The new forms of Audio-visual Archives and the web legal deposit at INA (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel)

Boris Blanckemane

Boris Blanckemane

For some years now, the way we make use of audiovisual material has completely changed. In the past, radio and television broadcasts were for immediate (linear) consumption at times and in places dictated by the broadcasting techniques then in use and via a single medium in each case (television sets and radios)). Little by little, linear consumption has given way to non-linear consumption where the public can choose what it wants to tune into, when and how (smartphones, computers, tablets).

Social media, video and replay platforms, podcasts, short programmes, vertical videos, television and radio are now available in a number of original formats using the new internet-based broadcasting options.
Via social media, the public can react to these programmes, comment on them and share with others. Television and radio have therefore become participative and play a social role, and their programmes are no longer just available at the moment of broadcast.
Programmes for immediate consumption still exist but they are now supplemented by non-linear content to cater to these new forms of consumption and offer individually customised services chosen by consumers themselves. Television and radio programmes now come as service packages comprising both “traditional” broadcasting plus all the connected web objects.

To cater to this new paradigm, in 2009 the National Audiovisual Institute (INA) started to collect web objects with an audiovisual dimension, as part of the legal deposit processes for internet-based material in France. Websites, video platform channels (Youtube, Dailymotion, etc.), social media accounts (Twitter, etc.), hashtags all add up to nearly 40,000 objects that are collected, documented and archived on a daily basis by the web material legal deposit service.
A number of tools have been developed for indexing, search and consultation purposes to enable users (researchers, students, private individuals) to browse through archived web material as they would through the living web and combine these web objects with the radio and television objects with which they may be linked. All this material can be consulted at and under the addresses of INA’s partners

This repository contains a wealth of different types of material (96.3 billion site versions, 26 million videos, 1.3 billion tweets), its purpose being to ensure that all the 19 million hours of radio and television broadcasts collected since 1975 are safely and securely stored.
Audiovisual archive content is therefore now augmented through the multiple possibilities for cross-referencing among its many different sources, a development fully consistent with INA’s digital heritage policies.

Web Archives repository