Information Bulletin no. 59, January 2008

Ride the 2008 IASA-ASRA wave in Sydney

The Organising Committee of the ASRA IASA 2008 Conference, No Archive is an Island, cordially invites you to the conference and to the magical city of Sydney. The venue of the conference is the Australian National Maritime Museum which is situated on Darling Harbour and is surrounded by cafes and restaurants, galleries, an I-Max theatre, and many shops and other attractions. Please visit the conference website [] to see the venue and the point at which our plans currently are. Registration will open in the near future.

There are some chronological changes this year. The IASA executive and the ASRA IASA 2008 organising committee have decided to highlight the section and committee meetings. Accordingly the conference starts with what hopefully will be a unique welcoming reception on the evening of Sunday 14 September 2008. The reception will be held in the Maritime Museum’s stunning waterfront room with wide terrace and sweeping views of Darling Harbour and the historic fleet. It will be a beautiful welcome to Sydney and the Harbour, and we seriously hope the weather will play along!

If you are attending an IASA meeting for the first time, there will be a session earlier on the day of the Reception to share with you how an IASA conference functions, and what happens at the meetings and sessions. The section and committee meetings, which are the heart of our organisation, will be held on Monday in nearby rooms generously provided by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The conference then continues at the Maritime Museum through to Friday 19 September, followed by the conference dinner on Friday evening. The Conference week will include a tour of the National Archives of Australia and the ABC in Sydney.

On the Monday 22 September there will be a special two day bus tour and overnight package to Canberra, the national capital (numbers permitting) to visit the National Film and Sound Archive, The National Library of Australia and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Those who elect to come to Canberra can also choose to spend the weekend between viewing the sights of Sydney and the surrounding attractions, such as sunny and picturesque beaches, the neighbouring Blue Mountains, wildlife parks, and wineries.

We look forward to seeing you in Sydney…..

Kevin Bradley
Convenor: 2008 IASA-ASRA Conference

Registration for the conference will soon open. Please visit the website regularly for registration information.


Travel Grants for IASA Members

1. Applicants who are to present a paper at the annual conference will be given higher priority will have a better chance of receiving a travel grant than other applicants.
2. IASA may, in addition, approach the local conference organiser and request that the grantee's registration fee be waived. The decision in each case will be up to the conference organiser.
3. Applications must be sent in writing (by letter, fax or e-mail) to the Secretary General in response to the announcement of travel grants as published in the IASA Information Bulletin and on the IASA List-Serv. Applications must contain the full amount of the travelling costs in US$ or Euros, confirmed e.g. by an official travel agency.
4. Applications by representatives of institutional members must be countersigned by the director or a senior officer of their organisation as evidence that their attendance has been authorised.
5. Accommodation and subsistence costs will not be supported.
6. IASA will not pay grants in advance of travel.
7. The Secretary General will check all the applications received by the appointed deadline, and submit them to the Executive Board for discussion and approval.
8. Applicants will be informed as soon as possible of the result after the Board's decision has been reached.

Costs will be reimbursed on presentation of copies of the travel documents by the grantee to the IASA Treasurer during the conference. Otherwise, payment will be made after the conference, and the method of payment will be specified in the application, including to whom monies are to be paid, and how this will be done.

IASA travel grants are intended for members only; accompanying persons are not eligible.

The deadline for applications for travel grants to attend the IASA Conference in Sydney is 1 May 2008. The Board will reply to applications before 31 July 2008. Please fill in the travel grant application form available on

Or contact the IASA Secretary General:
Gunnel Jönsson


IASA expands…

Heike vom Orde, Carl-Maria-v.-Weber-Str. 10c 86157 Augsburg, Germany is the head of the IZI (International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television) documentation department, a department of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation (BR). Heike wants to join IASA as a full individual member to enhance her knowledge on other types of sound and audiovisual archives and to share experiences with colleagues from other broadcasting companies across the world.

Emmanuel PERRIN, EJP Foundation, 9d avenue Alfred Cortot, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland. The EJP foundation is dedicated to music purposes. The collection holds approximately 20 000 scores, 3 000 books and 50 000 recorded music references. The EJP Foundation recording studio is mainly dedicated to the production of music teaching materials and is currently working to open the library to scholars (primarily students of conservatory, and university researchers).

