"UNESCO has declared October 27 as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to raise awareness of the significance of audio visual documents and to draw attention to the need to safeguard them. Every year, activities are organized by different institutions worldwide to drum up interest in the event.
Sound recordings and moving images in any form are vulnerable, and easily discarded or deliberately destroyed. Audiovisual documents, such as films, radio and television programmes, audio and video recordings, contain the primary records of the 20th and 21st centuries and have transformed society by becoming a permanent complement to the traditional written record. Too much of the world’s 20th century audiovisual heritage is now lost, and much more is slipping beyond recovery because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence.
The SABC’s audio visual collections are not exceptions and have fallen victim to the obsolescence of playback equipment for both audio and video collections and might be lost forever if urgent intervention does not take place – that’s one of the reasons why the Digital Library project is so critical as it means we will be able to digitise all of our audio visual archive content and safely preserve it for the future.
The SABC Media Library (part of Radio Broadcast Facilities) have drawn attention to the UNESCO initiative by hosting a ‘audio’ exhibition in the SABC Radio Park Foyer."
Richard Waghorn (Chief Technology Officer, SABC)