the meeting chamber were populated by numerous accredited observers comprising mainly NGOs such as CCAAA, but also including a number of other inter-governmental organisations such as UNESCO. Prominent among the interests represented by the NGOs were musicians, actors, journalists, film producers, actors' and writers' agents, collection societies, music publishers, phonogram publishers, and broadcasters. IASA, together with the other AV archive associations and federations, was represented by CCAAA.

The principal business of the meeting was updating of the current regime of protection for broadcasters to take account of developments such as cable delivery and webcasting. The main issue in contention was whether to include webcasting in the scope of broadcasting for purposes of the business in hand. The Japanese delegation were prominent opponents of inclusion, whereas the USA felt strongly that it would be absurd to exclude webcasting from the first treaty of the 21st Century. A third group took the position that legislation should be framed only in response to demonstrable need, and that the need for legal protection of webcasters' rights had not yet been demonstrated.

So, where did the interests of audiovisual archive professionals figure in this debate? The Chairman's daily assessment of progress provided an opportunity to intervene on the subject of rights to restrict copying. CCAAA was able to present a short statement on the public interest in granting an exemption from this restriction for archival repositories that undertake preservation and collection management activities. Future progress will culminate in a diplomatic conference at which serious horse-trading will deliver a treaty for the due process of ratification by WIPO member national governments. A separate meeting on audiovisual issues in particular will be convened in November and CCAAA is looking forward to representing IASA's interests again on that occasion.

New members

Joyce Jenje, 18 Wessex Drive, Box M 163, Mabelreign, HARARE, Zimbabwe.
Joyce says: 'I am a researcher in music/gender issues and media and I have collected a lot of material in the form of newspaper cuttings, interviews on audio and video and I feel I have to be a member of this organisation and meet with other archivists. I would also like to contribute stories in the IASA Journal'

District Six Museum, PO Box 10178, Caledon Square, 7905 Cape Town, South Africa who joins IASA because it would enable them to receive information that 'keeps our organisation up to date with what we consider to be very important archival practices. We would like to see how other similar institutions deal with their collections, how they overcome whatever problems they are faced with.'

Daniel Sbardella from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023

Monsieur Djama Amareh Meidal, Director General from the Direction nationale des Archives, présidence de la République, BP 387, Djibouti, République de Djibouti

Angeles del Río Campi, Calle Porvenir 1A -BjoB- Colmenarejo 28270, Madrid, Spain joins IASA because 'I am a documentary filmmaker'.

Shai Drori, pob 3733, 91036 Jerusalem, Israel
Shai is a sound engineer who specialises in restoration and conservation of archives. He would like to be informed of new information and studies about the subject.

Albrecht Gasteiner, Omniphon Music Production & Recording Studio, P O Box 323, CH- 4007 Basel, Switzerland
When asked why he would like to join IASA, Albrecht replied: 'Well, I transfer some 200 to 300 hours of archive-material per year from acetate, shellac, LP and tape of every possible and impossible flavour to digital data-carriers. To me, the determination to combine the best of musical and historical experience with cutting-edge technology is reason enough to join IASA.'

Broad IASA involvement in the Segundo Seminario Nacional de Archivos Sonoros y Audiovisuales

Albrecht Haefner writes that IASA's involvement in the Segundo Seminario Nacional de Archivos Sonoros y Audiovisuales, which was held from 19 to 23 May 2003 in Mexico City, Mexico, was quite successful.

At the 1st International Seminar Los Archivos Sonoros y Visuales en América Latina, 22-24 November 2001 in Mexico City, which was organised by Radio Educacion, one of Mexico's few public service radio stations, IASA already proved its competence through the participation of a wide range of experts who contributed either by reading a paper or holding a workshop. Just 18 months later, it was again Radio Educacion, with its Director-General Lidia Camacho as "spiritual mother" and driving force, that organized and hosted a 5-day follow-up event, this time aimed mainly at local attendance.

The Centro Nacional de las Artes was chosen as the venue, an ideal place for the seminar, a really lovely and quiet oasis amid the noisy and frenetic melée of Mexico City (which, with about 20 million residents, is said to be the biggest of the world's big cities). Concentrated on this spot you find a cinema, a conservatory, the national dance college, the national painting college, theatres, the national theatre college, a library, lecture halls, forums and more. These are surrounded by a palm-lined park, housed in separate modern buildings of different appearance but designed, quite obviously, by a single outstanding architect who, it seems, was allowed to have his or her artistic fling.

Thanks to Lidia Camacho, the visionary and energetic Directora General of Radio Educacion, Mexico is among the first in Latin America to become so actively aware, and to raise awareness, of the country's rich audiovisual heritage and its constant threat of deterioration and obsolescence. It was recognized that the need to take immediate preservation measures would be successful only if close co-operation between as many as possible of the local organisations such as fonotecas and other archival institutions could be initiated and realised. A long-term objective might be to establish a Fonoteca Nacional de Mexico.

