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13.4 Recommended standards for training

Curriculum Development Working Party

1. These recommended standards refer to academic education:

- 2 year course for senior staff (top management) of audiovisual archives
- 1 year course for specialist workers (middle management) of audiovisual archives
- 2-year course for technicians/engineers (middle management) of audiovisual archives

1.1 The curriculum has been conceived for the education and training of av archivists, to enable them to operate and handle all types of moving images and recorded sound material. There are three reasons in favour of a combined and non-specialist education:

- integration of audiovisual materials in an individual archive or a department of a larger institution
- common features in the preservation, cataloguing and using of audiovisual materials
- greater flexibility of placement after completion of training

1.2 The curriculum recommended for the education and training of av archivists shall serve students who wish to take up an additional course following university or college education. The curriculum can also be applied to course integrated instruction. The recommended curriculum shall not be regarded as a substitute for full-time academic education.

Specialist education of audiovisual archivists should be based on or be integrated in basic education of history, archive science, librarianship, information science, documentation, museology, media science or technical sciences.

1.3 The curriculum was drawn up with the intention of integrating the education and training of av archivists in the syllabus of existing institutions.

1.4 Academic education cannot dispense with the following:

- continuing professional education. Audiovisual media develop at a rapid pace, and all changes in technology have repercussions on the work of archives. Continuing education of top and middle management personnel of av archives is imperative to enable them to cope with their duties. This aspect will not be dealt with in detail, as the recommended curriculum does not include any measures in this direction
- education and training of skilled workers for specific jobs by in-service training

There is no known establishment offering specialist vocational training to skilled workers of av archives. It is therefore considered necessary to provide them with a minimum of training to enable them to carry out their duties competently. The length of such training would depend on the size of the institution and the staff available. It could spread over a period of time, but a minimum of 20 working days is recommended. It should be regarded as an induction period, including a general introduction to all departments of the archive, not only the one in which the trainee is to work.

1.5 It is recommended that the education and training of av archivists should be as practice-related as possible, including work in film, television and sound archives. By the use of fieldwork and/or practical periods students should be given the opportunity to learn by experience to help them find suitable work after completion of training. A practical period of several weeks should be part of the curriculum.

1.6 Extensive knowledge of the history of film, video, broadcasting, the technical processes and feasible audiovisual recording modes is a prerequisite for a career as an av archivist. The curriculum provides only 30 hours for the imparting of theoretical knowledge on the history of the media and 120 hours for demonstrations. This is not nearly enough time for students to cover the subject thoroughly. Students should therefore be encouraged to acquire as much knowledge as possible by availing themselves of any options offered. The teaching establishment is expected to arrange film screenings and provide video and sound recordings thus stimulating students to further research.

1.7 The pattern suggested for the study programme is based on the following calculation:

The 2-year course will cover 44 weeks per year, leaving 8 weeks holiday. Seven hours per week will be devoted to lectures and/or demonstration. Students are expected to spend at least 30 hours per week studying literature and dealing with the materials.

1.8 Top management students should be expected to speak two foreign languages fluently, middle management students should have a good command of at least one foreign language.

1.9 On completion of specialist education an av archivist should be awarded a certificate or diploma, whichever may apply in accordance with national conditions.

2 Individual qualifications expected from av archivists

Every profession requires motivation - an av archivist needs more than this: 'The majority of staff employed for archival work with historical records, tv productions and films have received their training in a wide variety of fields, including librarianship, literary studies, museology and even direction and production. They all share a devotion to their media which might even be said to dominate their lives, a statement which does not apply only to cinema enthusiasts working with film archives. Such devotion has come to characterise the pioneers of the archival preservation of sound archives and of tv production and the traditional written records in broadcasting corporations'. (Prof. Dr Kahlenberg, President of the Bundesarchiv of the Federal Republic of Germany).

An av archivist shall be motivated by his great love and devotion to the medium, its history, artistic and documentary feasibilities, the creators and interpreters and also the technical aspect of the medium. He is expected to have a thorough knowledge of general history, in particular of the 20th century. The nature of his work requires an av archivist to be meticulously accurate, be able to concentrate and apply himself in pragmatic and systematic work. The close ties between av archives and av media, and the frequent combination of production archive with historical archive, and the large number of users tend to beget a contradiction between the thoroughness expected from an archivist and his operative ability. Top and middle management staff shall be expected to show decent social behaviour when associating with employees to give them expert guidance. They should be able to motivate staff and interest them and also external individuals in the work of av archives. Their bearing in public should also contribute to enhance an archive's reputation.

