In Buenos Aires, the Museo del Cine – a small and relatively unknown museum – is working valiantly to save some of Latin America’s most valuable creative heritage. Dedicated to Argentina’s cinematographic history, the bulk of the collection currently consists of tens of thousands of film reels and video cassettes that are disintegrating and fading into obsolescence.
Ravaged by war, the preservation of Syria’s documentary heritage is a critical priority, yet this mammoth task is being carried out by just a handful of displaced Syrian professionals, who, despite being far away from their homeland, remain connected to it through sounds and images.
And in another part of the world, a dirge-singer is working diligently to keep Kenyan funeral traditions alive by preserving her performances in accessible sound and image archives. Stories of such struggles are not unique and tend to elicit sporadic responses. Yet in a climate of unpredictability and rapid technological change, can underfunded cultural institutions around the world win the race against time and technological obsolescence, or will our collective memories and diverse creative expressions perish and pay the cost of inaction?
SOIMA: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage is a web-based and freely downloadable book that offers tips and advice from dedicated professionals from all corners of the world, for the preservation and creative use of sound and image heritage. Featuring compelling case examples and strategies founded in evidence-based research, this resource will interest collectors, users and educators alike.
Within the pages of this work, the authors explore the diversity of sound and image collections, and highlight innovative, creative and cost-effective strategies for coping with constant technological change and meagre resources. The topics are as diverse as the authors, who come from fifteen different countries and institutional contexts.
A joint effort of ICCROM, the Belgian Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) and the PrestoCentre, this publication is a compilation of articles drawn from the SOIMA 2015 International Conference held in Brussels. Some 140 conference attendees, representing 41 countries and 95 institutions collectively upheld that collaboration and exchange between institutions and specialists is the key to unlocking sound and image heritage.
Table of Contents:
Foreword – Stefano De Caro, Hilde De Clercq
Introduction – Aparna Tandon and Danielle Abbazia
Section 1 Memory, Intangible Heritage and Creative Expressions
- Burn my bones but keep my words: The legacy of the dirge singer – S. Mshaï Mwangola
- Challenges at the Europeana Space Project: Dance and the intersections between copyright and intangible cultural heritage – Charlotte Waelde and Sarah Whatley
- Someone’s treasure: a legacy for all? The future of La Antigua Guatemala’s Casa K’ojom – Samuel Franco Arce
- Documenting ICH in sound and image: A participatory approach to safeguarding intangible heritage – Jorijn Neyrinck and Ellen Janssens
- Digitizing collections of musical instruments in Africa: The PRIMA project – Saskia Willaert
Section 2 Sustaining Sound and Image Heritage
- The cost of inaction: Making the case for digitization at Anon University – Chris Lacinak
- Changing gears: Fast-lane design for accelerated innovation in memory organisations – Johan Oomen, Maarten Brinkerink, Bouke Huurnink and Roeland Ordelman
- What to do with audiovisual carriers after their digitization? Proposal for a five-step decision making framework – Brecht Declercq and Loes Nijsmans
- I value, you value, we value… but what’s the value? Value assessment as a tool to manage sound and image collections – Hilke Arijs
- Philology in the preservation of audio documents: Customized versus ready-made approaches – Federica Bressan
- Protecting heritage during a crisis: A case example from Syria – Salphy Ohanis
Section 3 Creative Use and Access
- The sonic heritage of ecosystems: Toward a formulation – David Monacchi
- All you need is love: The preservation of photographic collections here, there and everywhere – Debra Hess Norris
- Open access: a challenging opportunity for audiovisual archives – Irfan Zuberi
- The Legatum initiative: Challenges and alternatives to a Brazilian experiment of remote access – Rubens Ribeiro Goncalves da Silva, Ricardo Sodre Andrade, Adriana Cox Hollos, Neiva P Avezi, Joao Ricardo Chagas dos Santos and Research Team
Section 4 Training and Outreach: Current Needs and Future Possibilities
- `This is what you want, this is what you get´: Matching real training needs to delivery – Mick Newnham
- Adapting university education in a digital and globally networked world – Mona Jimenez
- Applying the “baby nursing model” in under-resourced audiovisual archives in Africa: The J. H. Kwabena Nketia Archive at the University of Ghana – Judith Opoku-Boateng
- From analogue collection to multifunctional access: Digitizing audiovisual heritage in Poland – Filip Kwiatek
- Intertwining spheres: Public archiving of private home video collections – Renee Winter