Welcoming the world's archives

NFSA Hosts 71st FIAF Congress
 Miguel Gonzalez
FIAF 1986 poster.


This week, the NFSA is hosting the 71st FIAF Congress in Sydney and Canberra.

Delegates from more than 40 countries have come to Australia to discuss topics such as digitisation and copyright, as well as key challenges and opportunities for all the organisations preserving the world’s audiovisual heritage.

This is the second time the NFSA hosts the FIAF Congress. Last time we hosted this major event, the number one song in Australia was ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going’ by Billy Ocean. It’s been a while!




Courtesy of FIAF, we’re publishing the information pack for delegates of the upcoming 1986 congress. It’s like reading the old diary you wrote when you were a teenager! You have changed, and the world has changed too.

> Download 1986 FIAF Congress


In this historical document, the NFSA was described as ‘one of the world’s newest, and oldest archives’ – a reference to the 50-year history of its growing collection, and the then recent creation (1984) of the NFSA as an autonomous body, independent from other cultural organisations.

There were two main themes that year: ‘computer applications’ and ‘editorial restorations’.

The document reads:

'The impact of technology in society is becoming increasingly widespread and in particular, work methods are continually being changed […] One especially important impact of technology on film archives is the role of computers. Obviously, there is a number of ways in which film archives can use computers […] the NFSA has opted to focus on two major areas: global filmographic databases, and collection management'.

It continues:

'The NFSA was the first member to have an online computerised collection management system (known as FLICS). Currently, the NFSA is pursuing a vigorous programme to expand the influence of computers throughout the entire organisation […] The NFSA hopes to install a bar code labelling system by the end of 1985. NFSA’s philosophy is that computers are an integral and vital part of its future development'.

It seems like the NFSA was right about the future!

We hope that the discussions and debates at this year’s FIAF Congress will contribute to the development of ideas and solutions for the challenges of the early 21st century.