Information Bulletin no. 54, September 2005

New Board for IASA… from the President, Richard Green

Congratulations on an excellent conference go out to all the conference organizers, in particular the members of the Planning Committee; Margarita Ullate i Estanyol, who had a hand in almost every aspect of the conference; Chris Clark, who contributed significantly to the organization and programming of the conference; Nieves Iglesias, Cinta Pujol, Susanna Vela, Shubha Chaudhuri and Eva Fønss-Jørgensen. Others involved in the conference preparations included Amparo Amat, Carmen Velázquez, Jon Bagüés, and Lluis Úbeda. We are also grateful to Margarida's colleagues who staffed the various help desks and provided AV support. Our thanks to everyone for their hard work, and special thanks to Biblioteca de Catalunya for hosting the 2005 conference.

The 2005 conference was also notable for another reason. It was an election year. Leaving the Board after exemplary service was former president Crispin Jewitt, who completed a six-year stint, three as President and three as Past President. IASA acknowledges and is grateful for Crispin's dedication to IASA, and to sound and audiovisual archives in general. Also leaving this year were Eva Fønss-Jørgensen, our devoted Secretary-General, and Shubha Chaudhuri, a Vice-President who acted as programme chair for both this year's conference and the 2003 South Africa conference. Special mention has to be made of departing Vice-President Magdalena Cséve. Magdalena had served on the IASA Board since the Amsterdam conference in June 1987, helping out with membership, publications and numerous other tasks. Her long years with IASA are indicative of her commitment to sound archives. For all the departing Board members, I am sure I express the wishes of all of IASA in thanking you for your contributions.

IASA's new Executive Board consists of myself, Richard Green, as President; Kurt Deggeller, who moves to Past-President; Ilse Assmann, who continues as Editor, as does Anke Leenings as Treasurer. We welcome to the Board new Vice-Presidents Pio Pellizzari, Jacqueline von Arb, and Per Holst, and our new Secretary General, Gunnel Jönsson. IASA members should bear in mind that all the Board members are volunteers. They must find time in their busy personal and professional lives to undertake IASA's work. Some Board members receive extensive institutional support, but others do not. Being a Board member means devoting time and effort to IASA and, in this era of e-mail and instant communication, the workload has increased significantly. The Board is committed to doing our best, but we do need, and we appreciate, the active support and encouragement of IASA members.

The first official meeting of the new Board was held on the Friday 16 September. Jacqueline von Arb took on the task of looking at our membership and outreach efforts, Pio Pellizzari agreed to co-ordinate IASA's training initiatives, and Per Holst will be concentrating on our annual conferences. This is in keeping with efforts by various Executive Boards to assign specific tasks to the Vice-Presidents and is reflective of the changing nature and role of IASA.

There are numerous seminars, training sessions and other events happening round the world in the coming months and IASA is participating in many of them. A look at the events calendar posted on the CCAAA web site will give you an idea of the range of activities. If you are participating any of these, please let the Board know so that we can provide you with IASA promotional material. These events, with the personal contact that comes with the seminar format, offer excellent opportunities to let others know about IASA and the advantages of becoming an IASA member. We need to do more outreach, and the Board hopes you will aid us in these activities. Increasing the membership base means a more secure financial situation, which will translate into more publications, increased assistance for our colleagues in the developing world, and a stronger presence for IASA in the ongoing discussions on the future of our archives and collections.

Other issues dealt with at the Board meeting included the translation of various IASA publications, next year's conference in Mexico City, revision of our conference guidelines and our travel grant policies, IASA's financial position and membership policies, and IASA's participation in organizations such as UNESCO and CCAAA. Of particular note was the Board's decision to reduce, at least temporarily, the number of issues of the Bulletin from four to two a year. The Journal will continue its current twice yearly schedule. The new Board has a very busy schedule and we are planning to have our mid-year meeting in March 2006. We will endeavour to keep you abreast of all the IASA related activities. As I said at this year's Exchange Forum and General Assembly, we welcome your comments and suggestions.

