New life for old bones: moving image collections at the National Archives of Australia


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Cinema studies scholarship has recently turned its attention to the ‘utilitarian film’; the industrial, training and ‘data-film’; Rick Prelinger’s ‘vernacular archive’. An Australian study mapping this territory has been initiated. Australia’s largest repository of audio-visual records is the National Archives of Australia (NAA), where a variety of collections derived from Commonwealth agencies (CAs) are housed and preserved. Diminishing resources allocated by governments to collecting institutions in Australia compound the degree of difficulty faced by moving image archives at a time when an exponential growth in digital acquisitions, crisis around the preservation of video-originated archives and citizen’s needs and expectations of access to records, including moving image archives, increases. This article offers an overview of the NAA’s Audio-visual Preservation projects and collections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-272
Number of pages21
JournalStudies in Documentary Film
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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