3 definition of av archive jobs

3.1. AV archive jobs can be divided into three categories, each fulfilling different qualification requirements:

Top management
(level 1) Heads of archives, Heads of departments.
  Require basic academic qualification with university degree in
  relevant disciplines, plus additional or integrated 2-year
  education as an av archivist.
Middle management
(level 2) Division heads, specialist workers
  Should have a good basic education to at least diploma or first
  degree level in relevant disciplines plus additional or integrated
  1-year education as an av archivist
(level 3) and in case of technicians/engineers plus 1-year specialised
  technical training
Skilled workers
  should have completed vocational training in a related
  profession plus additional in-house training

3.2 Top Management (level 1) includes

Head of Acquisition


- to organise av materials accessions and possibly also related materials through deposit systems, purchase, exchange
- to keep in contact with potential originators of av material (producers, distributors, broadcasting stations, private collectors, museums and archives)
- to contribute to the drawing up of fundamental rules of an archive's stock, formation and principles of appraisal and selection.

Knowledge required:

- history and contemporary history of the national and international production of audiovisual materials, artistic, documentary significance
- copyright, archive law, law of contract
- organisation and management
- professional knowledge of properties of av materials, cataloguing, appraisal and selection
- specific personal characteristics, including application, interpersonal skills when representing archive in public

Recommended basic education: archive science, librarianship, information sciences.

Head of Cataloguing


- to develop cataloguing systems to record ownership, compile filmographic data, technical data and content data
- to develop cataloguing systems
- to organise data-flow between departments
- to organise descriptive cataloguing duties
- appraisal of stock

Knowledge required:

- basic knowledge of general history
- extensive knowledge of the history of the medium
- detailed knowledge of cataloguing principles
- basic technical knowledge of technical aspects of the medium
- knowledge of appraisal and selection
- extensive knowledge of cataloguing methods, including computer applications

Recommended basic education: librarianship, information science, archive science, computing studies

Head of Documentation


- to organise the stock and related material, structure of collection, cataloguing, storage, use and restoration
- to organise accessions (if this is not included in acquisition), including appraisal
- to cooperate in drawing up general rules of stock formation
- to guarantee permanent preservation and use

Knowledge required:

- history of the medium, history and aesthetics of related materials
- extensive knowledge of the origin of related materials
- cataloguing, information processing including computer applications
- technical knowledge of storage and preservation of related materials, reproduction techniques
- legal knowledge
- documentation science and qualified to deal with bequests
- museology and qualified to deal with objects of museum value, practical skills in arranging exhibitions

Recommended basic education: archive science, librarianship, information science, arts degree

Head of Technical Services


- permanent safeguarding, storage, technical inspection, restoration and preservation of av materials
- procurement, maintenance and repair of an archive's technical equipment

Knowledge required:

- history of the medium, in particular its technical development
- storage techniques, air conditioning, operation and handling of av materials
- basic knowledge of aesthetic, economic and legal aspects, cataloguing, in particular of technical data

Recommended basic education : electronic and mechanical engineering, film, sound and video techniques

Head of Library


- responsible for supplementing, organising, making accessible, safeguarding and preserving the stock of books and periodicals
- to initiate stock and acquisition policy
- to organise accession through purchase, exchange and donation
- to direct stocktaking, cataloguing and use
- to guarantee the safeguarding of stock

Knowledge required:

- history of the medium, and in particular of publications dealing with the medium
- thorough knowledge of cataloguing and documentation, in particular indexing of periodicals
- general archive knowledge and of collections of related materials
- knowledge of bibliographic duties

Recommended basic education: librarianship

Head of Publications


- to see over all publication activities, including topics and contents and also technical and organisational aspects
- to initiate publication programmes
- to cooperate with internal and external authors
- to organise publication, publicity, distribution and cooperation with publishers
- to act as a public relations officer

Knowledge required:

- history and aesthetics of the medium
- sociology, in particular knowledge of publications and information in demand
- to manufacture and design printed material
- economy and law
- journalistic flair

Recommended basic education: journalism, publishing

Head of Education/Exhibition


- to initiate and organise an archive's cultural activities in public, using film theatres, clubs, exhibitions, lectures, retrospectives, seminars, concerts and others
- to organise cooperation with museums and other partners in disseminating an archive's cultural activities
- to organise cooperation with partner institutions abroad

Knowledge required:

