**Apologies for cross-posting**

Many, perhaps most archives, museums and libraries in the UK & Ireland
hold audio materials within their collections, often containing unique
material. Very often audiovisual material will come to a repository as
part of a larger collection, requiring distinct resources in the form of
equipment and expertise. All archives face challenges as to how they
might actively preserve audiovisual collections for the long term, and
how best to provide access to them. Many media are degrading on the
shelves, while others are becoming unplayable due to obsolescence of
equipment. All deserve to be preserved, but in a rapidly changing
technological environment it can be hard to form a strategy, especially
for repositories where audio materials account for a small percentage of
holdings and specialisation lies elsewhere. 

British & Irish Sound Archives (BISA) is a new forum in which to discuss
such issues. Membership currently covers a wide range of experience,
from individuals and regional or specialist collections to national
institutions, including the British Library, the BBC and RTE. If you are
aware of audio material but are unsure what to do next, you are
especially welcome. Our discussion list allows members to share
knowledge on all aspects of audio archiving, and questions range from
general to specific, from seemingly simple to complex. Our annual
meetings feature a mix of reports from local archives, current research
and practical workshops on working with audio media. They also offer a
chance to meet and make contact with others responsible for audio
heritage, ask questions on all audio-related topics and share

Membership of BISA is currently free, and you are warmly invited to
join, via All those based in the Anglo-Celtic
Archipelago (ok then, British Isles) with a professional or demonstrable
interest in the issues above are welcome to join, take advantage of our
online discussion list and attend annual meetings. Our next meeting will
be held at the Wessex Film and Sound Archive, Winchester, Hampshire on
5th and 6th June, where in addition to a full programme of speakers
there will be a workshop covering all aspects of caring for and working
with audio cassettes. Full programme and registration details are on our

Will Prentice
Technical Services
British Library Sound Archive   Tel: +44 (0)20-7412-7443
96 Euston Road                       Fax: +44 (0)20-7412-7416
London  NW1 2DB        
UK                                 (online