Curt Carlsson, Törners väg 58 SE 18157 Lidingö Sweden. The IASA Membership was a birthday present from his wife, Gunnel Jönsson!

Alessandro Bellafiore, Viale Regina Margherita, 42 90138 Palermo, Italy, hopes by subscribing to IASA that it may be an opportunity to be more informed and to meet people able to give training and development chances.

MediaServices GmbH, contact person: Paul Leitner, Eichetwaldstrasse 6 A-5081 Anif Salzburg, Austria. MediaServices GmbH is a group of (currently four) senior professionals within the media industry. The company delivers consulting and delivers tools for this market, especially for the content preservation area. Paul Leitner, the founder of MediaServices GmbH, has more than 20 years of background working for major international companies in the media market. He teaches Archives & Content Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg.

Prism Sound, contact person: Chris Allen, William James House Cowley Road Cambridge CB4 0WX, UK. Prism Sound provide some of the world's most prestigious and demanding audio facilities, projects and applications in the world with the highest calibre audio hardware. From supplying audio converters for digital archiving purposes to providing bespoke audio test solutions, Prism Sound have always approached audio with a no compromise attitude resulting in the some best performing devices available. Membership in the IASA means that Prism Sound can reach like-minded institutes and individuals who are as fervent about audio and the preservation of sound as they are.

Tommy Sjöberg, Bagarbyvägen 54, SE-191 34 Sollentuna, Sweden. Tommy has been an institutional member, but has left the institution and want to retain membership.

Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE), contact person: Malachy Moran, Audio Services & Archives, Radio Centre, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, Ireland.

MARTLab, contact person: Alberto Gaetti, c/o Conservatorio Cherubini Piazza delle Belle Arti, 2 50122 Firenze, Italy. MARTLab is involved in the recovery and restoration of audio documents, research and production in the field of musical technology


New Training and Education Committee

On 18 September 2007, the IASA Training & Education (T&E) Task Force held a meeting at the Maritim Park Hotel in Riga, Latvia. The members of the T&E Task Force, Pio Pellizari, Judith Gray, Albrecht Häfner, Gisa Jähnichen, Simon Rooks, Guy Marechal and Nadja Wallaszkowits welcomed Kevin Bradley as their guest, who reported on a planned training programme three weeks prior to the annual IASA conference 2008, which is hoped to take place in Canberra, Australia. Discussions were encouraged by presentations covering audiovisual archiving in educational context, bibliographies of T&E-related publications and the re-edition of material on "Selection" (first edited by Helen P. Harrison in Vienna 1984), as well as concentrated actions in gaining multifunctional training and education material.
The meeting (re)founded the T&E Committee of IASA and elected a new T&E committee: Pio Pellizari (Chair), Judith Gray (Vice-Chair) and as Secretary, Gisa Jähnichen.
The next meeting of the Committee will take place in Lugano, 22-23 February 2008.

UNESCO Jikji Prize money finds a home

In September 2007 the Phonogrammarchiv (Vienna, Austria) was awarded the UNESCO Jikji Prize. In its application the Archive announced that the prize money would be spent for the safeguarding of an audiovisual collection in Eastern Europe or in a developing country.

In the course of the last nomination round the José Maceda Collection, nominated by the Philippines, has been inscribed to the International Register of the Memory of the World-Programme. José Maceda (1917 - 2004) was the nestor of South-East Asian ethnomusicology. After World War II he intensively engaged in recording traditional music from the Philippines and the South-East Asian region at large. His estate embraced, amongst a remarkable collection of musical instruments, about 2500 hours of recordings, mainly on analogue tape. The collection is currently held by the University of the Philippines.

Following contacts between the Phonogrammarchiv, Professor Maceda, and the University of the Philippines, dating back to 2000 and 2004, it was considered to use the prize money for the safeguarding of that collection. As, however, the prize money of USD 30 000 is not sufficient to safeguard the entire collections, negotiations have been established in autumn 2007 to find additional funds for the project. Dr. Ramon Santos, the Director of the José Maceda Collection, was successful in raising considerable additional funds, which, together with the Jikji Prize money, are sufficient to start the project.

