Since the development of recorded sound, moving images and broadcasting towards the end of the 19th century, audiovisual recordings have become a powerful media and archive for telling stories of our past in the 20th and 21st centuries. Through sound and moving images, we learn of our history, intangible cultural heritage, the social and linguistic diversity of our communities, and even of our oral histories.
As a country which became independent in 1962 and which started its own national broadcasting on that same date, Trinidad and Tobago’s audiovisual archives are an invaluable asset for telling the stories which have shaped our nation and identity.
Today, the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago would like to salute the efforts being made by institutions and organizations in preserving our audiovisual heritage. Through their commitment to digitizing analogue collections and making it available to the public, they bring us
closer to our history and heritage. But still more needs to be done. Numerous recordings remain undiscovered or neglected in rooms with improper storage conditions, and with the increasing obsolescence of analogue playback equipment and deterioration of the media itself, we stand to lose this important heritage. Experts have given a 10-15 year window in which to preserve our audiovisual archive before it is lost!
As the institution with responsibility for acquiring, preserving and providing public access to the documentary heritage of our nation, and guiding in the management of public service records, the National Archives remains committed to working with government institutions and organizations to safeguard our audiovisual archives. The institution encourages the deposit of copies of productions that pertain to our history and heritage at the National Archives, as it continues to build and preserve a national audiovisual collection.
For more on audiovisual archives and inventories accessible on the web in Trinidad and Tobago, please visit:
Hidden Treasures – Government Information Service Ltd
Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
Remember When Institute, Culture Division, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts
The Banyan Archive