War department, RG00005847, September 1940, “Egypt – the van of Istituto Nazionale Luce in an airfield in the desert”. © Cinecittà Luce spa – Archivio Storico Luce

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2013

"Saving Our Heritage for the Next Generation" is the slogan of this year's celebration of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October).

The world’s audiovisual heritage of sound recordings and moving images are extremely vulnerable as a result of factors ranging from neglect, natural decay to technological obsolescence, as well as deliberate destruction.

Consequently, UNESCO has made it part of its mission to raise public consciousness of the importance of preservation of these recordings through the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

In adopting 27 October as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) and other institutions, has helped to raise the profile of the issues at stake and focus global attention on the fragility of this heritage.

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is an opportunity to reflect and act, in order to bequeath to future generations the means to understand their origins.   

       Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General


© Ina / Michel Lioret, Appeal of General de Gaulle, 18 June 1940

Annually, archives around the world join together on 27 October to celebrate audiovisual archives with activities that not only highlight the vulnerability of this heritage, but celebrate the often unheralded work of the heritage institutions that protect it.

All of the world's audiovisual heritage is endangered. Therefore the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and the Memory of the World Programme, have become the two key actions for UNESCO and the world to honour preservation professionals that help to safeguard this heritage for future generations despite the many technical, political, social, financial and other factors that threaten its survival.

UNESCO encourages everyone, everywhere to join us in celebrating 27 October by showcasing their precious collections so that present and future generations can enjoy the treasures that are our shared audiovisual heritage.

2013 Statistics

  • 301 items listed on the Memory of the World international register, of which 57 are audiovisual or have significant audiovisual elements.


    • 14: films or videos
    • 23: music or sound recordings
    • 9 : photo or image collections
    • 11: others print with significant audiovisual components




Key documents