During a visit of Dietrich Schüller in Manila at the end of January 2008, a principal agreement has been reached which also includes technical cooperation between Manila and Vienna.


Schüller & Häfner Presentations is now available on-line

Audio and video carriers
Recording principles, storage and handling, maintenance of equipment, format and equipment obsolescence, February 2008
, edited by George Boston

Exciting news is that the TAPE project has issued a full text version of presentations used in TAPE workshops by Dietrich Schüller and Albrecht Häfner. This publication, compiled by Dietrich Schüller, is an overview of audio and video carriers. The text systematically describes recording principles, storage and handling, maintenance of equipment, format and equipment obsolescence for each type of carrier, and includes a list of recommended reading. It also provides a solid, non-technical introduction for all those professionally managing sound and video collections.

It is available as a PDF file at:


Sound Archive Internships at the British Library

The programme of British Library Sound Archive internships is now in the middle of its inaugural year. Three interns have already completed their two month internship, with a fourth due to finish at the end of February. The first of two interns undertaking a five month placement started the internship in January. This first round of internships are funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the American Trust for the British Library, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and The Ernest Cook Trust

The individuals participating in the internships are already working in institutions such as regional audio archives, local broadcasting organisations, or anywhere that has a significant audio archive that requires conservation and management.

The training is supervised by the Sound Archive’s technical and curatorial staff and is based around the IASA publications TC03 and TC04, covering archiving principles and practices respectively. The content of the programme is flexible and can be adapted to cover topics that are of particular importance to the intern. There is an emphasis on learning through hands on experience with interns completing projects based on existing audio collections held in the British Library. These projects involve applying the specific audio archiving skills, acquired at the start of the internships, to the handling, archiving, documentation and data migration of the selected collection items. This provides the interns with valuable experience in a working sound archive to international archiving standards.

The Sound Archive will shortly be advertising the second round of internships which will take place between September 2008 and July 2009. This second round of internships will be funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Derek Butler Trust and the American Trust for the British Library.

For further information please visit the British Library website: 
or contact Alison Faraday:


A new organisation is born

A new non-profit association Baltic Heritage Network was founded at the BaltHerNet Baltic Seminar in Tartu at Estonian National Museum on January 10-11, 2008. The seminar was organised by the Expert Team on the Estonian Archives Abroad (in cooperation with Estonian National Museum and Karl Ristikivi Society) and sponsored by the Compatriot Programme (Estonian Ministry of Education and Research). All three Baltic states were represented with 22 registered participants from 17 institutions.

NPA BaltHerNet was established to foster network cooperation between the national and private archives, museums, libraries, institutions of research, public associations and organisations collecting and studying cultural heritage of the Baltic diaspora to facilitate the preservation and research of the historically valuable cultural property of the Baltic diaspora, as well as to ensure accessibility of these materials to the public. NPA BaltHerNet will develop and encourage cooperative networking domestically and regionally (within and between each of the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as internationally (Baltic States, the worldwide Baltic Community). NPA will also develop and administrate the electronic information portal Baltic Heritage Network (, a multilingual electronic gateway to information on the Baltic cultural heritage of the Baltic diaspora.

A Board of 5 members and an Audit Panel of 3 members were elected. Board: Piret Noorhani (President, Estonian National Museum), Linas Saldukas (Vice-President, Lithuanian Emigration Institute), Gatis Karlsons (Vice-President, Directorate General of Latvia State Archives), Karin Kiisk (Secretary; Tartu University), Birgit Kibal (National Archives of Estonia). Audit Panel: Tiiu Kravtsev (Panel Chair, Estonian State Archives, Merike Kiipus (Estonian Literary Museum), Anne Valmas (Academic Library of Tallinn University).

During the year 2008 presentations of the gateway and the new organisation will be arranged in Baltic states and Baltic communities worldwide. Information on the organisation will be available at:

Piret Noorhani
Estonian National Museum
J. Kuperjanovi 9, 50409 Tartu
Tel. +372 7350 423

Lorenz-Stille and Philips-Miller transfers

Do you own Lorenz-Stille or Philips-Miller recordings and are interested in having them transferred to modern media, whether analog or digital?

