Information Bulletin no. 55, April 2006

Between Memory and Oblivion

IASA will hold its 2006 annual conference in Mexico City, a first in this part of the world for IASA.

Mexico City is one of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world. It is very old and, as the capital of Mexico, the world's largest city. Many of the area's pre-colonial capitals were based here, the last being the Aztec Tenochtitlan, which in the 14th century was the largest city in the Western Hemisphere.

The IASA Conference is scheduled to take place from 9 to 14 September 2006. It is being organised by Fonoteca Nacional and Radio Educación. The conference theme Between Memory and Oblivion - the Educational and Cultural Significance of Audiovisual Archives will focus on the enormous challenges audiovisual archives are faced with in their effort to save their archival collections for posterity. A growing number of archives have initiated digitisation projects and preservation programmes, but many countries, especially in the developing world, need to be made aware of the richness of this heritage, and the potential loss they face, if their audiovisual treasures are allowed to fade away.

The conference will discuss issues such as:

  • cultural heritage, memory, and audiovisual archives,

  • developing archival awareness, public policy, and governmental financial support

  • Digitisation strategies, audiovisual banks, and their preservation

  • Knowledge society and audiovisual archives

  • Copyright problems and their consequences

  • Education and audiovisual archives

  • Selection policy

Per Holst, member of the Programme Committee, reports that positive responses have been received to the call for papers. The committee will now evaluate the abstracts and prepare a draft programme. The speakers will be notified of the Programme Committee's decision shortly after.

The conference will take place in the Ministry of Public Affairs (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores) Mexico, D.F. It is near the centre of the city and is a very well appointed facility. All the facilities are fully equipped with computer hook-ups, simultaneous translation, AV, and projection facilities. Hotels are within a 30-minute walk of the conference venue, or about a five to 15 minute by bus depending on traffic.

Registration for the conference must be done before 15 June 2006 to avoid higher registration fees. Registration can be done via the following web site:

IASA welcomes….

Kurt Johnson, 410 E. 5th St. #001, Austin, TX 78701 USA, e-mail:, is a student of the School of Information at the University of Texas and specialises in audio preservation

Inger Jakobsson-Wärn, Sibeliusmuseum, Biskopsgatan 17, FI-20500 Turku, Finland, e-mail:

Francesco Olivieri, Via Madonna del Riposo,82 00165 Roma, e-mail:

Matthew Kelly, 69 Cork Street Gundaroo, 2620 New South Wales, AUSTRALIA, e-mail:

CNA - Centre national de l'audiovisuel, c/o Philippe Mergen, B.P. 105, L-3402 Dudelange, Luxembourg, e-mail:

Juan Felipe Santos, Carrera 2 # 16a 38, Torre 2, Apartamento 2003, Bogotá D.C. Colombia, Sud America, e-mail:

Irene E Taylor, 489 N. Armistead St. #302, Alexandria, VA 22312, USA, e-mail:

Francesco La Camera, Via Pompeo Neri, 32, 00191 Roma, Italy, e-mail:

Albano Francesco, Via F. Paolini 8, 10138 TORINO, Italy, e-mail: is an expert in old audiovisual formats, and is engaged in some European Projects to rescue, restore and transfer TV's heritage.

Grace Lile, WITNESS, 80 Hanson Place, Brooklyn, NY 11231, USA,

Ethiopian Radio, Ethiopian Radio, P.O. Box 1020, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, e-mail:

Catherine Belmont, Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, Hermitage, Mahe, Seychelles e-mail:

J Kimlon Seymour, C/o Cayman Islands National Archive, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, e-mail: I am becoming increasingly involved in preserving special media materials and I would like to learn more about the above and keep abreast with any advancements and best practices.

Ya Pele A First for Southern African Countries

The FIAT/IASA Workshop on Film, Video and Sound Archives began with the seed of an idea from Branko Bubenic, a little earth from Dennis Maake and Sue Malden, and fertilizer from FIAT, IASA and UNESCO. It germinated and grew on the southern tip of Africa. Under the care of the dedicated teams from the National Film, Video and Sound Archive and the SABC, supported by the planning committee, and watered by more sponsors such as National Geographic, Convera, Knowledge Focus, Blue Order and Cube-Tech, the flower bloomed and was named Ya Pele, the first of its kind.

