The Role of the Internet in the Storage and Archiving of Audio-Visual Material

  • The importance of preserving and archiving Audio-visuals,
  • How digitalisation improves archiving of cultural heritage,
  • How data is preserved on the internet.

Storage and archiving of Audio-visuals are of pivotal importance to society because they are one generations gift to future generations, they serve to educate us about our past and preserve the recorded history such as war footages. Audio-visuals (AVs) in other terms are collections that hold mp3 files or audios, images and mp4 files (Videos) such as CDs, DVDs, flash drives and the internet.

In the twentieth century, CDs, mini-disks and DVDs were introduced but these materials or methods of storing data were not durable. They come with a short life expectancy because they deteriorate with time making them inaccessible, they can be stolen, damaged and destroyed. Weakness the internet destroyed. The coming of the internet immortalised AVs, making them accessible to everyone from anywhere. In the digital age, AVs are being preserved every day as we exchange data on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube and Websites.

Once stored on the internet, AVs can not be easily stolen, damaged and will not deteriorate with time. For example, when uploaded to YouTube, a video will always be there for consumption by future generations unless it is removed by the owner. Other Internet-based technologies such as Google Drive and iCloud are also being used to preserve and archive all digitalised materials and AVs.

The preservation of AVs on the internet makes it possible for us to connect with not just local cultures easily but also internationally as we are now able to access material from any other country at the comfort of our houses. Digitalisation reduces the handling of AV material as it’s stored online thereby increasing its life expectancy. and chances of saving it for the future generation. AV archives need to be digitalised for preservation as non-digital methods are disappearing and the internet makes it cheaper and easier to preserve and access them.