Dictabelts from the Rivonia Trial, of which the digitisation was started with the support of FIAT/IFTA. Source: Institut National de l’Audiovisuel.
The FIAT/IFTA Save Your Archive programme
Audiovisual archives that tell stories about people’s lives and culture exist all over the world. They are important for our mutual understanding because they reflect the world’s social and cultural diversity. They help us grow and comprehend the world we all share. However, many of these important collections are not accessible. They are endangered by the fragility of the media and the obsolescence of their playback technologies. They are being neglected due to economic shortage or being ignored because of lack of understanding of their importance. In short, their value is not recognized. The result is that entire collections of material on film, wire, tape and disc and the value they represent are at risk of being lost forever.
A program designed to support endangered audiovisual archives
Save your Archive is a program of FIAT/IFTA launched at the 2012 World Conference in London. Its key purpose is to promote the safeguarding of vulnerable or at-risk audiovisual archives by providing a small fund to support one or more well defined projects, focused on preservation, digitization and valorization of archival content, each year.
With every passing year archives are being lost. Natural disasters, war, conflict and silent decay are an everyday reality for audiovisual archives in many parts of the world – keeping the focus on this issue is a major objective of FIAT/IFTA and it wishes to work together with others who share this objective in their industry, missions and business.
FIAT/IFTA believes that in leading by example and in showcasing the value of safeguarding a small number of key projects, it will raise awareness and will help to encourage archives to seek support and new streams of funding.
How does it work?
On a regular basis FIAT/IFTA launches a Call for Projects. Candidates submit an elaborated proposal which is pitched at a FIAT/IFTA meeting or for a group of potential support partners. A jury composed of experts in different aspects of audiovisual archiving and international collaboration choose one or more projects that will receive the help of the programme. The FIAT/IFTA Save Your Archive working group regularly follows up with the local project lead(s) and coordinates the reporting. If possible, project lead(s) are invited to FIAT/IFTA events to present their project to a global audience.
The exact eligibility and ranking criteria are detailed in every Call for Projects. In principle, these criteria apply to the endangered collection and the proposed project. Regarding the endangered collection the following aspects are generally considered:
- Value of the collection
- Vulnerability risk
Regarding the proposed project plan, these aspects are generally taken into account:
- Accessibility impact
- Feasability of the project
- Budget (eligible costs and ratio SYA vs. total costs)
- Skills of the team
- Quality of the application
If you have more questions about the FIAT/IFTA Save Your Archive programme, please contact the Save Your Archive working group at firstname.lastname@example.org.