The EBU marks UNESCO’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage this week.
EBU Members are in possession of a unique historical and cultural record, with a rich archive of television and radio programmes documenting the story of the last century and preserving our cultural identities.
However this archive is vulnerable and at risk of being lost. Much of the world’s audiovisual heritage has already been irrevocably lost through neglect, destruction, decay and the lack of the necessary skills and resources to preserve it. It is estimated that approximately 15% of the broadcast archive in Europe has been digitised to date. An estimated 80 million hours of content is at risk if it is not preserved before 2025.
The EBU has been working closely with Members to support them in preserving their archives. It has facilitated the exchange of best practice and offered numerous training courses, brainstorming sessions, surveys and workshops. It has helped many Members – particularly those in the Balkans – by offering advice, archives appraisals and recommendations on the best way of preserving and digitising archives.
EBU Core also provides a metadata specification that has been submitted to ITU and is used by many Members and others worldwide. It has been purposefully designed as a minimum and flexible list of attributes to describe audio and video resources for a wide range of broadcasting applications including archives.
World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is celebrated on October 27th. This year’s theme is ‘It’s your story – don’t lose it’ which celebrates the stories that remind us of our shared humanity.
RTÉ Head of Archives Brid Dooley is the newly appointed President of FIAT/IFTA who will be helping celebrate the often unheralded work of the many organisations that work to protect our archive. She says: “It is important that, as broadcasters, we recognize the true value of the stories our collections contain across decades of broadcasting history. These collections must be passed safely to the next generation to safeguard, open, and build upon within our creative industries.
“Significant investment is needed if the fragile analogue recordings which contain these stories from the mid-20th Century onward are to survive and flourish. Digital content too is growing at a rapid rate.
“I look forward to working with the EBU to explore new ways of preserving, developing and opening up the archive and to promote innovative projects which help us create new digital journeys of discovery telling great stories from the archives.”
RTE has produced a 'weird and wonderful' collection from their archives to mark the day.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre added: “Our Members possess an irreplaceable record of our common history and we will continue to work with them to ensure this history is preserved.
“We also encourage Governments to ratify the European Convention for the Protection of the Audiovisual Heritage and ensure that our archives are protected and appreciated both as an art form and a valuable record of our past.”