The archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Sound and Vision) in Hilversum, of EYE in Amsterdam, and of the National Archive in The Hague contain the visual history of the past 100 years. The educational, cultural, and economical value of this material is unprecedented. Two obstacles stand in the way of silvering this wealth.
The first obstruction is the seriously decaying material. Large parts of our audiovisual heritage are threatened with permanent loss in the coming years. Physical carriers of analogue audiovisual content have a limited lifespan. The ‘Delta plan’ for the Preservation of Film states:
“The Cultural Advisory Board is gravely concerned about the ongoing process of erosion. Only a large-scale rescue operation can prevent a significant part of the audiovisual memory from being permanently lost as a result of an irreversible process of physical decay.” (Translated from Dutch)
The second obstruction is presented by not having the collections digitally available. In a society that attributes an increasingly important role to media, digital availability of audiovisual sources is essential. Demand from schools, arts education, journalists, universities, and media professionals, has grown strongly in past years. There exists a need among pupils, students, and teachers for audiovisual content that can be integrated into the curriculum. This project offers excellent opportunities to develop new learning tools.
Audiovisual material that has spent years gathering dust on the shelves will be brought back to life by Images for the Future, and will be preserved and disclosed for future generations.