DRI are supporting a major international conference on audiovisual archives preservation taking place in June. 'Archiving Tomorrow 2016' is organised by KES International in association with a number of key international partners, and co-hosted in Dublin by RTÉ Archives and DRI. The conference theme is 'Archives at Risk: saving our worldwide heritage', and the challenge of preserving the world’s film, television and sound recordings will be discussed. Speakers and delegates from the world’s foremost audio-visual archives will join representatives from international cultural heritage bodies, with the aim of drawing attention to the importance of audiovisual archival preservation by bringing together experts in the field from all over the world to share best practice and solutions. 

Speakers will include Oscar-winning film producer David Puttnam, Richard Ranft of the British Library and Dominique Saintville of Unesco’s Memory of the World programme. Sue Malden, former head of the BBC’s information and archives department and now head of the Federation of Commercial Audio-visual Libraries (Focal), will discuss the Archives@Risk project, a global initiative to safeguard endangered audio-visual archives. DRI Director Dr Natalie Harrower is also one of the conference's introductory speakers.

“Much of the world’s audio-visual archives remain on decaying carriers and require urgent intervention if they are to survive into the current millennium,” said Ms Maldon. “With a finite window of time of perhaps 10-15 years remaining to achieve this, the conference provides an important platform to debate the issues, exchange ideas and identify solutions for funding the future of these essential records of the 20th century.”

RTÉ’s head of archives, Bríd Dooley, who chairs the international Save Your Archive programme, said: “With history and heritage taking centre stage in Ireland this year as we commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, it is fitting that Ireland should host this conference which puts cultural heritage in sharp focus and discusses the threats and opportunities to save the endangered audio-visual heritage of the twentieth century across film, television and sound recordings. We need to also ask what will survive 100 years from now?”

The conference takes place at the Royal Irish Academy from June 1st to 3rd. For more information and links to register, go to the Archiving Tomorrow 2016 event page. An Irish Times news story about Archiving Tomorrow can be viewed here and a story about the role of audiovisual archives more generally can be viewed here.