Finally, I would like to say how honoured I am to be IASA's President. For me it will be a challenging, but exciting, three years. Recordings have been a part of my life, in one way or another, since I was young. I consider myself fortunate to be in a position now that will influence the safeguarding of our sound and audiovisual heritage. I am also privileged to be able to benefit from the knowledge, expertise, and best wishes that were offered to me by many of you. I look forward to working with the new Board, meeting more IASA members, and seeing all of you in September 2006 at the conference in Mexico City.

Richard Green
IASA President 2005-2008

We are delighted to welcome….

Tricia Bodden, Archivist (Oral History), Box 11413 APO, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, eMail:, who is the Oral History Archivist at the Cayman Islands National Archive and joins IASA to be kept informed of the current issues regarding safeguarding the audiovisual heritage of the Cayman Islands

Cecile Chemin, 'Being an archivist in Ireland, I would like to specialise in film and sound archives and I recognise the process of joining an international association as an important step towards a better understanding and regular updating opportunity regarding this matter.'

Boligo Ya Mboka, 2323/31 Vemba, Lemba, B.P.11774 KIN I R.D.CONGO, eMail: who joins IASA to establish contacts

Dr. Diane Thram, P.O. Box 284, Kenton on Sea 6191, South Africa, eMail: who has assumed the Directorship of ILAM, the International Library of African Music, in January 2006

Maréchal Guy, Avenue de Béco, 46, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium, eMail:, who has presented a conference on the Architectural recommendations at the recent IASA Conference (Barcelona 2005).

Jose Luis Maire Montero, C/ HERMANOS GARCÍA NOBLEJAS, eMail:, who, as musical librarian, is very interested in the cataloguing issues of recording and the sound archives.

National Library of Latvia, Kr.Barona iela 14, Riga, Latvia, LV 1423, eMail: The Recorded Sound Library comprises the collection of Latvian and overseas music, which serves for research and educational aims, for scientists and musicians, professionals and amateurs. It stores more than 61 thousand items : records, magnetic tapes, audiocassettes, videocassettes and CDs. The collection stores the legal deposit copies of CDs and cassettes issued by the publishers of Latvian music. In 2002 the number of users exceeded 6 thousand, but loans 13 thousand units. NLL wants to join IASA to improve international collaboration and professionalism of staff.

Adeyanju Wasiu Adewale, Cerd, Pmb 024, Oau Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, eMail: ADEWAS@YAHOO.COM

Instituti i Kulturës Popullore, Rr. 'Kont Urani' No. 3, Tirana, Albania, eMail: The Institute for Folk Culture (research) has an audiovisual archive with more than 2000 hours of sound recordings (of folk and urban Albanian music, and partly fairy tales and stories) as well as film and video recordings (ethnographic expeditions; music, dances, different local and national festivals). The Institute for Folk Culture would like to become a member of IASA in order to exchange information with other archives about conservation, preservation, cataloguing, and publications; to participate at the workshops and round tables; to co-operate with the archives and other institutions for the development and improvement of the organisation, administration and contents of our sound and audiovisual documents; to co-operate with larger archives for performing any preservation activity for our small archive; and to exchange sound and audiovisual material.

Archives Speak: Who Listens? - IASA Conference 2005, Barcelona

The Barcelona conference, the first to be held in a Catalan/Spanish speaking country, presented the challenge, “Archives speak: who listens?” IASA members heard many new voices, both of young people and of young archives, explaining the trials and achievements of audiovisual archiving. Indeed, this conference had a special vitality with the participation of many delegates who were attending an IASA conference for the first time. Also, a selection process was necessary for papers because so many were submitted - a rare situation for IASA.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the session on Archives and Educational uses; therefore I will concentrate on the sessions I attended. I shall rearrange the conference programme in this review, listing five cross-session themes that emerged.

First of all, in describing the Chilean archive, MINGACO, Rodrigo Sandoval Díaz stated that we could not understand culture without taking our heritage of sound into account. This theme, of preserving social memory by audio and video recordings, appeared in several papers. Augustín Vivas Moreno and Victoria Nuño Moral's paper on historical memory and the functions of audiovisual documents will be of special interest to IASA members, because of the theoretical framework it proposes. Hopefully it will be published soon in the IASA Journal, with an English version as well. Both Drago Kunej and Dafydd Pritchard presented poignant examples showing how necessary archival recordings are, rather than written records alone, for preserving social memory and national identity. Pilar Martinez's description of the Grief Archive documenting the terrorist attack in Madrid on 11 March, Aldis Putelis's discussion of how Latvian manuscripts and sound recordings show different interpretations, and Cathlin Macaulay's paper on the transmission of tradition being undertaken by the School of Scottish Studies Archives, all emphasized the cultural value of audiovisual collections.