The objective was to bring the knowledge and experience of FIAT and IASA to people working in AV archives in the Southern part of Africa. To achieve that, we brought together a wide range of professional experience from many parts of the world: Ray Edmondson (Australia), Johan de Lange (South Africa), Albrecht Haefner (Germany), Richard Wright (UK), Crispin Jewitt (UK), Sue Malden (UK), Branko Bubenik (Croatia), Piet Dempsey (South Africa), Matthias Naumer (Germany), Jacqueline von Arb (Norway), Mark Rosen (South Africa), Patrick Ngulube (South Africa), Jan Horn (South Africa).

The Workshop was opened with presentations by Dr Graham Domini (Chief Director, National Archives of South Africa), Mr Gelfand Kausiyo (GM Radio Broadcast Facilities, SABC), Sue Malden (FIAT) and Jacqueline von Arb (IASA).

Among topics covered were a general overview of archive management, different types of carriers, recording and reproduction techniques, good housekeeping, obsolescence, transfer and digitisation of the various media, principles of cataloguing, policy formulation, metadata, storage and retrieval, sales and marketing, ethics, rights, and the academic and commercial researchers' expectations.

There were visits to the archives of the SABC and M-Net, as well as the National Film, Sound and Video Archives. There were over 160 delegates from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, Swaziland, Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, and South Africa. This was double the expected attendance and shows the enormous need for, and importance of, a conference such as this, and the thirst for information in the audiovisual field.

The sponsors from FIAT and IASA were hugely impressed by the wide range of archives represented, and the diversity of national and institutional situations. They admired the enthusiasm of the attendees, their candour in sharing their needs, their hunger, thirst and curiosity for solutions, and their commitment to shaping the future.

We've learned a great deal about the general condition of archives in Southern Africa. We recognize the great need, but also see a great deal of potential. We're pleased to see that steps are already being taken to make sure that the network this forum represents is built upon, using the knowledge base that is already here in the NFVSA, the SABC and M-Net.

FIAT and IASA believe an important step has been taken towards developing a community of archives on this continent. Ya Pele was the first. Let each and every one of us take the seeds of this flower and nurture them across Southern Africa.

For pictures, visit the FIAT site:

Jacqueline von Arb (IASA)
Sue Malden (FIAT)

IASA in Mexico City

The November Mexico Seminar was a great success with some 200 participants, including people from all over Latin America. Radio Educación and the National School of Conservation were very welcoming and had made wonderful arrangements for the group. The week was divided into lectures and presentations in the morning, and training sessions in the afternoon.

The expertise of those participating in the workshops varied, but all were enthusiastic and keen to learn. The spirit of the seminar resulted in a final declaration, signed by many of the participants, to co-operate more closely in promoting the development, care and preservation of sound and audiovisual archives in Latin America. The timing could not be better because, as you know, as IASA's annual conference will be held in Mexico City in September 2006. It is hoped that many of the participants will be able to attend.

IASA members were very much in evidence. My thanks to all of them. Dietrich Schüller presented seminars, Pio Pellizzari read a paper, Kevin Bradley read a paper and ran workshops, and Stephano Cavaglieri made a presentation (at the last moment!) and handled workshops. Emmanuel Hoog, FIAT's President, and I presented papers and spoke at the opening and closing ceremonies. Other participants included Ted Urnes, Branko Bubenik, Daniel Teruggi, Manabu Ehara, Bjorn Blomberg, Roberto Rossetto, Jouni Frilander, and our Mexican hosts Fernando Osorio, Perla Olivia Rodriguez, Jamie Tacher y Samarel and many others. The whole workshop was presided over by Director-General of Radio Educación and IASA member Lidia Camacho. Everyone contributed to a great week.