- extensive knowledge of history and contemporary history of the medium
- sociology, cultural requirements
- teaching skills on how to propagate aspects of culture
- museology and skills of arranging exhibitions
- general knowledge of archive stock and how to locate material

Recommended basic education: archive science, museology, pedagogics

Head of Public Relations


-to make entire stock accessible to users
- to initiate access policy and practices
- to organise user information, user education and advice

Knowledge required:

- history of the medium
- journalism
- technical knowledge of medium and playback techniques

Recommended basic education:-archive science, cultural policy, journalism

Head of Administration


- internal management, fund raising, planning, accounting, record of ownership, procurement, personnel management

Knowledge required:

- history of the medium
- basic knowledge of archive structure
- knowledge of economic, planning, legal aspects

Recommended basic education: management, economics, law

The aforementioned functions of top management are considered as recommendations. There are no rules regarding the internal allocation of duties applicable to all types of archives. An archive's structure always depends on its size and the national tasks it has to fulfil. Responsibilities and duties shall therefore be assigned to suit individual needs.

3.3 Division heads and specialists of departments referred to in para 3.2 come under middle management (Level 2). Previous education for people working in the archive at this level is high school education, diploma, technical college or university education in relevant disciplines.

4 curriculum

As it is not feasible to offer a tailor made syllabus for all education establishments, archive and library schools or in-service training, the recommended standards have been designed to serve as outline proposals. It is hoped that the responsible training institutions, tutors and students take note of the balance between individual modules being used to guarantee the objectives and central issues suggested. It is left to the user of the curriculum outline to add missing concepts or establish relevant correlations.

The Working Party recommend the following topics are included in any curriculum for the education of av archivists at various levels.

4.1 Table 1.

No. Topic Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
1. Introduction. 20 10 10
2.1a History of the media showings 30/ 30 15
    120 120 60
2.1b History of av archives 18 9 6
2.2 Terminology 30 15 15
3. Standards 90* 30 (included
  (including demonstrations and visits in 10)    
4. Organisation and structure 30 10 6
  of institution.      
5. Accessioning 40 15 6
6. Acquisition and Appraisal 60* 30 15
  (including demonstrations)      
7. Arrangement and Description 35 45 10
7.1 Documentation sources      
7.2 Computers and Micrographics      
8. User education and Public relations 20 10 5
9. Related material 60 12 6
10. Technical expertise     122
    433 216 216
    120 120 60
  TOTAL 563 336 276
  plus 4-6 weeks practical work      

In any training programme the following subject areas should be covered under individual topics. The complete list of subject areas is meant for Level 1 students; selected subjects should serve Level 2 and 3 students to suit individual needs.

Table at 4.1 refers.

4.1.1 Introduction Level 1 - 20 hours
  Level 2 - 10 hours

It has been recommended to deal with the following subject areas

- the role of audiovisual media in the past, present and future
- cultural, historic and economic reasons for the archiving of audiovisual recordings
- specific audiovisual archive records as works of art, contemporary documents and historical sources
- principal functions of audiovisual archives; acquisition, preservation, cataloguing, accessibility of material
- individual aspects of av archives in their capacity as production and historical archives
- relationship and differences between audiovisual recordings and other forms of tradition
- basic principles of librarianship, archive science, application and modified application to av archives
- the national and international situation concerning the audiovisual heritage History of the media Level 1 30 hours
  Level 2 30 hours
  Level 3 15 hours
  for demonstrations/showings  
  Level 1 120h
  Level 2 120h
  Level 3 60h

The lectures should be designed to cover in 10 hour units the history of film, television and sound recordings

Subject areas to be covered:

- technical development of the media
- development of production conditions
- expansion and sociological function of the media in different periods of time
- the most important stages of media development on a national level

While the lectures should be designed to promote a student's understanding of the most important trends in the development of the media, extensive factual knowledge should be acquired through self-study and demonstration.


