The purpose of this document

In an increasingly digital environment, members of IASA and the archival community at large have been asking how to safeguard the audiovisual heritage. The Technical Committee of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) has prepared these general guidelines to help meet these requests.

IASA-TC 03 aims to identify problem areas and to propose recommended practices for use by sound and AV archives in today's technical environment. These recommendations are a balance between the ideal situation and the real world that we inhabit. They are intended to help the reader to focus on the various issues relating to responsible audio archiving practice. At the same time it uses a consistent terminology and may be read by people with financial responsibility for a collection as well as by technically trained staff.

This document constitutes a revision of earlier versions of IASA-TC 03 issued in September 2001 and February 1997. The revision is a consequence of the most recent developments in digital audio archiving. The document has also taken account of IASA-TC 04, Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects, published in 2004. Accordingly, TC 03 concentrates on the principles while TC 04 provides detailed explanations of the practical consequences of TC 03.

The safeguarding of the audio heritage will be the subject of further development because of changes in technology and in the market places and the resulting consequences for the archival community. The IASA Technical Committee is continuously involved in monitoring, debating, and influencing the situation. Whenever appropriate, an updated version of this document will be issued.

Version 3 was prepared by a writing group consisting of George Boston, George Brock-Nannestad, Lars Gaustad, Albrecht Häfner, Dietrich Schüller and Tommy Sjöberg, and was reviewed by the entire IASA Technical Committee.

Dietrich Schüller
Editor