AUDIORAMA, the Swiss Audiovisual Museum, specialises in the preservation of audiovisual equipment. It has successfully restored two recorders that can read these formats. Such machines are extremely difficult to find today, which is all the more regrettable because there is a considerable number of archives kept in good condition, waiting to be transferred.

The Lorenz-Stille recorder in their possession reads 3 mm steel tape at a speed of 1.5 m/s. It was used by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation until the early 40s, but this format was still in use at the BBC as late as the mid 50s.

The restoration of the Philips-Miller recorder took two years of thorough technical research based on the museum’s expertise and substantial collection of documentation. The bands are standard, 7 mm wide, with a reading speed of 32 cm/s.

Transfers reproduce the original sound quality which is in both cases between 60 Hz to 8000 Hz with noise levels less than 50 dB in full modulation.

Experience and competence AUDIORAMA’s Competence Centre is composed of a broad range of technical specialists in the restoration of audiovisual equipment. They were responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 600 radio receivers, TV sets, audio and video recorders in 2006, concentrating on rare and exclusive objects. They carry out transfers and give advice on the preservation of audiovisual archives.

Swiss Audiovisual Museum AUDIORAMA is the Swiss Audiovisual Museum. It is based in Montreux, home of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival and birthplace of Eurovision. Its prestigious collections consist of over 6 500 objects and tens of thousands of spare parts, circuit diagrams, books, reviews, CDs and DVDs, all of which are systematically catalogued. AUDIORAMA offers a permanent exhibition, as well as regular conferences, lectures, concerts and temporary exhibitions.

For more information, visit their website, or contact:

74, avenue de Chillon
1820 Montreux / Territet
Phone +41.21.963.22.33
Fax +41.21.963.02.94


Economies of the Commons

International Working Conference
Amsterdam & Hilversum 10-12 April 2008

A wide range of professionals around the world is currently involved in the creation of unprecedented rich and invaluable audiovisual cultural and knowledge resources on the internet. These range from national audiovisual archives, broadcasters, professional cultural producers and institutions to civic and p2p file sharing initiatives.

The De Balie Centre for Culture and Politics in Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, in collaboration with Knowledgeland, Images for the Future, and Virtual Platform, will hold a two-day international conference on the economies, sustainability, and opportunities for the creative re-use of public audiovisual resources and archives.

While the level of activity and investment in this area is enormous, the question of the longer-term sustainability of these audiovisual resources remains wide open. Continued massive public investment is one obvious solution, with equally obvious drawbacks. The conference intends to look at alternative economic models that already exist, and the possibility to develop a model that can sustain invaluable public resources.

The Economies of the Commons conference will focus on three core issues: strategies for sustainability, new modes of value creation, and the potentials for creative reuse around the digital commons.

These issues will be related to current projects, such as Images of the Future (the largest digitisation project of audiovisual heritage in the Netherlands), P2P Fusion (European research project on audio and video sharing), BBC Creative Archives, Prelinger Archives, Smithsonian Global Sound and UbuWeb. The conference brings together a highly international group of specialists, including Peter Kaufman (Intelligent Television), Rick Prelinger (Prelinger Archives), Roei Amit (INA), Kenneth Goldsmith (UbuWeb), Anthony McCann (Hallam University), Hubert Best (Best & Soames / FOCAL), Lucy Guibault (University of Amsterdam), Florian Schneider ( and many others.

Special public evening programs will introduce the topics of the conference to a wider audience and present best practice examples.

A one-day seminar at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum, on Intellectual Property Rights issues in the digital audiovisual domain, precedes the conference on Thursday April 10, the results of which will feed into the conference program.

Enquiries about the conference programme and registration can be directed at:
Eric Kluitenberg
De Balie
Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
1017 RR Amsterdam


These boots were made for…

Van Gogh’s down at heel boots were the first thing to appear on the test website of the European digital library. The website, branded Europeana, will break new ground by bringing together millions of digitised resources from Europe’s archives, museums, libraries and audio visual collections through a single portal.

The European digital library project began to develop the Europeana web portal in autumn 2007 with funding from the European Commission. The project is one of the Commission's flagship i2010 initiatives to create a European Information Society for growth and jobs.

