New edition of Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Principles launched in Singapore

A revised and updated edition of the UNESCO publication Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Principles was launched at the official opening of the CCAAA Joint Technical Symposium, held at Singapore’s National Museum, on 7 March 2016. It was published by UNESCO under the UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme.

The book sets out the theoretical basis of audiovisual archiving, examining the nature of moving images and recorded sounds, and drawing out of that examination the concepts, principles and terminology of the profession. It considers “why archives do the things they do, and why they do things the way they do them”. It explores the realities of preservation and access. “UNESCO has been continuously promoted the profession of audiovisual archivists and the critical work they are doing. Without their commitment nearly all recorded audiovisual archives will be disappearing or becoming inaccessible within a few generations,” said Misako Ito, Adviser in Communication and Information at UNESCO Bangkok.

Written by Dr Ray Edmondson with the collaboration of an International Reference Group of experts, this new edition - the third - is a revised and updated successor to the second edition, published in 2004. The first edition of the book appeared in 1998. Previous editions have been translated from the original English into French, Spanish, Farsi, Portuguese, German, Japanese and Macedonian. Translations of the new edition into Chinese, Japanese and Spanish are ongoing.

Over the past two decades, the field of audiovisual archiving has grown into a profession that is now more confident of its identity. It has become widely recognized among memory institutions, the information and audiovisual industries, and within academia, where it is now the focus of several postgraduate and undergraduate courses around the world. At the same time, the rise of digital technology has brought a new paradigm and new complexity to the field of archiving, as old certainties and assumptions have given way to new realities.

The Engligh version of the new edition is available for download here.

The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme‎ has been created to promote the preservation of documentary heritage, and universal access to it for the benefit of present and future generations in the spirit of international cooperation, mutual understanding, and building peace in the minds of women and men.