The mission of the installation team of the National Sound Archive is to carry out all the necessary actions to establish an archival structure focused on sound documents.

The object of the archive will be the recorded sound in any known (or to be invented) medium, system, or format. Its main function will be gathering and cataloging audio documents produced within any field of practice (artistic, scientific, documentary) and geographical origin. The structure will incorporate, manage, preserve, and make available collections of sound documents and related materials. Its aim is to ensure future preservation and current universal access to sound documents.

The archive will also extend its activities to the constitution and promotion of a network of similar collections, located in or outside Portugal, the ground basis for a federated strategy. It will promote research, access and dissemination of Portuguese sound heritage.

The installation team is obliged to:

  • Propose the legal framework that will establish and govern the operation of the archive;
  • Propose its organic structure;
  • Propose a technical plan for the laboratories, physical storage, digital archive, educational structure and studio for sound creation;
  • Propose a model for the archive management;
  • Define the technical engineering requirements of the archive’s building, namely its storage rooms, laboratories and digital archive;
  • Make an inventory of the individual and collective, public and private entities and their collections of sound documents, with a special focus on Portugal and the Lusophone world related materials.

The structure will be designed in accordance with internationally established standards, best practices, and research locally carried out in the field of sound archiving.

Aware that the archive will depend on the maintenance of a whole technological system (equipment and knowledge) necessary for the preservation of sound documents and providing safe access to their contents, it is essential to mobilize technological structures, state-of-the-art scientific and technological expertise and experience, in order to ensure the future of audio content, key pieces of our common heritage.

The next steps will be a nation wide survey of more than 250 entities with sound collections or items, and the preparation of a final report to technically support the archive’s establishment.

The team will be coordinated by Pedro Félix and will have the technical support of a Consulting Board and invited international recognized specialists for each technical area (from digitization, archival, documentation, digital preservation, among others). Our contacts can be found here.

Sound documents are essential items for the production of knowledge and historical landmarks to be preserved.

This is a duty of all of us.