Many ideas were also bounced around to improve the effectiveness of some of the training and to aim more of the presentations at the level of the participants. Pio, our Vice-President of training, is already working out some thoughts that he will present to the IASA Board in March. Radio Educación is planning a similar seminar in 2007. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Since the November seminar, Radio Educación has been preparing for the September conference. While attending the seminar we had the chance to visit proposed locations for the conference, the opening reception, the closing banquet, and some of the conference hotels. The facilities are among the best IASA has ever had. The hotels are excellent and very reasonably priced, especially by European standards. Mexico City is an exciting, vibrant, city and the conference will be a valuable opportunity for IASA members to meet their Latin American colleagues.

IASA has also been preparing for the conference. The Call for Papers on the conference theme, Between Memory and Oblivion: The Educational and Cultural Significance of Audiovisual Archives, attracted over 40 proposals, from every part of the world, on a wide variety of topics related to the many sub-themes. IASA's Vice-President in charge of conference programming, Per Holst, has been very busy collating and organizing these papers. With most of the IASA conferences having about 30 presentations, making the selection is going to be a challenge. This will be an interesting and stimulating conference. At the March board meeting a preliminary programme will be drafted.

By the time you read this, information about the Mexico City conference will available through both the IASA and Radio Educación web sites. A notice will be sent out on the listserv. The deadline for early registration will be in June. I hope you will all have an opportunity to attend.

Richard Green
IASA President

Present-day Optical and Magnetic Conservation Support for Digital Documents

The IRTEM (Research Institute for Musical Theatre, headed by IASA honorary member Carlo Marinelli) collaborated with CFLR (Italian Centre for Photo reproduction, Binding, and Restoration of State Archives) to hold this International Conference from 21to 23 November 2005. Supported by IASA, the 3-day event was actually three one-day events:

The Monday Seminar was aimed at the technically inclined. Among others, George Brock-Nannestad spoke about fidelity to the original in the digital domain, while Francesco La Camera explained optical and magnetic carriers. The latter also offered to help translate the TC-04 into Italian.

Tuesday's Conference was opened with a presentation of the IASA Guidelines on Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects by IASA Vice-President Jacqueline von Arb and followed by Albrecht Haefner's critical review of ten years' worth of training. George Brock-Nannestad chaired the afternoon session, where Pekka Gronow presented the Finnish Sound Preservation Project, and Guido Marinelli addressed the issues of security and privacy in digital documents.

Wednesday was a Round Table event focusing on Conservation and the User: How archives can be of service to the public today and tomorrow. More than 20 people took part in this discussion, most of them heads of different institutions. Contributors presented their institutions and their view of how to solve coming challenges of preservation versus access and how to serve both today's and tomorrow's public. The emerging common denominator was definitely the importance of inter-institutional co-operation.
More information about the event can be viewed on

Jacqueline von Arb
Vice-President: IASA

Pan-Baltic Images: Reaching Out to the World Seminar in Riga 16-17 October 2005

“Since the end of the 1980s, the volume of AV collections in the Baltic States, and demand for access to them, has grown exponentially. Political changes, developing media, fresh and open interest in our past, have put a great deal of pressure on heritage institutions. This seminar on AV archives provides an opportunity to establish active and constructive international cooperation under the umbrella of the Baltic Audiovisual Archival Council.” Citation from the website for BAAC

This was the call over the internet for the second Baltic seminar on audiovisual archives. The first seminar was held in the autumn 2004 in cooperation with the IASA Nordic Branch and the Baltic Audiovisual Archival Council consolidated itself in early spring 2005. The seminar was sponsored by local archives and firms, and the Canadian and Norwegian embassies contributed in many ways.

A new board was elected at the end of seminar day two with Piret Noorhani, head of the Estonian Literary Museum, Tartu, Estonia as the chairman.

Participants represented many of the major nationwide public service media and governmental archives, film archives and libraries in all the states around the Baltic Sea and in Canada.

The main topics at the seminar were:

  • Government politics for the preservation of the AV cultural heritage

  • Legal issues, copyright regulations for AV archives

  • Preservation, transfer, and management of and access to AV archives

  • Digitisation of AV archives

  • Latest trends and tools

  • Study and display of AV documents

  • International partnerships

The seminar took place at the Latvian Television building, situated on an island in the river Daugava. Around 60 delegates took part in the seminars, some of them in parallel sessions.