Preserving social memory moved into a second theme of activism and advocacy with Grace Lile's presentation on the WITNESS Media Archive and Global Human Rights. Her talk showed the power of documentary evidence in video form and explored the issues that an archive holding such material must face. In a similar vein, Stephane Simonnet from the Mémorial de Caen explained how the museum challenges visitors to consider the importance of human rights and the future of our planet, as they view museum spaces dealing with war and its aftermath.

The third theme concerned dissemination of material. Exciting co-operative developments, such as the BIRTH television archive project uniting major European broadcasting archives with three technical partners, are important for archivists to know about as video content increases, and this presentation by Alexander Hecht and Johan Oomen was a highlight of the 'New Technologies' session. The importance of co-operation between the recording industry and audiovisual archives for dissemination was emphasized by Francisco Rosés Janer, who spoke of how both sectors could maximize their activities in supporting one another. Guy Maréchal explained how the threefold model of digital information packages ('submission', 'archival' and 'dissemination') can be combined with a collections-based approach. Hopefully we will be able to read his important paper in the IASA Journal, where we can reflect unhurriedly on each point! This model was discussed further in Kevin Bradley's paper on digital sustainability that Richard Green presented most admirably in Kevin's absence. Various business models were proposed, examining the interplay between rights holders, repositories and users (beneficiaries). José Latorre from Madrid presented the challenges of finding and managing the vast amount of audiovisual material that does not come to them via legal deposit.

It is a pity that more delegates did not attend Richard Billeaud's excellent poster session dealing with interaction between service providers, manufacturers and archives. A cautionary note on new technologies came from David Fernández Quijada with his analysis of peer-to-peer content dissemination.

Quijada states in his abstract, 'Disseminating archives' content has become the core essence of every archive in a digitized environment.' Two papers from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) took a cautious approach to this statement, emphasizing the area of moral rights and appropriate dissemination. Carolyn Carmody explained why she had been unable to show a particular photograph from the Audiovisual Archive because of cultural sensitivity and ownership issues. Marisa Harris, from the same archive, discussed how they dealt with such concerns, and described how the archive would use a recent government grant for digitization of its collections. Examples of access and dissemination problems arising for Australian Indigenous people were added to both papers by Jane Anderson, a Research Fellow in Intellectual Property at the same institution.

Following from dissemination, the fourth theme focused on databases, finding aids, and arrangement and description. Elements of this theme flowed through many of the papers. Dietrich Schüller examined workflow and documentation practices in archives, proposing a two-tier structure between preservation priorities and levels of documentation. Subject heading and thesauri for cataloguing ethnomusicological material and for the developing Ethnographic Thesaurus at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress were topics explored by José Luis Maire Montero and by Catherine Hiebert Kerst, who distributed a draft listing of headings for comment by IASA delegates. Finally, a most creative approach to content-based retrieval of music audio was presented by Olmo Cornelis as he told of the DEKKMMA project in Belgium, which is exploring using audio-mining techniques based on musical features for the collection of the Royal Museum of Central Africa. A cause for celebration came when Maria Pilar Gallego presented the Spanish translation of the IASA Cataloguing Rules.

The fifth theme, moving on from the previous ones, dealt specifically with user needs and expectations. Timkehet Teffera dealt with the measures being taken to educate people about the importance of archives in five East African countries, concentrating on Ethiopia and the Sudan. Aldis Putelis from Latvia pointed out the differences of audio performances and written scores of music, and the value of each. John Vallier presented a most practical paper on how the ULCA Ethnomusicology Archive is responding to user demands through initiatives such as an Internet radio show, inviting collectors to speak at the university, and helping others write grant proposals. Matthew Davies took delegates through methods of evaluating the access potential of collections in the National Film & Sound Archive in Australia. Finally, Julia Ahamer from the Phonogrammarchiv in Vienna tied all the themes together in her report on recent activities, with an emphasis on video archiving developments.

