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COVID-19 as a driver for change in audiovisual archives

The global coronavirus outbreak brought a series of challenges and fast-paced changes for many sectors and communities. Like many sectors, audiovisual archives were also forced to adapt quickly to the new realm, acting in a dramatically changed operational context.  

With this in mind, in early October 2020, a group of IASA and FIAT/IFTA members from across the globe joined a virtual exchange to share their experiences and observations, and to talk about challenges and also opportunities that have emerged in the time of crises. The discussions were led together by the Value, Use and Copyright Commission of FIAT/IFTA and the Organising Knowledge Committee of IASA.

The main takeaways from the virtual session have been captured in the ‘COVID-19 as a driver for change in audiovisual archives’ report. Based on the exchange, the document contains six key observations, encouraging archives to see the current disruptive situation as an opportunity to adapt and craft new strategies and internal policies bringing the archive closer to its stakeholders and turning it into an agile and attentive organization serving the public, not only in times of crises.

The authors of the report are members of the EUscreen Foundation Board,  Maria Drabczyk (National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, Poland, Value, Use & Copyright Commission FIAT/IFTA) and Johan Oomen (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Organising Knowledge Committee IASA). In the report they write: 

The past year of disruptions and adaptations has taught the community many lessons: about reaching out online, remote working, and, more generally, about its resilience in times of crisis. The global pandemic condensed a decade of digital transformation into a few months. This report captures the various ways in which the cultural heritage sector is adapting, not only to cope with the present, but also to flourish in the future.

Maria Drabczyk & Johan Oomen