GLAM: Karen Du Toit on Working in Audio-Visual Archives


Guest post for the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) discussion over at International Librarians Network.

International Librarians Network

AV archives worldwide have a major headache that needs being addressed yesterday already!

“International consensus holds that we have around 15 years in which to preserve our sound collections. By 2030, the scarcity of older equipment, the condition of recorded media and the loss of skills will make their preservation costly, difficult and, in many cases, impossible.”James Knight: National Audit of UK Sound Collections

In the Radio Archives we still work on a daily basis with reel-to-reel-tapes, mini-disc cassettes, audio cassettes, compact discs and acetate records. We have huge backlogs of audio material on these formats that needs to be digitised. We are trying to address the issue by digitising while we are doing requests from these formats. We also had interns digitising some of the material while they were here on internship programmes. It is of course not enough! Some of our formats are degrading faster than the rest, such as the mini-disc cassettes…

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