Training did not appear as a discrete session topic, but I was privileged to attend Albrecht Häfner's paper, presented to the Radio Sound Archives Committee, on the need for international training schemes to be co-ordinated. Hopefully this will be published. Congratulations go to the team of Dietrich Schüller and Albrecht Häfner for their tutorials on managing a modern broadcasting archive and digitization. Their special IASA Award for training is well deserved for their remarkable achievements internationally.

The hour and a half for lunch most days was much appreciated because it gave time for informal meetings and working sessions, which is a hallmark of IASA conferences. Also, the late evening hours for dining allowed us time to relax a bit after the sessions before the inevitable evening planning meetings. For example, a paper by the author of this review surveyed existing on-line Codes of Ethics of professional information management organizations, drawing out some possibilities for the formation of such a Code for IASA. The Research Section of IASA formulated a plan, over a delightful late dinner, to develop a draft Code.

The programme content was so interesting that it rivalled the call of the city to visit the art treasures, Gaudi buildings, and other delights. Committee sessions were spaced so that there was some time to enjoy the city, but a tour would have been most welcome. Several delegates questioned IASA's need for two General Assemblies in addition to the Open Forum. The professional visits, most of which were close to the conference venue, were handled efficiently, allowing delegates to see some sights afterwards.

For the most part, sessions began and ended on time, but there was little chance for discussion between papers. Some time was lost in setting up power point presentations; the first speaker, who could mount material between sessions, could operate within the time frame, but the next two presenters lost some minutes with setup. The venue, though, offered a beautiful and dramatic setting with chandeliers and tapestries that could be enjoyed while delegates waited for papers to begin. The simultaneous translation service offered for the morning sessions on Wednesday was most welcome to non-Spanish or -Catalan speakers.

The connection established between the performers and the audience during the opening concert was a true highlight, as was the conference dinner.

I would like to express my thanks to the local organizing committee; the planning, programme and publicity committees, and Taleia Cultura S.L. for producing such an interesting conference.

Grace Koch

The TC Takes it Again

At the recent IASA annual conference in Barcelona, two Technical Committee (TC) members, Dietrich Schüller and Albrecht Häfner, were awarded the 'Special Recognition Award for Training & Development'. On behalf of the Executive Board, IASA President Kurt Deggeller presented the certificates to Dietrich and Albrecht at the General Assembly:

'We are immensely surprised by this award, as we had not the faintiest idea that we would be the recipients this year. We are very grateful and feel honored, as it adds the association's recognition and appreciation to our activities, which we have never felt to be a burden but rather a joyful work. We promise to continue with enthusiasm, later this year in Amsterdam with project TAPE (both of us), at the FIAT/IASA workshop in South Africa (Albrecht), in Mexico (Dietrich) and everywhere else we may be invited to in 2006 and beyond.'

Committee and Sections Meet at the IASA Conference

As usual, the IASA Conference was the meeting place for the annual committee and section meetings. Two reports were received for publication in the Bulletin:

  • Discography Committee

  • Radio Sound Archive Section (RSAS)

Michael Gray reported that ten members attended the Discography Committee meeting. A new committee was elected, with Michael Gray of the United States as the new chairperson; Pio Pellizzari continues as Vice-Chair and Giorgina Gilardi remains as Secretary. Michael succeeded Dr Rainer Lotz as chair to the committee.

Five exciting projects were reported on:

  • The extremely popular Canadian Virtual Gramophone Project, which in 2004 drew 25 000 visits per month and about one million songs sampled. Richard Green reported that the greatest change in the VG was the shift of some 14 000 cataloguing records into the National Library's AMICUS system, leading to improvements in cataloguing, backup, and the ability to share data with any MARC compatible system.

  • Current developments and future trends in discography by Michael Gray. Commercial publishers such as Greenwood Press are abandoning discographic publication in favour of self-published CDR's, such as those issued by Alan Kelly and John Hunt's printed discographies of classical artists and labels. In the future, co-operative Web-based discographic tools built by institutions such as CHARM (Centre for the Historical Analysis of Recorded Music), as well as increased access to bibliographic information posted from national archives and libraries on their own web sites, offer the hope of an eventual convergence of discography and library catalogues.

