Organisation

VIAA: a unique platform for our audiovisual history

The archives of the public broadcaster, commercial and regional television stations and cultural heritage institutions contain countless hours of film, video and audio material but also documents, photos and books. Much of this audiovisual material is at risk of being lost because the carriers have become old or fragile (such as audio or VHS tapes) or the specific playback equipment is no longer readily available. To prevent this, VIAA sets up digitisation projects.

We pay attention not only to the digitisation of analogue material but also to archiving and sharing existing digital material. After all, keeping this material accessible is a task that requires continuous attention. A floppy disk, CD-ROM or even a hard drive are all digital carriers with a relatively short lifespan. The data can also be in a format that is no longer commonly used or the playback equipment may have disappeared. 

In order to prevent both the loss of analogue material and the loss of existing digital material, we work closely with our content partners within our projects. We digitise and archive Flemish image and sound fragments and make this digital material accessible for various users. We do this primarily for our content partners, but also for education and the general public.


VIAA's model in tackling the challenges of audiovisual archiving in a joint effort with broadcasters and cultural heritage bodies is followed with great interest by FIAT/IFTA. It is a very creative approach to national funding of the digitisation and preservation activities necessary to safeguard collections in an efficient and cost effective manner. It is inspirational approach also to European members, including my own country Ireland.

Bríd Dooley
President FIAT/IFTA

How do we work?

We digitise the most at-risk material first. For cost-efficient digitisation, we group together as much material as possible from different content partners per carrier. We create the necessary processes for a standardised flow, which helps the content partner with preparations and prevents material being lost. We also follow international standards to provide maximum quality assurance. 

VIAA collaborates with organisations in the culture, heritage and media sectors, who create and/or manage our audiovisual heritage. We handle digitisation, preservation and digital platforms while they focus on the management and projects relating to the content of the collected material.

What is our strength?


VIAA is part of an ecosystem consisting of content partners, knowledge institutions and centres of expertise, technology companies, service providers and users. We can therefore depend on an extensive knowledge network and we are known among our stakeholders for our open and transparent approach. We are enthusiastic about our mission and committed to its implementation, putting sustainability and innovation first. We handle each digitisation project with the greatest care and respect for makers, owners and our audiovisual heritage.

How do we exist?

VIAA was established by the Flemish government on 21 December 2012. The research institution iMinds handled the start-up process as the organisation had been conducting research into digital archiving for many years and was able to offer the right framework for a quick operationalisation. In 2016, VIAA became an independent non-profit organisation, financed by the Flemish Government. VIAA is managed by its own Board of Directors, in which both the Flemish Government and the content partners are represented.

The VIAA Team

If you would like further information about VIAA, please contact Nico.
He will be happy to answer your questions.

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