Both traditional and more recent audiovisual carriers degrade. Even CD-ROMs have typically only a ten-year expected life span. In addition, playback equipment for both analogue and digital carriers will ultimately grow scarcer and more expensive to repair or replace. Archives and museums are inevitably faced with the decision of whether to preserve audiovisual carriers after their content has been digitized. This paper o ers a draft decision- making framework developed by the Flemish Institute of Archiving (VIAA). Assuming that an institution already has a digital collection management system in place, the proposed framework addresses the concepts of favourability, possibility, value, preservation conditions and the risk for other carriers through a series of questions. The paper also addresses the disposal of carriers, should an organization decide that disposal is in the best interests of its collections.
This article is part of the book ‘SOIMA: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage‘