  • A new project to construct a lexicon of Austrian record labels during the shellac period was proposed by Christiane Hoefner.

  • Developments in the FDHT-Project. Pio Pellizzari reported that the FDHT group of the IASA German Branch used the SOCRATES project to develop a working paper on guidelines for discographies that will be issued in English shortly. In associated work, a set of cataloguing rules was also developed in conjunction with the SOCRATES project, using the experience of the Virtual Gramophone and following guidelines laid down by IASA's cataloguing rules. The rules are currently available in Italian and German and shortly will be available in English.

  • The Phono-card. Dr Rainer Lotz talked about the vanished and virtually unknown medium of the Phono-card. First introduced in 1903, phono-cards were attached to postcard stock so as to send a phonic as well as a legible message to the fortunate recipient. The descriptions of the cards and the photos shown were equally enthralling and so far unknown in formal collections.

Detlef Humbert, chairperson of the Radio Sound Archive Section (RSAS), reported that 29 people attended the meeting. Short reports were given by members, dealing with digitisation projects, digitisation problems, questions of preservation, transfer to Digital Mass storage etc.

Per Holst reported on the results since publication of the Task Force on Selection Criteria for Digitisation in October 2003. Of 500 printed copies 150 are left, which are available free of charge. The RSAS believes the publication needs the addition of practical experiences and case studies from IASA members of all the sections and committees. RSAS is offering to co-ordinate these contributions as an informal working group. Other sections and committees will be contacted in due course.

Albrecht Häfner gave a critical review of his experiences during ten years of audiovisual training seminars as a trainer in 20 countries round the world.

Simon Rooks, currently Secretary of RSAS, raised issues that affect the section members with a view to informing future work. This will help to produce a work of practical use to members in the form of guidelines or a policy document.

World Call for the Preservation of Broadcasting Archives

 Appeal from Paris (Amended version, 25 March 2005)

  • It is universally acknowledged that radio and television now have a central place in the modern history of our society and that archives are an essential part of the collective memory of the 20th century and beyond

  • There are considerable volumes at stake, estimated at 200 million hours

  • Broadcasting archives contain a wealth of works, documents and treasures that are invaluable to world cultural heritage and constitute irreplaceable records of our cultural diversity and identities

  • This heritage is endangered by the fragility of the media and the obsolescence of equipment required to read the recordings; entire collections of programmes on film, magnetic tape and disc are at risk of being lost for ever

  • In the very near future, i.e. within the next 10 to 20 years, a significant portion of this memory will inevitably and irreparably fade away; the disparity of countries in the face of this threat will further widen the 'digital divide' between the poor countries and the rich countries, between the North and the South. This will lead, in the short term, and in an even more profound way, to unequal access to the collective memory of nations

  • There is even greater urgency because the deterioration is not, unlike other types of heritage (such as historic buildings), immediately perceptible to the public, and it is precisely this lack of physical and immediate sense of loss that contributes to a lack of awareness and action

  • Furthermore, there are now technical solutions to ensure long-term preservation, access, and reuse of archival records. Among these solutions is transfer to a digital format combined with implementation of appropriate storage conditions. Both require urgent application of appropriate human and financial resources

  • Continuing the action led by UNESCO and the Council of Europe (1), the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT IFTA), on the occasion of its 27th annual conference, appeals for the attention and vigilance of all to:

  • Alert, mobilize and urge the authorities concerned to understand the seriousness and urgency of impending threats to the audiovisual heritage of the nations of the world

  • Implement preservation policies and migration plans for these archives

  • Define the priority criteria for taking preservation action

  • Develop co-operation among states to facilitate implementation of joint solutions for safeguarding and digitization

  • Encourage knowledge transfer through expert missions and training

  • Apply immediately measures recommended by FIAT IFTA to stop the loss of these treasures and encourage support operations in the least developed countries

Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images, 1980. Memory of the World Programme, initiated in 1992. European Convention for the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage, adopted in Strasbourg on 9 November 2001.

IASA's Response

The new Board has discussed this through e-mail and the consensus seems to be that we do endorse the appeal for the preservation of broadcasting archives.

