There is a preponderance of books that exist which discuss various aspects of creating, producing, and distributing audiovisual media. Similarly, there is a substantial body of work in the field of film studies. This is not the case with regards to preserving these resources. When addressed, film and media archives are usually discussed within the context of “use” - how they are used to depict history, memory and truth through documentaries and other mechanisms of storytelling; or how they can be used in scholarship, research, and education.
For decades audiovisual media has been thought of as a product of immediate consumption. The result is an all to familiar story around the globe, which has seen the neglect, destruction, and decay of these materials. However, with the maturity of the audiovisual profession (the Association of Moving Image Archivists recently celebrated its 20th anniversary) and emergence of degree-granting programs focusing on audiovisual media (UCLA MIAS in 2002 and NYU MIAP in 2003) there has been a marked increase in scholarship and research both in the US and internationally. There have been numerous white papers, technical reports, and guidelines written for one aspect or another pertaining to audiovisual collections, digitization, digital media, metadata, and storage. However, most are either very broad in nature or written for a narrow constituency, a specific type of collection or institution. Many can be very technical, making them inaccessible to a casual reader, while others focused on a single medium or issue (i.e. film, audio, copyrights).
This literature review will survey the growing number of resources that have helped to define the emergence of the audiovisual media archival profession, address specific archival issues, and speak to the increasing need for continued work.
Formal professional and education programs have also been slow to recognize the value of media in the same manner as manuscripts, books, and photographs. This has resulted in relatively few authoritative resources being written and scholarship being produced in this area. At a recent symposium for preservation educators it was noted that, “it is becoming increasingly apparent that the preservation of endangered audiovisual resources is the “brittle books” crisis of the 21st Century.”  However, there is a gap in the literature that fully addresses the issue.
The audiovisual archiving profession has emerged, evolved, and operated largely outside (yet parallel to) the mainstream library and archival community. This is largely due to the uniqueness of time-based audiovisual medium. Libraries, museums, and other cultural preservation organizations, which have been acquiring audiovisual materials for decades have been slow in active participation in developing the profession due to a number of complicating factors such as technology, costs, and copyright issues.
The Association of Moving Image Archivists emerged in part to fill a gap but also to provide a home for those individuals who had been working with audiovisual materials. In 2001, they launch their journal The Moving Image. The peer-reviewed journal targets both film and media scholars and archivists. While the journal occasionally reads more for media scholars there are increasingly quality articles tackling crucial issues such as preservation, ethics, and appraisal. 
Early and classic works
Several early works helped to define the audiovisual profession. One of the first was A Philosophy of Audiovisual Archiving by Ray Edmondson for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1998. Edmondson believed there was an increased perception in the value of audiovisual media as important cultural records in the 1990’s and that a codifying philosophy was necessary to propel the profession forward. In doing so he situates those working with these materials within the tradition of archival practice while distinguishing them from other library and archive professionals. He defines basic terms and concepts that help to distinguish an identity, while noting the need for increased formal training programs, standards, and accreditation.
While Edmondson’s report aimed to create an audiovisual archivist identity, one of the first practical books to appear specifically for audiovisual media was The Administration of Television Newsfilm and Videotape Collections: A Curatorial Manual edited by Steven Davidson and Gregory Lukow (1997). The book was (and continues to be) an excellent resource that addresses the care and management of the physical artifacts in a film and video archive as it pertained specifically to television. While the book is dated and focuses on a very specific type of archive, it provides a solid foundation in archival practice and workflows with chapters dedicated to appraisal, arrangement and description, cataloging, and preservation.
Another pioneering book Appraising Moving Images: Assessing the Archival and Monetary Value of Film and Video Records, by Sam Kula (2002) was one of the first works to ground moving image arching in sound archival theory. Examining appraisal and selection, the book reviews the history of moving image archiving and practices internationally. It is essential reading for collections managers with audiovisual collections. However, the book does focus more on the film experience at the expense of television and other forms of media making and despite being only ten years old there is no discussion of digital media.
Classic texts such as Independent Filmmaking (1972 and updated in1983) by Lenny Lipton and How Video Works: From Analog to High Definition (2004, 2nd ed. 2007) by Diana Weynand and Marcus Weise are highly regarded resources in the media profession. Lipton’s book provide great insight about working with film and how a film is made. Though it was written for the filmmaker, it is particularly useful for those responsible for film collections that include outtakes, dailies, sync reels, and other production elements. How Video Works provides a complete picture of the creation of a video signal to storage and transmission. It begins with an overview of the analog video signal to provide a firm foundation of the evolution to digital formats. A critical resource to understanding the characteristics and nature of the video signal that is necessary to understand how it can be preserved.
 Rowntree, David “Out of the Archive: Challenges and Opportunities for New Scholarly Access from Old Media Collections,” Black Camera, An International Film Journal, Vol. 1 No.1 (Winter 2009), 171-185; Guest, Hayden “The Archives and Academia,” Cinema Journal; (Spring 2010), Vol. 49 Issue 3, p. 106-110; Baron, Jamie “Contemporary Documentary Film and ‘Archive Fever’: History, the Fragment, the Joke,” Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal of Film & Television (Fall 2007), Issue 60, p.13-24; Warrmington, Paul, Van Gorp, Angelo, Grosvenor, Ian “Education in Motion: Uses of Documentary film in educational research” Paedagogica Historica (Aug 2011) Vol. 47, Issue 4, p. 457-472
 At the Nexus of Analog and Digital: A Symposium for Preservation Educators, School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 5-7 June 2011.
 See Timothy Wisniewski, Framers of the Kept: Against the Grain Appraisal of Ephemeral Moving Images, Fall 2007; Nina Rao, Representation and Ethics in Moving Image Archives, Fall 2010
Davidson, Steven, and Lukow, Gregory, ed. The Administration of Television Newsfilm and Videotape Collection: A Curarorial Manual, American Film Institute, 1997
Edmondson, Ray, A Philosophy of Audiovisual Archiving produced for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, General Information Programme and UNISIST. Paris: UNESCO; 1998
Kula, Sam, Appraising Moving Images: Assessing the Archival and Monetary Value of Film and Video Records. Scarecrow Press Inc., Oxford, 2002
Lipton, Lenny, Independent Filmmaking, Updated, Straight Arrow Books, 1982
Posted by David Rowntree. Posted In : Archival Resources