In December 2012, the Flemish government gave the final go-ahead for the VIAA (The Flemish Institute for Archiving), the establishment of which is part of the 2009-2014 Coalition Agreement. For its creation, a special partnership between the vzw Waalse Krook and iMinds (formerly IBBT) was created. The main task of VIAA is to secure existing material from the heritage and media sectors by digitising it, archiving it and making it available. Commissioned by VIAA, PACKED vzw will be responsible for coordinating the digitisation of audiovisual material from various Flemish cultural heritage institutions.
As an expertise centre in digital heritage PACKED vzw plays a key role in Flanders in bringing together expertise on digitisation and digital archiving and providing this expertise to cultural heritage organisations. Amongst others, PACKED vzw is responsible for the CEST website (Cultural Heritage Standards Toolbox), the online toolbox that is recognised by the Flemish government as the guiding instrument for managing, creating, and providing access to digital heritage collections by organisations that are subsidized within the Cultural Heritage Act.
PACKED vzw has acquired extensive experience with the digitisation of audiovisual material, mainly because of its history as a platform for the archiving and preservation of audiovisual art. Through other projects that have been undertaken in cooperation with cultural heritage organisations, good contacts and specialised knowledge have been developed to better understand sector-specific problems and needs.
PACKED vzw has already undertaken some steps to prepare for the VIAA digitisation project. In cooperation with FARO (the Flemish interface center for cultural heritage) and VIAA, a survey was done within organisations aknowledged by the Cultural Heritage Decree and the various broadcasters. The main purpose of this survey was to get a better view of the quantity and diversity of audiovisual materials that are being managed by these institutions. For now, the selected organisations are making preparations in anticipation of the first VIAA digitisation process. PACKED vzw is following this closely and, as an expertise centre, offers advice and support.
Once the digitisation project of VIAA starts, PACKED vzw will continue to provide support as a point of contact. Furthermore, PACKED vzw will lead the logistical process of the digitisation in collaboration with VIAA.
For more information about VIAA, subscribe to their newsletter and visit the website www.viaa.be. The contact person within PACKED vzw that is dealing with the preparation of the VIAA digitisation project is Noortje Verbeke ([email protected]).