In the original document (August 2004) there was an ambiguity about the appeal.  IASA wishes that the appeal had been broadened to include all the audio visual heritage which, according to Ray Edmondson's definition, contains documents that have been produced by artists, commercials (phonographic, videographic, film industry), radio and television, scientific research, and contains all the other information needed for comprehension of the documents.  Many of IASA's members have collections  that fall outside the broadcasting archives domain, and it would have been nice to see that aspect of the AV heritage acknowledged in the appeal.

Secondly, whereas digitization is certainly in many cases the only way to preserve documents that have a limited lifespan, in many cases (e.g. film) preservation of the analogue originals is still the only method for long-term preservation of the information. The appeal focuses on digitization as the only way of preservation.

That being said, since the appeal seems to have been revised with a clearer, and narrower, focus on radio and television, we believe we can say that IASA endorses this as a call to preserve broadcasting archives.

Vienna Summer School on Audio Preservation

From 11-15 July 2005 the Vienna Summer School on Audio Preservation was held by the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, in co-operation with the Austrian Mediathek. The course was attended by 11 participants from 10 countries and embraced audiovisual archivists, conservators and IT specialists from Laos, Cuba, Uganda, Ethiopia, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Denmark and Austria. Attendance of participants from Eastern Europe and Israel was arranged within the framework of the Exchange Schemes between the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the respective Academies of their home countries. Archivists from developing countries were supported by UNESCO's Information Society Division.

The programme began with a thorough explanation of recording media, their respective technology and composition, stability/life expectancy, environmental factors, and the resulting handling and storage recommendations. Obsolescence of replay equipment and ancillary tools such as test tapes, spools or leader tapes were also discussed, including strategies to minimise threats resulting from that quarter. The subsequent modules of the Summer School were arranged in accordance with the standard publications of IASA-TC 03 and 04, the basic guidelines in this field: ethics and principles of preserving audio materials (IASA-TC 03), and practical guidelines for production and preservation of digital audio objects (IASA-TC 04). Theory was complemented by practical demonstrations, specifically in the fields of signal extraction from original carriers, and data integrity checking (error counting) with DAT tapes and optical disks.

The Mediathek explained and demonstrated its Digital Mass Storage System, while the Phonogrammarchiv gave an account of its small-scale approach to digital storage. Special emphasis was given to dissuading participants from relying on optical recordable disks as their sole storage media without applying specific testing procedures. Instead, they were encouraged to abandon these amateur products in favour of professional back-up media, which have come within the financial reach of even the smaller institutions. A look at uncompromising video archiving concluded the week.

In the final debate, participants expressed their concern at the success of bottom-up approaches to implementation of necessary measures and changes in institutions. They recommended that, in addition to events aimed at training of preservation specialists, IASA and other bodies should organise brief workshops for archive and library managers to trigger top-down processes in the improvement of preservation strategies.

Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Österreichische Mediathek

IASA International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives

Dietrich Schüller, Phonogrammarchiv

Rainer Hubert, Österreichische Mediathek

Fishy Sounds: A Course on Bioacoustics in Colombia

From 21-30 January 2005, some thirty biology students from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela attended a course on bioacoustics organised by the Instituto de Recursos Biologicos Alexander von Humboldt. The aim of the course was to introduce science students to the theory and practice of animal sound studies, field recording, audio analysis and archiving.

An international panel of experts gave presentations on sound communication in animals, including one on human whistled 'languages' and talking drums. Several sessions were devoted to the challenges of recording biological sounds in remote localities, using unusual techniques to capture hard-to-find utterances. For example, one Florida University marine biologist demonstrated using a portable transducer and external digital board coupled to his laptop to record and analyse simultaneously at 96 kHz, 24-bit resolution the specialised signals of Amazon river fish. Three sessions on analysis explored the use of computer software for rapid assessment and detailed feature extraction of bioacoustic signals.

Finally, during a field lesson in a nearby Andean reserve, the students were able to try out portable recording equipment favoured by bioacousticans, including parabolic microphones and the latest generation of solid state recorders. Set in the historic town of Villa de Leyva, Boyacá, at an altitude of 2 100 metres, the Humboldt Institute serves as a reference centre for documenting Colombia's remarkably high biodiversity. It also houses the Banco dos Sonidos Animales, a fast-expanding audio archive of bird sound recordings, with 14 500 recordings digitised and stored on multiple copies of recordable CD discs.

