World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date27 October 2024
2025 Date27 October 2025

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

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World Day for Audiovisual Heritage History

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is an annual observance aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of preserving audiovisual materials, such as films, television programmes, and sound recordings. These materials are considered essential components of cultural heritage, as they provide invaluable insights into the past and help us understand the social, cultural, and historical contexts of different eras. The event focuses on the preventative measures that can be taken to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of these materials, addressing issues such as digitization, copyright, and training for audiovisual archivists.

The concept of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage originated from a proposal submitted by the Czech Republic in 2005, which was later adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2007. In the United Kingdom, the preservation of audiovisual heritage is vital, as it is home to several world-renowned film, television, and music industries. Initiatives such as the British Film Institute National Archive, which conserves one of the largest film and television collections in the world, and the BBC Archives, which holds an extensive range of television and radio programmes, photographs, and written documents, work to preserve the UK's rich audiovisual heritage.

In the United Kingdom, World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is observed by various institutions, organisations, and individuals involved in the preservation of audiovisual materials. Events typically include seminars, workshops, and screenings showcasing the significance of audiovisual heritage and highlighting progress made in its preservation. These initiatives aim to raise awareness and support within both the professional community and the general public. World Day for Audiovisual Heritage takes place globally on the 27th of October each year, with events and activities occurring throughout the month of October.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage facts

  • The theme for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2023 was Your Window to the World.
  • Preserving audiovisual heritage can include digitization to create digital copies of analog materials, restoration to repair damaged materials, and proper storage and handling to prevent further deterioration.
  • The 2003 Act mandates that a copy of each and every UK electronic publication, including audiovisual material, should be sent to the British Library, with a second going to one of five other major libraries.
  • The BBC has one of the largest archives of its kind in the world and dates back to the start of the corporation in 1922. It holds more than one million items including radio and TV programmes, documents, photographs and sheet music.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Embrace the spirit of the day by creating your own audiovisual content. Record a personal video message, make a short film, or create a photo slideshow that represents your interpretation of the UK's audiovisual heritage. Share it on social media or with your friends and family.
  • Gather your family members and dig into your collection of old photos and videos. Share memories, stories, and anecdotes related to these audiovisual treasures. This can be a great way to cherish and preserve your own family's heritage.

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