About IASA


The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) was established in 1969 in Amsterdam to function as a medium for international co-operation between archives that preserve recorded sound and audiovisual documents.

IASA has members from 70 countries representing a broad palette of audiovisual archives and personal interests which are distinguished by their focus on particular subjects and areas, eg archives for all sorts of musical recordings, historic, literary, folkloric and ethnological sound documents, theatre productions and oral history interviews, bio-acoustics, environmental and medical sounds, linguistic and dialect recordings, as well as recordings for forensic purposes.

Every three years the membership elects an Executive Board, which oversees the business of IASA. Various committees, sections and task forces are responsible for developing the work of IASA and these serve as important fora for information and discussion and dealing with specific areas of interest:

  • The Organising Knowledge Committee (previously known as the Cataloguing and Documentation Committee) concerns itself with standards and rules as well as with systems, automated or manual, for the documentation and cataloguing of audiovisual media
  • The Discography Committee deals with standards and recommended practice concerning collections of published recordings.
  • The Technical Committee devotes itself to all technical aspects of recording, storage and reproduction, including new recordings, transfer and storage technologies.
  • The National Archives Section is where members meet to consider issues facing national archives, e.g. acquisition policies, legal deposit, the management of large collections.
  • The Broadcast Archives Section handles the special responsibilities of audiovisual archives in broadcasting companies.
  • The Research Archives Section concerns itself with special issues relating to audiovisual archives whose holdings include collections of recordings originally made for research purposes.
  • The Training & Education Committee concerns itself with audiovisual archive Training & Education.
  • The Europeana Sounds Task Force will improve online discovery of Europe's rich audio heritage.

IASA members represent a diverse range of collection interests, including music, folklore, oral history, historical and broadcast recordings, and are leaders in the development of good practice and the dissemination of information on collection development and access, documentation and metadata, copyright and ethics, and conservation and preservation.

IASA follows closely the progress of technology and the association’s members can call upon a pool of expertise for help and advice on digitisation and with problems arising from the use of computer storage systems for heritage collections.

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives is a private Company limited by Guarantee, registered in England and Wales (Company no. 8458337). Registered office: Suite 574, Kemp House, 124 City Road, London EC1V 2NX