Richard Ranft
British Library Sound Archive

Digital Audio Repository

The Centro Interfacoltà di Linguistica Teorica e Applicata (CILTA) in Bologna are looking for partners to collaborate with us on a European project on the use of new technologies and of authentic audio and video in teaching, in particular teaching of foreign languages. We hope to request EC funding under the Minerva Action of Socrates (whose pre-proposal deadline is I November 2005).

The project is based on the use of digital audio archives (repositories) containing original and authentic material of significant cultural, social or linguistic value. The technological focus of the project is to make searching and selecting the most appropriate material for teaching and learning as easy as possible: the pedagogical focus is to allow students and teachers maximum scope for personalisation. The materials used during the project are made available by public or private radios, archives, media libraries and so on. These have to be stored and organised in such a way as to enable integration of user-friendly search tools, making it easy to find the materials and to reuse them in learning and teaching.

The objective is to encourage learners themselves to engage actively with these materials, instead of remaining just passive listeners, interacting with content (for example by adding annotations in their own language) as well as interacting with each other in relation to the content in real time and in a shared collaborative environment via the Internet. This type of interaction is compatible with a wide range of educational aims, and will be supported by specifically designed open source software, such as Project Pad (designed by Academic Technologies, Northwestern University, Illinois.)

This interactive software enables the teacher to observe and evaluate the students' learning process and adapt materials, almost immediately, to their real needs. This methodology has already been tested successfully in language courses in 2004-5 at the University of Bologna Language Centre using authentic BBC materials through the Spoken Work Project at Glasgow's Caledonian University. Over the next three years we hope to implement the experiment, together with European partners, in other linguistic and social contexts.

CILTA hopes to identify partners (universities, research centres, cultural associations and radio networks) that have a strong commitment to making digital collections available for educational purposes, or to developing and testing innovative collaborative tools based on these media.

Project team to contact
Maureen Lister

Michela Salizzoni

Riccardo Gianninoni

Comprehensive Survey of French Sound and Audiovisual Archives

An exiting new French publication has recently seen the light:
Agnès CALLU et Hervé LEMOINE, Le Patrimoine sonore et audiovisuel français, entre archives et témoignages : guide de recherche en sciences sociales [Préfaces de Jean Cluzel et d'Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie et postface de Jacques Rigaud], Paris, Belin, 2005, 7 volumes dont 1 DVDrom, 2500 pages.

It is a comprehensive survey of French sound and audiovisual archives (850), and is considered essential material for academic research in social sciences and 20th century history. All types of archives are described. Production conditions, legal issues, technical history, and academic methodology are some of the issues that have been exposed. A DVD with two hours of relevant sound and audiovisual extracts is included.

For more information visit the web site:

Optical and Magnetic Conservation Support for Digital Documents

I.R.TE.M. (Research Institute for Musical Theater) in collaboration with CFLR (Italian Center for Photoreproduction, Binding, and Restoration of State Archives) will hold an International Conference titled Present-day Optical and Magnetic Conservation Support for Digital Documents, on 22 and 23 November 2005.

The conference will be held in Rome at the CFLR (Via Costanza Baudana Vaccolini 14) and is to be preceded by a workshop on Monday 21 November.

One of the most compelling issues for archives is determination of the actual life of digital supports. The conference will focus on digital support as a method of preserving not only sound material but also paper documents, and will outline the problems of digital deterioration, as well as obsolescence of equipment and support for Italian archivists. As a matter of fact, CFLR is the most important representative in Italy for restoration of every kind of archival material.

The conference will be held by George Brock-Nannestad (Patent Tactics), Francesco La Camera (Rome, Università La Sapienza), Franco Liberati, Maria Teresa Tanasi and Paolo Buonora (Rome, CFLR). It will have Italian and English simultaneous translations. Alongside Robert Burnett (Karlstad University in Sweden) and Luciana Duranti (Canadian University of Toronto, responsible for the International Project InterPARES), Pekka Gronow will illustrate a project on digitisation of 78 rpm records in Finland; Albrecht Haefner, will present a paper on his ten-year activity of training for audiovisual archivists; and Massimo Gentili-Tedeschi (IAML President) will talk about the IAML activity of preservation.