It has been recommended that the time available be used equally for the presentation of films, videos and sound recordings. Demonstrations should be accompanied by introductory discussions and practical exercises, in support of the lectures. The demonstrations should bring out the technical and artistic potential and content which are typical for the development of the media:

Film: silent, sound; black/white; colour, other colouring techniques. Film categories: newsreels, science films, documentaries, popular science, advertisement, spots, feature film. Film genres

Sound recordings: formats: cylinders, tape, disc,
  CD and CD-ROM, DAT
  categories: music, spoken word, oral history, dialect, sound
  effects, wildlife and environmental sounds
Video recordings: black/white, colour, different formats; live recordings, graphics History of av archives Level 1 18h
  Level 2 9h
  Level 3 6h

Approximately equal time should be devoted to the coverage of the history of sound, film and video archives. The following subject areas should be included:

- national history of audiovisual archives
- important trends of the international development of audiovisual archives
- the development of audiovisual archives and the emergence of their vital importance
- the development of audiovisual archives and related issues concerning archive science and archive techniques
- activities of the NGOs in the field of av archives Terminology Level 1 30h
  Level 2 15h
  Level 3 15h

The extensive treatment of issues relating to terminology presupposes practical skills and knowledge of av archives and/or the manufacturing of av recordings. The prerequisite for appreciation of issues of terminology by students are field trips to archives and manufacturing sites, and/or object teaching.

The topic should cover terminology of the av media and av archives. 75% of the time available should be spent on the terminology of the media, the other 25% on the terminology of audiovisual archives.

Imparting knowledge of media terminology should, by recommendation follow closely the process of production

- preparatory work of audiovisual recordings (literary treatment, set and costume design)
- the process of av recording (individuals involved, techniques used, information carriers)
- technical operation of audiovisual recordings (printing, editing, mixing, multiple-copying, techniques used, individuals involved)
- playback of audiovisual recordings (film theatres, television, radio, home systems)
- related individual materials emerging in the process of preparation, manufacturing, handling, distribution and playback of audiovisual recordings

The terminology of audiovisual archives should also be presented in conjunction with archive science, librarianship and documentation science.

Special attention should be paid to:

- appraisal and selection
- acquisition
- cataloguing
- filmography, discography
- restoration and preservation
- access

4.1.3. Standards and techniques Level 1 90h
  Level 2 30h
  Level 3  
  see 10 in Table 1 including demonstrations  

Dealing with the following subject areas:

- physical and chemical properties of various carriers of audiovisual recordings
- factors influencing the permanent preservation of audiovisual recordings (quality and handling of the carriers, storage conditions, environmental factors, use)
- definition of preservation materials
- optimal storage conditions for film, video and sound recordings (tapes and discs)
- depositories for the storage of audiovisual recordings (air conditioning, storage technique, fire protection)
- technical handling of audiovisual recordings prior to archival storage (inspection of technical condition, cleaning)
- reproduction of audiovisual recordings. Technical feasibilities, advantages and disadvantages (transfer to same carrier, transfer to different formats, transfer to a different carrier)
- technical feasibilities and ethical aspects of restoring audiovisual recordings, including electronic and digital methods
- preservation techniques
- technical equipment needed for the handling, restoration, reproduction and use of audiovisual recordings
- principles concerning the description of the technical condition of material
- technical principles governing the use of audiovisual material
- transfer of audiovisual recordings to miniature formats for the purpose of archival storage. Feasibilities and restrictions
- new techniques and their effect on the development of media technology and audiovisual archives
- standards applied by a number of countries concerning storage, handling, reproduction, restoration and the use of audiovisual recordings.

4.1.4. Organisation and structure Level 1 30h
  Level 2 10h
  Level 3 6h

Knowledge imparted should include:

- principal functions of av archives
- administrative structure of av archives (autonomous or integrated institution, production archive and historical archive, special or general collection, multi media or single media stock)
- legal status (board, internal rules and regulations)
- relationship between size of collection and archive's function, equipment, number of staff, storage and working premises requirements
- internal techniques and working regulations (technical inspection, principles of reproduction and restoration, principles of cataloguing and description of contents, principles of use)
- organisation of the use of audiovisual archives, user services
- financing audiovisual archives
- cost of equipment, outfit and maintenance of av archives
- assignment of duties and cooperation with related institutions
- international cooperation of av archives

4.1.5. Access Level 1 40h
  Level 2 15h
  Level 3 6h

The topic should include the following subject areas:

- legal issues of audiovisual archives

International Copyright convention and audiovisual archives
national legislation and audiovisual archives
Unesco recommendation on the `Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images'

- user categories of audiovisual archives
- how to use audiovisual archives
- priority of stock preservation and restricted use for technical and legal reasons
- the necessity of setting up contractual relations between archives and users
- fees for various services rendered by av archives
- the use of unpublished audiovisual materials and respect for privacy
- reproduction and access
- definition of basic principles of use of archives

4.1.6. Acquisition and appraisal Level 1 60h
  Level 2 30h
  Level 3 15h

The topic should include:

- archive policy and acquisition

national production and national archives
specialised collections and accessions
national and international assignment of duties and coordination

