Principles of Operation
The primary purpose of the digital archive is to store for an indefinite time backup and access copies of the content of the physical audio carriers stored at the Swiss National Sound Archives. The aim therefore is not to replace the traditional physical archive, but rather to provide a supplementary facility.
An archive of this kind is a rather complex and onerous system. It requires the supervision of specialized personnel and the definition, and compliance with, very precise work-flows and security schemes. Among the obvious benefits we can however immediately mention the following:
- The service offered to users can be improved, as it is now possible to listen to a particular recording from a remote station - until now, to listen to a document, the user had to go personally to the premises of the Swiss National Sound Archives in Lugano.
- The possibility of access to the documents, in the long term, is less subject to the phenomenon of technological obsolescence - large quantities of obsolete audio carriers are stored in the physical archive of any organization, so it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find the correct reproduction device.
- As this is a standard IT system, its use is not limited to a single type of content - such as audio, for example.
The Swiss National Sound Archives has been able to implement this facility thanks to its close collaboration with SUN Microsystems (Schweiz) AG.