Definition of "Swiss Audio Heritage"
for the acquisition policy of the Swiss National Sound Archives
The term "audio heritage" can be understood and interpreted in different ways, depending on the context. For sound archives, such as the Swiss National Sound Archives, this term is of primary importance, as our mandate is based on it. A clear definition of "heritage" forms part of the overall concept of a sound archives facility. It is on the basis of this definition that the collections are built up and all of its activities, ranging from long-term archiving to documentation and to making this heritage available to all interested parties, are carried on.
In the context of the development of a new concept for the Swiss National Sound Archives, the term "audio heritage" has had to be defined to ensure a consistent acquisition policy for the collections. This was even more important in Switzerland, as our country has no law on legal filing requirements at national level. The following definitions, therefore, fill the gaps in law, but they apply only to the Swiss National Sound Archives and its collection mandate in relation to the Swiss audio heritage.
The acquisition policy of the Swiss National Sound Archives must be inferred from the texts of the Act adopted by the Federal Parliament on the Swiss National Library (SNL), on which the mission of the Swiss National Sound Archives is based, and on the Articles of the Swiss National Sound Archives Foundation.
In the acquisition of audio documents, the Swiss National Sound Archives will make an effort to seek the collaboration of other institutions. The Swiss National Sound Archives does not have to acquire all the documents at any price, but, as the center of competence for the Swiss audio heritage, it should attempt to assure the correct preservation and the possibility of access of and to the documents that are to be found in other Swiss institutions. In this case, the Swiss National Sound Archives will try to acquire a copy for its archives.
The acquisition of sound documents is based on the definitions stated above and is implemented according to the "Guidelines for the acquisition of audio and complementary documents".
The acquisition of audio documents must not be subordinated to difficulties of a technical nature or of any other kind.
The collecting activity of the Swiss National Sound Archives began in 1986. With the deposit of the entire collection of materials belonging to SUISA and the integration of various other collections, it has been possible for us to complete the Swiss National Sound Archives collection of materials with numerous audio carriers produced before that date.
If we consider that Switzerland does not impose any legal filing requirement, we cannot claim that our collection mandate has been fulfilled in its entirety and, therefore, that the collection of materials acquired starting from 1986 includes all the published audio carriers. The audio carriers are all documented in the Swiss National Sound Archives' database and can be consulted on this website.
The Swiss National Sound Archives is part of the Swiss National Library