The BAAC is already planning for the seminar in 2006. IASA as an organization can hopefully support the council in their efforts to set up an international Baltic organization.

Gunnel Jönsson
Secretary-General: IASA

The DEKKMMA Project

The Royal Museum for Central Africa (Koninklijk Museum voor Midden Afrika - Tervuren, Belgium) was founded in 1898. The museum has a focus on African culture and all kinds of ethnographic objects. The archive of the Department of Ethnomusicology currently contains around 8 000 musical instruments, and 50 000 sound recordings with a total of 3 000 hours of music, mostly field recordings made in Central Africa, of which the oldest sound recordings date back to 1910. As a consequence of the fast development of audio recording during the 20th century, the archive holds different kinds of carriers, such as Edison cylinders; wire recordings; 78-, 45- and 33-rpm records; magnetic tapes, cassettes, DAT and CDs. Each recording has an individual index card, which provides 'meta-data' on the recording (location, date of recording, ethnic group), and in most cases there is also supporting contextual data such as photo, film, publication, etc.

The audio archive is one of the biggest and best documented archives world wide for the region of Central Africa, and is therefore one of the most important sources of the music from an area that is suffering from political instability and a loss of cultural heritage owing to both modernization and genocide.

The museum has a great responsibility for the preservation of this unique archive, not only for the conservation of this patrimony for the future, but also for the accessibility of the archive.

The DEKKMMA project is a 4-year project with the aim of durable conservation (including conversion from analogue to digital sound carriers) and easier consultation of the sound archive. The project draws on co-operation between the RMCA and the University of Ghent (Belgium). It unites the experience of ethnomusicologists, musicologists, informatics and database specialists. Partners of the University of Ghent are the Department of Informatics (CSL-Telin) and the Department of Musicology (IPEM) a fertile combination that led to fruitful results concerning conversion of the audio and data, database development, and Internet access of the archive (

In the second phase, the DEKKMMA project aims at expanding the results obtained with new technologies in flexible querying and audio-mining. The endeavours are, on one hand, enlarging the searching possibilities of the archive for professional and non-professional visitors, and on the other hand, creating prospects for new, profound professional ethnomusicological research on non-Western music.


  • EM-KMMA : Department Ethnomusicology Royal Museum for Central Africa

  • IPEM-UGent : Department Musicology, Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music University Ghen

  • CSL(Telin)-UGent: Computer Science Laboratory University Ghent

  • ICT-KMMA: Department Information technology and Communication Royal Museum of Central Africa

  • EM-ULB: Ethnomusicology, University Brussels


Olmo Cornelis, Musicologist, DEKKMMA-project, IPEM-Dept. of Musicology, Ghent University,
Belgium. Tel: +32-9-264 41 26, Fax: +32-9-264 41 43

Austro-Georgian Co-operation in Cylinder Transfer

From 20 November to 15 December 2005 Franz Lechleitner, retired chief audio technician of the Vienna Phonogrammarchiv, and still consultant for the transfer of historical sound carriers, went to Georgia to transfer around 500 historical cylinders to digital carriers.

Following a fact finding mission in June, sponsored by the Austrian and Georgian Academies of Sciences, Franz was invited by the Georgian State Conservatory in Tbilisi to transfer most of the historical cylinders that the State Conservatory had been able to bring together from its own and other collections in Georgia. The mission was also sponsored by Georgian Airways, which reserved an extra seat for the soft and safe transport of Franz's type IV cylinder replay machine.

During his stay in Tbilisi, Franz was fully supported by Georgian colleagues, who made the transfer of 500 cylinders possible within relatively short time. The signals have been digitised at 96kHz/24 bit and a safety copy is held in Vienna. All the rights, however, are with the Georgian owners.

The content of the cylinders is predominantly of a musical nature. Among the recordings are early examples of the famous and unique polyphony, a highly significant feature of Georgian vocal music.

Nordic Branch in Stockholm

The IASA Nordic Branch is to hold its triennial meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, on 9 and 10 June.