Europeana is developing practical, user-defined tools for exploring and sharing content in a multilingual interface. The tools will make it easy for users to combine or compare related material across different countries – for example the artefacts, imagery, records and writings relating to the Roman Empire, the Vikings or the Renaissance. The prototype will give direct access to at least 2 million digitised objects, including books, photos, maps, sounds, films and archival records from Europe's libraries, archives, museums and audio-visual collections.

Van Gogh’s Pair of Shoes is the starting point for Europeana’s promotional web video. Introduced by Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, the video takes the audience on a series of journeys through Europe - on pilgrimage, seeking work and marching to war.

The purpose of the video is to encourage European institutions to make their digital content available to Europeana. As Martine de Boisdeffre, Présidente of the European Regional Branch of International Council on Archives said, ‘Users expect to be able to connect the different types of cultural heritage material. To make these possible, organisations need to provide their metadata to Europeana. So many excellent digital resources lie below the surface of the web at present, and aren’t easily located by search engines. Europeana will make this material accessible as never before’.

The demo of Europeana and the video can be seen at Users’ responses to the demonstration site are being surveyed online and in focus groups around Europe. Thorough testing will continue throughout the building of Europeana. This is being done to ensure that when the prototype is launched in November 2008, it will give users all the functionality that they expect.

More information about Europeana can be found at More information about the European digital library can be found at

or contact
Jonathan Purday on 00 31 [0] 70314 0684


2008 BAAC Conference: Call for Papers

Baltic Audiovisual Archival Council (BAAC) recently announced its 2008 conference which will be held 24-27 September 2008 in Tartu, Estonia. The conference will be hosted by the Estonian Literary Museum and the Estonian National Museum. The conference theme is Transformation as Stability: Audiovisual Archives in the Era of New Media /The one who evolves, endures J. Rainis/

Call for papers
The deadline of abstracts for papers is 11 April 2008.

BAAC is an organisation uniting institutions and individuals concerned with audiovisual heritage about the Baltic States, Scandinavian countries and the worldwide Baltic diaspora. The BAAC annual conference (known already as Riga Seminar) will take place in Tartu, the historical university town in the southern Estonia.

The conference will take a look at the rapidly developing media and the changes it has brought to audiovisual archives. The new media has turned our world from a textual to an audiovisual one. In order to ensure their continuous existence audiovisual archives have to change, accept new roles
and acquire new skills. Changes have affected the social values, but have they also changed the value systems in archives?

The theme gives an opportunity to examine the problems of ever-altering archiving forms of digital media, and coping with the constantly growing amount of resource materials. An archive as a symbol of stability and continuity has to combine tradition with innovation. In developing new solutions and renewing the archiving criteria, are archives moulding their users or are the users shaping the archives?

User expectation and usage practices of audiovisual materials have certainly changed. How do these changes influence the everyday archival work?

Will the analogue material be there only to serve as a guarantee of trust in the future of "intangible archives"? Audiovisual archives today have to preserve fading crafts to providing hi-tech access tomorrow. We hope to look into the digital future not neglecting our analogue heritage.
To survive archives should look back to history, and see how radical political changes and censorship have influenced their realm.

The conference language is English.
Please send abstracts of up to 400 words to:

The programme committee:
Juozas Markauskas
Piret Noorhani
Aldis Putelis

The programme committee will announce the papers accepted for the conference by the end of April.

Conference organisers:
Marin Laak- Estonian Literary Museum
Piret Noorhani- Estonian National Museum
Maarja Savan- Esonian Literary Museum

Conference fee: The estimated conference fee will be 20 EUR

Updates about the conference will be published on BAAC website

For more information contact:
Maarja Savan
Baltic Audiovisual Archival Council
+372 7377 721
Vanemuise 42
51003 Tartu


Sound Directions

The Sound Directions project at Harvard University and Indiana University recently announced the publication of Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation, which is available as a PDF from the Sound Directions website at This 168-page publication presents the results of two years of research and development funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in the United States. This work was carried out by project and permanent staff at both institutions in consultation with an advisory board of experts in audio engineering, audio preservation, and digital libraries.

Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation establishes best practices in many areas where they did not previously exist. This work also explores the testing and use of existing and emerging standards. It includes chapters on personnel and equipment for preservation transfer, digital files, metadata, storage, preservation packages and interchange, and audio preservation systems and workflows. Each chapter is divided into two major parts: a preservation overview that summarises key concepts for collection managers and curators, followed by a section that presents recommended technical practices for audio engineers, digital librarians, and other technical staff. This latter section includes a detailed look at the inner workings of the audio preservation systems at both Harvard and Indiana.

This first phase of the Sound Directions project produced four key results: the publication of our findings and best practices, the development of much needed software tools for audio preservation, the creation or further development of audio preservation systems at each institution, and the preservation of a large number of critically endangered and highly valuable recordings. All of these are detailed in this publication, which provides solid grounding for institutions pursuing audio preservation either in-house or in collaboration with an outside vendor.

The Sound Directions project had not anticipated a demand for printed copies, and at this time the document is only available as a PDF. They will asses the demand for and investigate the possibility of a printed version.

For further information on the Sound Directions project:


Curation and Preservation of Audiovisual Collections Workshop

University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Monday 12th – Friday 16th May 2008

A five-day workshop will provide an intensive grounding in the theory and practice of audiovisual archiving, enabling curators to develop strategies to safeguard their collections. The training will be led by a range of expert film, video and audio curators from across Europe. They will address issues such as the handling and storage of analogue originals, digitisation and restoration, managing digital assets and enabling access and reuse.

The workshop will begin with an overview of curation challenges, addressing factors such as carrier composition, life expectancy and obsolescence. The emphasis though will be placed on practice, using case studies and workshops to enable delegates to develop solutions for their specific context. By the end of the workshop delegates will be able to identify which of their collections are at most risk of loss, so work can be prioritised, and will be able to recommend policy changes to improve the management and dissemination of collections.

The workshop will be run by Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow, as a continuation of the training programme established by the EC funded Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe (TAPE) project, which was co-ordinated by European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) and ran between 2004 and 2008.
Course directors: Sarah Jones, HATII & Richard Wright, BBC Archives

Delegate information
The workshop is aimed at curators responsible for audiovisual collections. As this is an introductory course it is suited to curators without specialist audiovisual training. No specific technical expertise is required. The workshop will be conducted in English so delegates are expected to have a working knowledge of the English language to be able to participate.

Course fee: GBP 400
Fee includes a course pack, refreshments, lunches and a conference dinner.
Registration closes on Friday 21st March 2008.
Places are limited so register now to avoid disappointment.

For further information contact Sarah Jones at:
Tel: ++44 (0)141 330 3549
or write to
11 University Gardens
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, G12 8QJ

European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)
c/o Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
P.O. Box 19121, NL-1000 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Visiting address: Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, NL-1011 JV Amsterdam
T ++31 - 20 - 551 08 39
F ++31 - 20 - 620 49 41 

Netherlands supports open standards and open source

The Dutch parliament has adopted a plan to switch the country's public sector over to free software and ODF completely. Reasons will now have to be given if proprietary solutions are preferred.

The Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber) of the Dutch parliament adopted a plan to switch the country's public sector over to open standards. At the same time, authorities will be called upon to use open source software wherever possible. The 26-page paper from the Dutch Economics Ministry obligates governmental services to provide reasons why they need to continue to use proprietary solutions, such as operating systems or office suites from Microsoft, starting next April; next December, this duty will be imposed upon all public authorities. At the same time, authorities are required to come up with a strategy that includes a timeline for migration to open standards and free software.

By June, the Dutch Standards Institute will be presenting a Basic Interoperability Framework containing admissible open standards. The plan adopted yesterday already stipulates that the Open Document Format (OEF) specified by the ISO is to be incrementally adopted for the reading, writing, sharing, publishing, and reception of administrative papers. By January of 2009, the Open Document standard is to be implemented wherever possible. The Dutch Parliament's plan only accepts standards for which no license fees have to be paid, such as for patents.

Furthermore, implementation strategies have been worked up for calls for tenders, purchasing, and the use of open source in all ministries by the beginning of 2009 and for other authorities by January of 2010. The project is to be enforced by a complaints committee and a super-ordinate IT department, which will be providing local assistance in the migration to free software.

