BAAC Conference 2016 report

 November 2-3, Vilnius

The 13th BAAC annual conference „Audiovisual Heritage and People: Connecting, Curating, Sharing“ was held from November 2nd to 3rd 2016 in Vilnius. The conference and the BAAC General Meeting were hosted by our Lithuanian colleagues from the Lithuanian Central State Archive and Archivists’ Association at a wonderful venue, located in the heart of Vilnius old town – the Arts Printing House. This year, the conference was dedicated to the relationship between audiovisual heritage and people, focusing mainly on the reuse and curation of digital content at the memory institutions. 

First day of the conference started with opening speeches, followed by three interesting presentations in the first session. Rimvydas Laužikas (Vilnius University) discussed cultural heritage transformations in the digital culture, Agata Kolacz from NinA (National Audiovisual Institute of Poland) explained, how to engage online audience with online activities, and Lāsma Meldere-Šestakova (National Library of Latvia) described changing landscape of audiovisual sources in libraries. First speaker from the second session, Lisette Kalshoven (Kennisland, Netherlands), shared her knowledge about copyright reform.

This year's conference was also closely related to the Europeana Sounds project, which held its second international conference, “Unlocking Sound Collections”, on the following day, November 4th at the Vilnius University. A great number of presentations dealing with sound heritage was also present in the BAAC programme. Richard Ranft from the British Library presented the project „Save our Sounds“, a programme to sustain a million hours of recording. Pekka Gronow from Finland pointed out a question, whether we could make all 78 rpm records ever issued available on the Internet. Filip Sir and Michal Studnicny (National Museum of Czech Republic) focused on Czech records. Darius Kučinskas (Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania) shared the case study of the collection of Lithuanian piano rolls. Paavo Annus from the Film Archives of the National Archives of Estonia told an intriguing story about the reportage from June 1940, which first aired 76 years later. Aldis Putelis (Latvian Folklore Archives) discussed the issue of uses of recordings in his presentation „The sound versus the score“. Erkki Nurmi (University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy Library) raised a lively discussion on how to identify music recordings with no metadata. Peter Laurence (Harvard University) and Filip Sir provided a detailed insight into the International Bibliography of Discographies.

Topics related to photographic and film heritage were also discussed. For instance, Fred Truyen introduced Photoconsortium and the legacy of Europeana Photography. Jānis Ziediņš (Culture Information Systems Centre, Latvia) explained, how to gain broader access to audiovisual content. Linda Pleša (National Archive of Latvia) presented a new website of the State Archive of Audiovisual Documents. Jurgita Kažukauskaitė-Sarnickienė from Lithuanian Cinema Centre shared her knowledge of placing audiovisual archives of the 20th century in the classroom.

For the opening reception, we gathered at the Lithuanian Theatre, Music and Cinema Museum, where an exhibition „Moments of Cinema: Lithuania and Estonia“ was opened. In conclusion, the conference created a great atmosphere to exchange knowledge and meet specialists from BAAC memory institutions.


Conference report by Kadi Sikka