Some Swedish archives will be presenting their holdings and how they give access to the public. New digital projects in radio and television will be presented, as well as a joint project between Swedish Television, the Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images, Swedish Broadcasting Resources, and the community of Ånge.

For more information contact:

Gunnel Jönsson, Radio Archive/SRF, e-mail:

Greece Hosts Third International Conference of Museology

Mytilene, University of the Aegean, June 5-8, 2006
Municipal Theatre of Mytilene - Auditorium of the Commercial Chamber

The Department of Cultural Technology & Communication of the University of the Aegean, the Hellenic Committee of ICOM and the International Committee for Audiovisual collections in Museums AVICOM organize the Third International Conference of Museology and the AVICOM Annual Conference in Mytilene, from June 5th to June 8th, 2006 on: 'Audiovisual Collections as Cultural Heritage and their Use in Museums'. Both the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and the General Directorate of Hellenic Television will participate in the conference.

The sound and image technologies, as well as their applications, play an essential role in the realms of contemporary cultural institutions: as evidence that needs to be collected, curated and protected; as a means of managing and interpreting cultural material; as communication and promotional tools for the cultural heritage; and as educational tools.

The aims of the conference are:

  • To focus on these technologies and create a discourse through a wide array of theoretical and practical approaches

  • To engage in the theory, methods and uses of these mediums in museums, cultural heritage sites, historical sites and other institutions at an international level

  • To create a collaboration framework among individuals, entities and institutions producing sound and image works in the field of cultural heritage

  • To examine the future perspectives and to discuss new directions, collaborations, and technologies of audiovisual production

The conference will be divided into the following sessions:

  1. Audiovisual medium as exhibits, including digital arts.

  2. Film museums, film archives, audiovisual archives.

  3. Methods and systems of registration, documentation and classification of audiovisual material, including digital arts.

  4. The new sound and image technologies as collection management tools, including issues of digital preservation.

  5. The audiovisual as promotion and communication vehicle.
    5.1. The sound (audio guides, soundtopia, sound as an exhibit) and image technologies as interpretative tools in contemporary museums.
    5.2. Multimedia and Internet applications in museum communication.
    5.3. Portable devices as promotion, interpretation and communication vehicles.
    5.4. The new sound and image technologies and society (special public groups, collaboration with communities, artists, etc).
    5.5. The museum as a producer of audiovisual material.

  6. New business partnership models for museums to develop a/v production.

Communication and Information

For any information regarding the conference and the registration process, please visit the conference website at, or contact the conference organizing committee, Dr Alexandra Bounia (conf2006@ct.aegean. gr), or the Hellenic Committee of ICOM, Miss Elena Papadaki, 15, Ag. Asomaton, Athens 105 58, Tel/Fax: (+30) 210 3239414, e-mail:, or Mrs Amalia Tsitouri (+30) 210 3304030.

Management of Audiovisual Collections

The second TAPE Workshop on management of audiovisual collections will be held from 19 to 25 April 2006 and will take place at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam.

The programme has been developed by experts from different countries with training expertise, among them the TAPE partners, some of whom have extensive experience of training in this area. The workshop is aimed at all those responsible for audiovisual collections in archives, museums, and libraries. For this introductory course, no specific technical expertise is required.

In this five-day workshop, the characteristics of film, video and sound recordings and the different recording systems and devices will be reviewed. Specific requirements for their handling and preservation will be related to the nature and function of different kinds of audiovisual materials. The workshop will explore the different transfer and conversion methods, technical requirements in relation to quality, and long-term management of digital files. Issues will be approached as management problems, and due attention will be given to matters such as needs assessment, setting priorities, planning, budgeting and outsourcing, and project management. Participants will acquire knowledge of technical issues that will enable them to make informed decisions about the role of digitisation in care and management of audiovisual collections. The speakers will present outlines of issues and practical cases, and a substantial part of the workshops will be spent on discussions and group assignments to develop participants' skills in finding their own solutions.

