May 27, 2022

Indiana University: “Archivists Learn How to Preserve Audiovisual Collections Despite Time, Technology and Tragedy”

From Indiana University:

Fifty participants from archives and institutions all over the world were selected to attend the two-week [first Biennial Audio-Visual Archival Summer School], which covered everything an archivist would need to know about handling an archival collection. Experts in the field from all over taught preservation, cataloging, digitization, copyright and more.

The Biennial Audio-Visual Archival Summer School was structured with lectures every morning and hands-on workshops every afternoon, many of them repeated so participants could get the most out of their conference experience. Participants were given one-on-one time with trainers so they could ask specific questions. The summer school also offered several evening film screenings that included restored films, films that showed reuse of archival films and films that told a preservation story. The summer school was an initiative of the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive, in partnership with the International Federation of Film Archives and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations.


Time and change have become some of the biggest threats to audiovisual collections. With motion picture imaging dying away in its traditional form, conventional film has already reached the end of its life. Other media, such as videotapes and audiocassettes, will soon follow. It’s the archivist’s job to protect and preserve those formats, and the content they hold, as much as possible.

“Time is against us,” said Natalie Rose Cassaniti, an assistant conservator at the State Library of New South Wales, Australia. “There are massed collections all over the world, but we are limited with time and funding resources to be able to preserve them. While we are maximizing our efforts to capture content, we are at risk of losing many of our culturally significant collections.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article (about 1400 words)

See Also: Indiana University Libraries Hosts First AV Archival Summer School (by Matt Enis, Library Journal)

See Also: 2019 Biennial Audio-Visual Archival Summer School Website (via UI)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.