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T
he mission statement of Sound and Vision
can be divided into two parts. On the one
hand, it is the central archive of Dutch
public broadcast, managing a broad selection of
television and radio programs, music and requisites.
On the other hand, Sound and Vision has set itself
the difficult task to preserve AV-material and secure
the permanent access to the collection for the general
public.This hybrid system posed some problems and
misunderstandings in the past. For instance, a journa-
list wanted to have one of the recently broadcast
news items removed from the archive and changed,
because he had made a mistake and was not satisfied
with the results of his creation.To his surprise, this
request was not granted.
In the 1960's, a popular serial for children was broad-
cast on Dutch television.The tapes, on which the
material was stored, were expensive and the decision
was made to reuse the tapes for new productions.
The serial was lost forever. A decade later, this amnesia
of memory institutions returned at the expense of
the popular serial `Dr.Who', which mysteriously
disappeared from the BBC archives.
Also because original materials were borrowed and
never returned, information from the archives have
been lost.The only recordings of Queen Beatrix's
coronation went missing from the archives for half a
year, but were fortunately recovered. Some material
that was borrowed and never returned is now proba-
bly part of someone's private archive.These incidents
made Sound and Vision change its policy towards
borrowing and, with the exception of material of
the phonotheque, original sources are first copied
before beeing borrowed.
next few years. Some of its elements are considered
essential and urgent enough to realise within two
years in a basic system.This pilot will consist of a
catalogue module with an interface to a new auto-
mated thesaurus. Avail is the name of the present
cataloguing system of radio and television, which
runs under UNIX. Both, Sound and Vision and the
public broadcasting industry use this system, so the
new catalogue in iMMix has to be developed in
cooperation with the broadcasters.
A current development in the AV environment is
so-called tape less production. In the ideal situation,
the production, broadcasting, archiving, retrieval and
reuse, should be fully digitised.The barriers between
this future situation and the present one are notably
technological. Digital storage is only feasible for a
small part of the AV collection.There is simply too
little capacity. Given the contemporary technologies,
digitisation would mean replacing tapes by disks, or
better, expanding the existing collection with disks,
since the original will never be discarded.
Furthermore, this material cannot be accessed online
continuously, which makes additional human inter-
vention necessary.
The ever-increasing pace of change in computer
hardware and software is not the only thing threaten-
ing the collection. Also the players of AV-material
have been evolving. For some old tapes, there is only
one player left in The Netherlands, with the only
source for spare parts being East-German tape record-
ers. It is clear that Sound and Vision is an organisation,
which will always be confronted with changing
situations.The Institute is gradually playing a more
important role as an intermediary, increasingly setting
itself proactive tasks in production and exploitation
of new AV material. Fighting for preservation of a
rapidly growing collection, Sound and Vision will
have to develop a way to sustain and handle the
workflow within a highly dynamic environment.
For further information on Sound and Vision please contact:
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Mrs. Alette Ahsmann
Communication Manager
Media Park - Sumatralaan 45
Postbus 1060
NL-1200 BB Hilversum
Phone: +31 (0)35-6774720
Fax: +31 (0)35-6773208
E-mail: aahsmann@beeldengeluid.nl
28
DigiCULT
LESSONS LEARNED
FUTURE SCENARIO
I
ntegration is the magic word for the future of
Sound and Vision. Integration of standards,
methods, technologies and services will absorb a
lot of time. iMMix is an asset management system
which supports management of rights, metadata and
essence. It will enhance acquisition, conservation,
indexing, retrieval, borrowing and Customer Relation-
ship Management (CRM). Even the financial admin-
istration will be integrated in the system.The project
`Store-it' deals with the creation of an infrastructure
for digital storage and distribution of essence.The
results will also be implemented in iMMix.The
information system will be implemented during the