The government and parliament adopted the road map, which was supported by all parties, in order to improve interoperability. Specifically, modular software components are expected to help open standards be gradually adopted. Greater independence from individual software vendors is another goal. At the same time, the IT market is to be made accessible to everyone. The same conditions are to apply for all providers so that innovations can be stepped up. The paper also says that the migration plan is intended to ensure the long-term reliability of public administration and the usability of its documents. Finally, the plan is designed to prevent software expenditures from rising.

Four years ago, the Dutch Home Affairs and Economics Ministry worked up the OSOSS (Open Source als Onderdeel van de Software Strategie, or Open Source as an Option in your Software Strategy) migration plan, which terminates at the end of this year. The OSOSS managed to implement open standards in 60 percent of all administrations in Holland; open source software is already used 47 percent of the time. Since 2002, the OASE has also been promoting free software for SMEs.

Despite these initiatives, the Hague aims to put even more pressure on users to migrate to open standards and Linux so that the company can play a pioneer role in Europe. Microsoft's strong protests against the new plan were not long in coming: rumour has it that Redmond threatened yesterday to take the Dutch to the European Court of Justice to protest what the firm sees as violations of competition law when the plan takes effect.


Report on the FIAT/IFTA World Conference in Lisbon

The conference was held from 12-15 October 2007 with the theme “Exploring New Worlds – Archives Meet the Interactive Challenge”, and at the same time FIAT / IFTA celebrated its 30th conference. There were approximately 240 registered participants, the largest number in the last 30 years.

The conference was held under the notion of a possible cooperation, or sponsorship by private providers for digitization and access. Patrick Walker of Google opened the discussion with his keynote speech on this topic. He gave special emphasis to Google’s philosophy of support for a commercial and user-friendly approach.

During the conference the private providers were able to state their positions, and a session was devoted to this topic. The idea of involving private providers such as MOG Solutions, Sony, Google, AVID, Technicolor, and others, initially seemed interesting. However it soon proved to be extremely difficult as the discussions nearly always took place on two levels: for some as a business and search for potential customers; and for others as potential partners for outsourcing and know-how in new technologies with a view to the long-term archiving of audio-visual documents.

In addition to the presentations in the plenary sessions, the conference offered a series of workshops.

Plenary Sessions
The plenary sessions consisted mainly of reports of experiences in the areas of access, user needs, or marketing of content in a new interactive environment and the associated challenges. Other sessions presented ongoing projects such as the EDL Project, or “Archives at Risk”. One session was dedicated to the problem of legal rights, especially in the marketing of archival content, whereby questions regarding ethics, integrity, and authenticity of audio-visual documents were discussed but without lasting results. It was noted that although the problems of each country are different, online-users are located everywhere. One morning was devoted to digital technology, with questions about quality (resolution) of digital AV-documents (primarily video) and the contradictions between the needs of archives and re-use by the producers. Another issue was the use of AV-documents in science and research. There were excellent talks on the problem of documentation, their quality and evaluation, and the contextualization of AV-documents.

This was in stark contrast to the claims of YouTube: as little detailed information as possible (metadata) for the benefit of speed and simplicity. (“YouTube don’t need metadata!” was proclaimed).

Discussions with the private providers often went in circles, and questions which were important for the Archives were seldom answered. Archiving is only the beginning of a long chain which ends with the re-use, and if possible, a business. The providers continually spoke of broadcast archives which should generate output that is also financially attractive. Their proposals for the archives were either mainly based on outsourcing of the digitizing (Preservation Factory, Sony) or on the development of structures and content management in digital archives. Questions such as: What are the needs of an institution and its users?, What are the possibilities of archiving (integration from existing data)?, What happens, and why are there resulting costs?, Maintenance?, System changes?, New developments?, remained unanswered or were never discussed at all. Apart from the issues of documentation / cataloging / metadata, concepts were never addressed as a whole or even brought up. These should be developed by the Archives before turning to the private providers. This context would also require a new image of the AV-archivist/cataloguer that moves beyond the new technologies and the control over databases. Its responsibility is increasingly the contextualization and placement of content.

The subject of high costs, relative to the financial problems of the Archives, was repeatedly raised, but there were no useful suggestions for the solution, even from the providers’ side. Rather, they were of the opinion that it was up to the Archives to find the necessary funds; they themselves could hardly have a beneficial effect on costs.