For more information contact:
I.R.TE.M. - Istituto di Ricerca per il Teatro Musicale
Via Francesco Tamagno 65 00168 ROMA
fax: +39 06 6144371 - tel. +39 06 6147277
e-mail: - Web:

Stories of Significance

The SEAPAVAA Secretariat is requesting  SIGNIFICANT STORIES for publication in the next SEAPAVAA Newsletter. SEAPAVAA also welcome fascinating and inspiring stories that are related to audiovisual archiving. If necessary, photos to be included should be embedded in the word document with captions (preferably in jpeg format, 100 dpi resolution, max. width 600 pixels).

For more information, contact
Vicky Bejerano
Acting Administrative Coordinator
Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA)
Telefax: +632-9204395

The ARSC Grant Programme

The ARSC grant programme supports scholarship and publication in the fields of sound recording research and audio preservation. Project categories eligible for consideration include: discography, bibliography, historical studies of the sound recording industry and its products, and any other subject likely to increase the public's understanding and appreciation of the lasting importance of recorded sound. ARSC encourages applications from anyone whose research forms part of an academic programme at master's or doctoral level.

ARSC members and non-members alike are eligible for grants of up to $1000. Grant funds can be used to underwrite clerical, editorial, and travel expenses. Funds may not be used to purchase capital equipment or recordings, to reimburse applicants for work already done, or to support projects that form part of a paid job. Grant recipients must submit documentation of their expenses, and all grant funds must be disbursed within eighteen months of the grant award.

Grant recipients are required to submit brief descriptions of their projects (for publication in the ARSC Journal), and are encouraged to submit articles about their projects, for possible publication in the Journal.

ARSC grant applications should include:

  • a summary of the project (one page maximum), with samples of the work, if possible

  • a budget covering the entire project, highlighting the expenses the ARSC grant would cover (one page maximum)

  • a curriculum vitae

  • an indication of the prospects for publication or other public dissemination of the project results

Grant awards will be announced at the spring meeting of the ARSC Board of Directors.

Send applications to: Richard Warren, ARSC Grants Committee Chair, Historical Sound Recordings, Yale University Library, PO Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520-8240, USA. Applications for the next grant cycle must be received by February 28, 2006.

Questions about the grant programme should be addressed to Mr Warren at

Calendar of Events




11-15 September IASA Annual Conference Barcelona, Spain
16-20 September FIAT Conference & General Assembly New York, USA
28 September - 4 October TAPE Workshop on Management of Audiovisual Collections Amsterdam, The Netherlands
7-10 October 119th AES Convention New York, USA
10-14 October IASA/FIAT Workshop for Southern Africa Pretoria, South Africa
10-14 October Audiovisual Archives Seminar (FIAT) Beijing, China
10-17 October Riga Seminar 2005 for Audiovisual Archives Riga, Latvia
9-12 November SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition New York, USA
16-18 November World Summit on the Information Society, 2nd Phase Tunis, Tunisia
24-26 November First European Communication Conference Amsterdam, The Netherlands
21-25 November Tercer Seminario Internacional de Archivos Sonoros y Audiovisuales Coyoacán, Mexico
30 November - 2 December Echolot 2005 - Audiovisual Heritage: archiving, new technologies Moscow, Russia
30 November - 3 December AMIA Annual Conference Austin, USA
April 62nd FIAF Congress Sao Paulo, Brazil
17-20 May 40th ARSC Annual Conference Seattle, USA
20-23 May 120th AES Convention Paris, France
14-18 August 72th IFLA General Conference and Council Seoul, Republic of Korea
9-14 September IASA Annual Conference "Between Memory & Oblivion" Mexico City, Mexico
11- 14 October AMIA Annual Conference Anchorage, USA
April 63rd FIAF Congress Tokyo, Japan
August 73th IFLA General Conference and Council Durban, South Africa
August XVIth International Congress on Archives Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
August 74th IFLA General Conference and Council Québec, Canada
September IASA Annual Conference Sydney, Australia


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