2 Behoud Do we need a project like PrestoSpace? PrestoSpace is a Cultural Heritage project financed by the European Commission through the Sixth Framework programme; its major objective is to develop an integrated solution that will permit any kind of audiovisual archive to face preservation and digitisation programmes. The audiovisual archives (which in their widest definition include broadcast organisations, film corporations, libraries, museums, research institutions and corporate archives) represent an overwhelming volume of material estimated as 100 million hours of audio, video and film, only for Europe. This article presents the problems and implications for our present and future. Keeping the testimonies of our past The concept of library is one of the most ancient ones. Since writing exists, knowledge has been inscribed in books, and books have been kept in libraries in order to protect them and to make them accessible. It may well be the Great Library of Alexandria that was burnt in AD 272, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, or just the library around the corner; the concept is always the same. The differences are in the size of the collection, the conservation scopes and who may access the books. Some libraries tend to be exhaustive, trying to keep all the published books, such as the national libraries of many countries. Others are extremely partial, keeping only the published items within a certain domain. An archive is a collection of records, documents, books but also other contents or even objects, handwriting, administrative papers, letters, anything that may represent human activity and be considered by somebody or by some institution as being worth keeping.1 Documents in an archive are generally unpublished records, as distinct from libraries (that keep books) and museums (that keep collections of objects). The twentieth century brought a new kind of object to be preserved, which were recordings of captured sounds and images and were called audiovisual objects. Our senses were unable to decode them directly, an intermediate system was needed to access the contents. To make things worse, the media on which this information was recorded was often (and still is) fragile, conceived for production with no durability scope.2 The production activity (mainly associated Cameraman Timo de Wit (VARA) heeft de camera op een groentekist geplaatst om een laag shot mogelijk te maken, 18-12-1951 [collectie: Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid] DANIEL TERUGGI 1 The concept of what is important to keep has evidently evolved with time. The tendency is to keep more and more information concerning human activity, as you may not be capable today to evaluate the importance of what you are keeping and time may add unexpected value to your belongings. This concept is applicable also to collections; people collect anything as long as the collection is exhaustive and large (pieces of metal from Champagne corks, match-boxes, telephone cards, etc.). 2 In fact, paper was not conceived either to last but just to record information. It proved to be a very durable material, as well as ink, and this permitted the existence of libraries and archives. 55

Periodiekviewer Koninklijke Vereniging van Archivarissen

Jaarboeken Stichting Archiefpublicaties | 2005 | | pagina 29