Eleven workshops took place, two or three at a time, on each of the three afternoons, which made the choice and their attendance difficult. The term “workshop” was used in a broad sense, and covered lectures, mostly case studies, to a slightly smaller audience with the opportunity to ask questions. Experiences with “open access”, web-TV and web appearances of archives were presented. A good example was the project of the EU Parliament. Originally, the idea was that the AV-documents were kept only for the members of Parliament and would be deleted after a period of time. Today there is an archiving concept with a defined workflow and access on different levels (journalism, EU members, web-TV, documentation for re-use, etc.) Also interesting was the workshop from Sony and Preservation Factory. Two problems were especially made clear: one was the loss of control, and the other the lack of know-how on the part of the Archives. Sony tries to reduce this problem with communication concepts. There should also be a training and educational concept drafted for the Archive but there were still no concrete proposals made about this.

One very good idea was to organise a workshop for Africa and another for Latin America. Unfortunately, these were held in parallel. The workshop on Africa exhausted itself in long discussions that confirmed the precarious situation of the local archives -- lack of knowledge, no financial resources. In the workshop on Latin America the participants put together a list of wishes/demands for FIAT. These requests or demands are valid for every AV organisation and it would be a good idea to pass this list on to CCAAA.

The FIAT Conference offered many confrontations with the latest technologies and their associated opportunities, especially for the “access” and “dissemination” of AV-documents. Problems of long-term archiving of digital documents and the standardization of formats (video) were hardly discussed. Inviting private providers as participants at the conference seemed like a good idea, but one should be aware in advance what to expect of them and what their role should be. Despite the two workshops for Africa and Latin America, discussion of the problems of these archives came up short in our view. With the focus on new technologies, access and marketing, reference was mainly to the archives of the EU and North America.

Pio Pellizzari
IASA Vice-President: T&E



Conservation of New Media and Digital Information – a new qualification

Long-term preservation of modern cultural heritage, like photographs, video recordings or digital information, poses a serious challenge for numerous institutions. However, at the same time it provides a highly interesting opportunity, for specialists in this field to gain excellent professional perspectives. With its two-year graduate programme "Conservation of New Media and Digital Information" the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design offers a key qualification for those who are looking for a career in media preservation. And even if studying full-time is not affordable, this programme offers the student the opportunity to attend almost all classes as a guest, and still get credit after successful participation, which can be used at a later stage.

More information can be found at The application form can be downloaded from this website. For more information contact the academy by phone or e-mail

Klaus Pollmeier
(Programme Coordinator)

Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design
Conservation of New Media and Digital Information
Am Weissenhof 1
D-70191 Stuttgart
Phone: +49.711.28440-322
Fax: +49.711.28440-225

Image Science an Technology Conference in Bern

The 2008 Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) Archiving conference is going to take place in Bern, Switzerland. It is the first time for attendees from Europe and the US to meet in Europe for this conference. The conference is scheduled to take place from 24-27 June 2008.
The IS&T Archiving Conference brings together a unique community of imaging novices and experts from libraries, archives, records management, and information technology institutions to discuss and explore the expanding field of digital archiving and preservation. Attendees from across the world represent industry, academia, governments, and cultural heritage institutions. The conference presents the latest research results on archiving, provides a forum to explore new strategies and policies, and reports on successful projects that can serve as benchmarks in the field.
Techniques for producing, acquiring, preserving, indexing, and retrieving digital objects and images are explored in depth. The conference also strives to present unique perspectives from industry and academia on media and technology obsolescence business models for sustainability, formats and standards for archiving, and solutions for content storage, access, and management.

Please visit

For more information, please contact
Rudolf Gschwind

Announcement: Unlocking Audio: Sharing Experience of Mass Digitisation

Conference held at The British Library, 26-27 October 2007

The conference programme, speaker profiles, selected abstracts and recorded presentations of the recently held conference at the British Library, Unlocking Audio: Sharing Experience of Mass Digitisation, are now available from the Unlocking Audio website:

Richard Ranft
The British Library Sound Archive


The Editor - Ilse Assmann,
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Language editor: Dorothy van Tonder, SABC
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