IASA will be involved as workshop leaders:

  • Dietrich Schüller, Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

  • Albrecht Häfner, Südwestrundfunk (Radio & TV Archives), Baden Baden

  • Franz Pavuza, Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

For more information, visit the TAPE website:

ARSC Pre-Conference Workshop 2006

The ARSC Education and Training Committee, with support from the University of Washington Libraries' Kenneth S Allen Library Endowment, presents 'A Tutorial on the Preservation of Audio in the Digital Domain'. The workshop will be held on Wednesday 17 May, in the Bainbridge Room of the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue, 1415 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, Washington.

This tutorial workshop covers the basics of preserving audio in the digital domain, addressing difficult issues concerning equipment, technical metadata, and storage. Archivists, librarians, and collection managers -- anyone who works with archival sound recordings -- will be given guidance on formulating solid digital-preservation strategies, and a greater understanding of the issues involved in working effectively with IT personnel, audio engineers, and others pursuing the preservation endeavour.

The workshop consists of four sequential sessions:

1. Introduction: How We Got from ARSC/AAA to IASA TC-04
This initial session discusses the conceptual shift in preservation strategy that began around 1990 and continues today. Setting the stage for the rest of the workshop, this introductory overview traces the history of the critical paradigm shift, while outlining the basic principles of ARSC/AAA and IASA TC-04.

Presented by Mike Casey (Associate Director for Recording Services, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University).

2. Computers, Converters, Cards, and Cables: Equipment Considerations for Signal Capture in the Digital Domain
This session focuses on selection of computers and digitization equipment, emphasizing accurate capture of analogue source material. Options examined encompass the wide variety of source material, budgets, and digitization requirements that exist across archives holding audio collections.

Presented by Konrad Strauss (Director, Recording Arts Department, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music).

3. Technical Metadata for Audio Preservation
This presentation explores the collection of technical metadata for audio preservation. It features a demonstration of software applications designed for documenting characteristics of the source recording and the digitising process.

David Ackerman (Audio Preservation Engineer, Archive of World Music, Harvard University; and Chair of the Audio Engineering Society Working Group that developed two emerging standards in this area) leads the session.

Reports on implementing and localising the AES-standard practices will be given by:
Sara Velez (Assistant Chief, Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, New York Public Library) and Mike Casey (Associate Director for Recording Services, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University).

4. Storage Solutions and Data Management
The final workshop session provides an overview of storage technology and explores storage solutions suitable for small archives and for larger institutions. Related data management issues will be examined.

Presented by John Spencer (President, Bridge Media Solutions Inc) and Jon Dunn (Associate Director for Technology, Digital Library Program, Indiana University Libraries).

The Workshop Registration Fee is not included in the Conference Registration Fee.

Early workshop registration (postmarked by 24 April) is $70 for ARSC members, $80 for non-members, and $30 for students. After that date, registration is $80 for ARSC members, $95 for non-members, and $35 for students.

Detailed information about the workshop can be found at:

Please direct any workshop-related questions to the Co-Chairs of the Education and Training Committee:

Nancy Seeger:, 202-707-5494;
Sara Velez:, 212-870-1662

Video Aids to Film Preservation

Tom Davenport and Steve Knoblock of have created a new web site called 'Video Aids to Film Preservation'. (

The site is in its early stages, but is complete enough now to give the film archiving community an idea of what it is about.

The VAFP site was funded as part of a 2005 Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant to the  project. Our purpose is to supplement existing Film preservation Guides ( with video demonstrations. These preservation guides, while excellent and thorough, are mostly text. Handling film is like working with a sewing machine. Basic activities such as splicing, rewinding, cleaning, and repairing are best demonstrated by moving images.

The site is set up as a dynamic database of video clips that can be built up over time. The clips can be streamed in Real and Mpeg 4, or be downloaded in Mpeg 4 files. The films and clips are governed by the rules of Creative Commons, which allow anyone to use these clips with attribution -- in this case, attribution to the VAFP site and to the author of the clip and his company.

In addition to the short video clips, we are presenting several industrial films made about film restoration. These films were made by professional film laboratories and demonstrate procedures that are beyond the abilities of most archivists, collectors, and amateurs. However, they also contain much useful information about basic film handling and preservation techniques, and will give the viewer an overall understanding of the film restoration process.

