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Celebrating 50 Years of archival preservation of audiovisual records in the National Film, Video and Sound Archives of South Africa

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spoken paper
7 October Tuesday
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CFB Auditorium

The National Film, Video and Sound and Sound Archives of South Africa (NFVSA) in Pretoria worked hard preserving audio- visual (av) records in silence for the past fifty years, from 1964 - 2014. Now it is time to celebrate and make noise about all the av collection developments, progress, achievements and history the nation is proud of. “South Africa has a good story to tell” (Zuma 2014). The aim of the study is to explore an appreciation and understanding of history of cultural heritage institution, in particular the preservation of the av records. It is believed that it will lead to understanding the present av scenario, anticipate and manage the new types of av records. It is an investigation of the journey of the historical av records not only a revelation of the past but assist in identifying possible future patterns in archival preservation in South Africa (SA). The research approach adopted in this study is qualitative. Historical research was chosen as the method for the collection and data analysis with the mix of triangulation in data collection in order to get narrative and factual information. The discussion covers NFVSA archival functions especially in preservation efforts and its collection development. It is found that there are huge reformatting, space, staff shortages and funding challenges but does not out-weight benefits and gains achieved. It is evident that NFVSA exhibit landmark achievements the SA cultural heritage boasts of. They stand to lead and help other institutions with similar collections in their custody. Transformation from apartheid to democratic dispensation liberalized the institution and even brought the archives nearer to the people and more accessible. There is a reason to celebrate fifty years of archival preservation of audio visual records.