- sources of audiovisual recordings and methods of accession

legal deposit, mandatory deposit
voluntary deposit

- principles of appraising audiovisual materials

theory of appraisal applied by document archives
theory of appraising audiovisual materials (priority of national production; proportion of national to foreign productions; safeguarding the technically best preserved and most complete materials; complexity of audiovisual recordings as works of art and contemporary documents
reducing subjective decisions

- relationship between production archive and historical archive
- growth rates of audiovisual materials of national provenance and questions pertaining to selection (quantity and quality of production; definition of national criteria of appraising audiovisual materials)
- organisation of accessions (implementation of national legislation or other rules and regulations; procurement of audiovisual materials of a national interest from foreign sources)
- prevention of undesirable destruction and export of audiovisual materials

4.1.7. Arrangement and Description Level 1 45h
  Level 2 45h
  Level 3 10h

The topic should include:

- classification systems of collections and audiovisual materials
- Film: preprint, preservation, distribution materials, different formats, different storage conditions
- Sound recordings: different formats, published and unpublished, oral history, sound effects, edited/unedited
- video recordings: different formats, edited/unedited, stockshots, serials/series, newsreels, programme material
- description of audiovisual archive stock by recommended standards
- methods of classifying data for international and external archive functions
- Internal: monitoring technical preservation conditions, issue record, ownership record, record of material received on loan
External: Feasible use and records for material of restricted use, accessions control
- record of national av productions

recommendation for the acquisition of data for filmographies, discographies and others
methods of collecting and publishing data
essential national and international reference publication on the production of audiovisual materials
the reliability of secondary sources
efficient use of computers in audiovisual archives (data storage of national and international production, stock control, accounting, planning, ownership records)

- computer use and programmes for cataloguing of av materials
- effective application of computers

4.1.8 Public relations Level 1 20h
  Level 2 10h
  Level 3 5h

Three different aspects of public relations should be singled out:

- user education
- publicity for the archive
- an archive's cultural activities

User education includes:

- contents of user education

methods of accessing an audiovisual archive
conditions of use
awareness of an archive's technical, material and administrative issues
restrictions of use

- methods of user education (lectures, guided tours, publications, exhibitions)

Publicity for the archive:

Since related governmental authorities together with producers of audiovisual material cannot be expected a priori to appreciate fully the role and tasks of an av archive, all senior staff should take part in drawing public attention to an archive's objectives, including:

- national and international publicity campaigns for the promotion of audiovisual archives
- effective forms of arousing public awareness
- methods of archive publicity (press conferences, press campaigns, showings of newly discovered and/or restored material, exhibitions, analyses of situation and issues of development of audiovisual archives; information of parliamentary committees and government offices; benefiting from international meetings of NGOs)

Cultural activities of av archives

Implies measures of use and publication of archive's own stock. Experience and knowledge imparted should include:

- activities of archive film theatre in propagating film history and film culture
- activities of audiovisual archives in the promotion of societies for film, video and sound recordings
- lecture tours
- publications, exhibitions, seminars on historic and aesthetic subjects

4.1.9 Related materials Level 1 60h
  Level 2 12h
  Level 3 6h

The topic should include:

- definition of related materials emerging from the process of production, handling, distribution and showing of audiovisual recordings
- information value, historic and cultural value of related materials
- principles of storage, preservation and restoration of paper, photographs and museum objects
- principles of description, cataloguing and classifying related material.

4.1.10 Technical expertise Level 3 122h

Technical tasks of av archives require specialised knowledge in handling of film, video and sound material and the relevant equipment for reproduction, restoration, recording, storage, safeguarding and protection.

A university education in chemistry, physics, electronis, electrical, mechanical, video, sound or film engineering could be a solid basis for a specialised training in audiovisual archive techniques.

The specialised education should include:

- basic requirements for archive buildings
- principles of air conditioning of av material, function of an airconditioning plant
- storage conditions
- worker protection, work safety and fire protection in av archives
- chemical and physical properties of av materials
- equipment for handling, reproduction, recording, restoration and storage of av materials
- treatment against all kinds of chemical, physical and electronic defects and damage
- standards on storage, handling, reproduction, restoration
- development of av technology and its impact on archives
- history of film, video and sound technology.

Editor's Note

At the time of writing the first report the Curriculum Development Working Party did not have the advice of Technical staff concerning the education and training of technicians for audiovisual archive work. Subsequently this advice was sought and information provided by the following paper.

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