The site is hosted by and has been made possible by a grant from the IMLS and donations from Folkstreams, Inc.  Contributors include (Bob Brodsky and Toni Treadway), Cineric, Film Technology Company, and Colorlab.

Please send feedback to Tom Davenport, Project Director,
11324 Pearlstone lane
Delaplane, VA 20144
540-592-3701 voice
540-592-3717 fax

ET on the Web

The Ethnographic Thesaurus (ET), a comprehensive controlled list of subject terms to be used in describing ethnographic and ethnological research collections, is a co-operative project of the American Folklore Society and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress that is in its second year of development. Support for the project is provided by a grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to develop a thesaurus that folklorists, ethnomusicologists, archivists, librarians, and researchers of all kinds can use to classify cultural information. An advisory board oversees the ET staff of four that includes a lexicographer, two subject specialists, and a database manager.

For more information about the Ethnographic Thesaurus, please see our website at, or sign up for our mailing list at

LAN for Endangered Languages

The Language Archives Newsletter, begun under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, provides news and informative articles about topics in endangered languages, especially archiving, fieldwork, language documentation, data and media management, computer tools, and developments in relevant technologies. LAN warmly welcomes submissions of news, reviews, and articles from anyone working in these areas. Its section on reviews of hardware and software will be of special interest to IASA members.

The Holographic Future

The future of data storage will almost certainly lie in the technology of holographic storage for the enterprise market. With a predicted shelf life of up to 100 years or more, which means we can expect at least 50 years and disk-sized storage capacities of over 300 gigabytes per disk, the equivalent of 462 CDs, it's a safe bet that this is where we're going with our storage solution.

Future generations of these devices are expected to store up to 1.6 terabytes at 150 times the transfer rate of current DVDs by 2010. Unlike other storage techniques that record only on the surface of the disk, holographic data storage devices record through the entire thickness of the medium, allowing for a massive increase in storage capacity. In addition, a much higher transfer rate is achieved because the data are stored and recalled in 'page format'. In holographic data storage, an entire page of information is stored at once as an optical interference pattern in a thick, photosensitive optical material fashioned into a CD-like disc, tape or a cube.

What's an exabyte? Here's a handy little chart that puts things into perspective:

1 megabyte = 1 024 kilobytes
1 gigabyte = 1 024 megabytes
1 terabyte = 1 024 gigabytes
1 petabyte = 1 024 terabytes
1 exabyte = 1 024 petabytes

For more information, read:

Calendar of Events

29 Jan - 1 Feb SMPTE Advanced Motion Imaging / VSF VidTrans Joint Conference

Hollywood, USA

22-25 Mar 5th symposium on the preservation, study and use of 'orphan films' Columbia S.C., USA
19 - 25 April TAPE Workshop Amsterdam, The Netherlands
24-29 Apr 62nd FIAF Congress Sao Paulo, Brazil
17 20 May 40th ARSC Annual Conference Seattle, USA
20-23 May 120th AES Convention Paris, France
5-8 June 3rd International Conference of Museology 'Audiovisuals as cultural heritage ... ' Mytilene, Greece
9-10 June IASA Nordic Branch triennial meeting Stockholm, Sweden
30 Jun - 2 July 28th International AES Conference 'Future of Audio Technology-Surround & Beyond' Piteå, Sweden
20-24 August 72nd IFLA General Conference and Council Seoul, Republic of Korea
28 August-1 September SIBMAS Vienna
September SEAPAVAA 10th annual conference Canberra, Australia
9-14 September IASA Annual Conference 'Between Memory & Oblivion' Mexico City, Mexico
6-9 October 121st AES Convention San Francisco, USA
11- 14 October AMIA Annual Conference Anchorage, USA
18-21 October SMPTE Technical Conference and Exhibition Los Angeles, USA
26-30 October FIAT annual conference Madrid, Spain
April 63rd FIAF Congress Tokyo, Japan
August 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council Durban, South Africa
August XVI 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