As to the seminar proper: keynote speeches were delivered, including one by Joie Springer from UNESCO, who is well know to the AV archival community around the world, and introduced the Memory of the World programme to the auditory. The course of the daily programme was arranged in a very interesting way: paper sessions in the morning (9am - 2pm) and workshops in the afternoon (4pm - 8pm). Of course, digitisation was the main topic among all the seminar participants as well as the speakers.

IASA President Kurt Deggeller conveyed IASA greetings and presented the latest version of the IASA TC-03 document (announced as Código de ética de IASA), a Spanish version of which was launched thanks to our diligent Mexican colleague Fernando Osorio, who did the translation. Moreover, IASA's experience was excellently represented by the contributions of four experts, each of them reading a paper as well as leading a 4-hour workshop: Rainer Hubert, Austrian Mediathek in Vienna, dealt in his paper with the structure of, and the workflow in, his institution which has been using a digital mass storage system for the past few years. After defining the most basic terms used, his workshop repeated the subject in detail, concentrating on the problems arising from, and aiming at explaining the complexity of, such a system. Documentation specialist Olle Johannson, from the Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images in Stockholm, introduced the IASA Cataloguing Rules and gave examples of catalogue records. In his workshop, the participants had to do exercises in cataloguing sound and video, using copies of sleeves, covers and containers, and discussing solutions, problems, options, and variants. Dietrich Schueller's paper treated The Analogue-to-Digital Transfer - A Key Element of Digital Preservation. In his workshop, he went further into the matter by giving a lot of practical considerations. Albrecht Haefner read a paper on The bridge from Analogue to Digital: Challenges and Tendencies for the Digitization of Sound Archives. My workshop included two subjects: "The broadcast archive today and requirements of tomorrow" and "Content management and work flow in future radio sound archives". All the speakers confirmed that a surprisingly large number of workshop attendants had been listening attentively to the expositions (which were, according to Albrecht, sometimes not easy to follow).

Whereas the first three days of the seminar focused on audio matters, the fourth day was dedicated to video, taking a closer look at the actual situation of the TV archives in Mexico. The final day was devoted to the issue of how a standardized audiovisual documentation system could be achieved in Mexico. On this occasion, FIAT/IFTA member Annemieke de Jong from the Netherland's Institute for Sound and Vision presented the Spanish version of her book Metadata in the Audiovisual Production Environment. And Tedd Urnes from Norway (better known as Tedd Johanson, he was the FIAT Secretary-General and FIAT President in the 90s) presented a film on digitization of the sound archives of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

The seminar was perfectly organized down to the last detail, directed by Perla Olivia Resendiz (affectionately called Perlita owing to her tirelessness in seeing to everything).

Will there be a third Mexican seminar? It certainly looks as though there could be, if one talks with those responsible for maintaining the current direction, which might lead eventually in the far future to a Mediateca Nacional de Mexico. These activities will, beyond the Mexican borders, have positive effects on the archival situation in the Caribbean and Latin America region.

CCAAA's Fourth Annual Meeting

From Paris, Catherine Lacken, rapporteur at the fourth CCAAA annual meeting, reports that the CCAAA (Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archive Associations) held its fourth annual meeting in Paris on 21 March.

Subjects discussed at the meeting included the Joint Technical Symposium that is due to take place in Canada in the early summer of next year. AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) is organising this event with the support of the other CCAAA members. The venue and date are to be finalised shortly. Meanwhile the planning committee, which comprises representatives of all seven CCAAA members, is working on the programme. A three-day event is planned, with one day devoted to each of the following: film, video and sound issues. Lars Gaustad is IASA's representative on the JTS planning committee.

IASA and its sister organisation FIAT have proposed a joint training programme to co-ordinate training activities aimed at helping audiovisual archives in the developing and least developed countries. Although both organisations have been active in this field in the past, the presidents of both organisations recognise the benefits of closer co-operation. Other CCAAA members expressed interest in this co-operation, and UNESCO has promised support. A meeting to discuss implementation of these proposals will be held in June.

On the day before the meeting, representatives of member NGOs met at ICA's Paris offices to discuss programme contributions on audiovisual archive issues to the ICA World Congress to be held in Vienna in August 2004. The Vienna Congress will see a departure from traditional procedures - there will be a move away from the big plenary sessions and towards several concurrent streams, which will allow for more interaction between participants and speakers. Audiovisual issues will be firmly on the agenda and ICA has asked IASA to co-ordinate the contributions by CCAAA member organisations to the audiovisual sessions. IASA is drafting a preliminary programme for the content of these sessions.

Ray Edmondson of IASA and SEAPAVAA has drawn up guidelines for the nomination of audiovisual items for UNESCO's Memory of the World programme. Ray is CCAAA's representative on the MOW Register Subcommittee, which reviews nominations received. The number of nominations for audiovisual documents is expected to increase dramatically in the next few years, and this in turn could have a beneficial influence on the preservation of audiovisual cultural heritage. Nominations for the MOW programme can be made by individuals or organisations, so wide participation is encouraged.

Crispin Jewitt, Immediate past-President of IASA is the new CCAAA Convenor. He succeeds Kurt Deggeller in this role. Kurt retired as Convenor before the formal expiry of his term of office on account of his increasing commitments as IASA's new president.

RIT Studies Increasing Shelf Life for History Preserved on Tape: Image Permanence Institute receives grant to enhance magnetic tape storage

The sights and sounds of recent history come alive again by pressing the "play" button, thanks to the preservation of these moments on magnetic tape. Researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology are working to ensure that these audio and video recordings remain a viable resource to future generations.

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI), part of RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, received nearly $400 000 to support its three-year study, Preservation of Magnetic Tape Collections. The grant is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

"As a research lab, the Image Permanence Institute is dedicated to preserving that part of our cultural heritage captured on recording media," explains James Reilly, IPI director. "With this research grant, we will be able to focus on the deterioration of magnetic tape and work on creating techniques to help libraries, museums and archives save their collections."

With the development of audio tapes in the late 1940s and the first video recorders in the mid-1950s, magnetic tape became a valuable tool for recording important national and world events.

But storage of magnetic tape is not permanent. Most magnetic tapes deteriorate within 10 to 30 years. The Library of Congress Report on the State of American Television and Video Preservation (1997) summed up the state of magnetic tape records as precarious.

Preservation methods developed in IPI labs will be tested on established collections at a half dozen prominent institutions. These participants include Columbia Library, Kennedy Library; the Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress; State Archives of Michigan, and Northeast Historic Film.

IPI, the world's largest independent laboratory devoted to research on the preservation of information recording material, is co-sponsored by RIT and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T). IPI research is an important source of new preservation technology for libraries, archives, government agencies and museums around the world.

For more information on IPI, visit

Audiovisual Archiving: Our National Heritage and History Conference

Dates: November 4 - 9 2003, Knutsford Court Hotel, 16 Chelsea Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica

The conference will include a suite of information sharing strategies: workshops, plenary sessions and one-to-one discussions on a range of important issues and trends in audiovisual archiving. The sessions will be presented by a number of international and regional experts. The conference will be conducted in English.

The plenary sessions will be conducted under the following themes: Why Archives? Why Care? and The Future.

Target audience: Librarians, archivists, advertisers, public relations practitioners, and students of library and information science. Others being targeted are cultural historians and researchers, employees in newspaper libraries, large commercial photographic outfits, TV stations, radio stations and researchers who use an AV format as their storage medium, and others who need to be sensitized to AV archival issues.

Among the topics to be explored in the plenary sessions are:
Ethical challenges and the emerging technologies
Intellectual property issues
The need for National Audiovisual Archives to protect and promote cultural heritage
Preservation of audio and video materials in tropical countries
SAMMA: the System for the Automated Migration of Media Archives Selection issues
TV archives: going from the analogue to the digital domain

Proposed workshop topics:
Cataloguing sound and moving image collections
Developing and implementing a digitised programme
Introduction to AV archiving
Organising print/photographic collections

Tel: +44 020 8748 6481 (d & e) Fax:+44 020 8563 9674

Tel: 246.417.4201 (d) 246.429.6667(e) Fax:246.424.8944

Tel:876.922.2494/967.1526 Fax: 876.922.5567

Sites and Sounds

It's called the MetaMap, it was developed at the University of Montreal, and it's described as "a pedagogical graphic which takes the form of a subway map. Its aim is to help the information science community to understand metadata standards, sets, and initiatives of interest in this area".

Calendar of events

Date Event Location
March 14 - 15 IASA Mid-year Board meeting Pretoria, South Africa
March 22 - 25 114th AES Convention Amsterdam
April 3 - 5 Joint IASA/FIAT/DELOS meeting on digitisation Helsinki, Finland (YLE)
May 19 - 23 Second National Sound Archive Seminar Mexico City
May 19 - 23 SEAPAVAA 8th Conference and General Assembly Brunei Darussalam
May 28 - 31 37th Annual ARSC Conference Philadelphia, PA
July 6 - 11 IAML Conference Tallinn, Estonia
July 24 - 26 Symposium: Sound Savings: Preserving Audio Collections Austin, Texas
August 1 - 9 69th IFLA Council and General Conference
Access point library
September 6 - 9 FIAT/IFTA annual conference Brussels, Belgium
September 21 - 25 IASA ANNUAL CONFERENCE Pretoria, South Africa
November 4 - 9 Caribbean Seminar Jamaica
November 18 - 22 AMIA Conference Vancouver, Canada
(to be confirmed)
Joint Technical Symposium 2004 Toronto
August 8 - 13 IAML-IASA joint Annual Conference Oslo, Norway
August 23 - 28 ICA Annual Conference Vienna
November 9 - 13 AMIA Conference Minneapolis, U.S.
September (2nd half) IASA Annual Conference Barcelona, Spain

This Information Bulletin was compiled by:

The Editor - Ilse Assmann,
SABC, PO Box 931, 2006, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa,
Tel: 27 (0)11 714 4041, Fax: 27 (0)11 714 4419, Email:

Language editor: Dorothy van Tonder, SABC
Printed and produced in South Africa by Heypenni Gold