Revox machine

Preserving recorded heritage

Care for items in an archive is more than just ensuring there is a secure room and a shelf to sit on. The environmental conditions must be appropriate; handling should be done with care, and material needs to be findable—all elements to ensure those archives will be safe and assessable into the future. 

For archives that consist of audio and video recordings there is an additional concern as access also requires functioning playback equipment and the skills to use them. 

The Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound is accurately named, holding a wealth of recorded content from Aotearoa New Zealand and across the Pacific. This material dates mostly from the mid-late 20th century and is largely recorded on open-reel audio tape and cassette. 

To ensure the content of these recordings can continue to be accessible, the archive is partnering with the company Memnon, to capture the undigitised material. 

Memnon are a global leader in the migration of legacy media to digital formats, with operations in Europe, the United Kingdom, the Americas, and now Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2022 Memnon launched a facility in Lower Hutt under contact to the Department of Internal Affairs for Ngā Taonga, The National Library, and Archives New Zealand to run the Utaina mass-digitisation project. 

Utilising Memnon’s expertise and large-scale capture facility, undigitised content will be captured to a high preservation standard, ensuring these recordings will be preserved and accessible well into the future. 

William Hamill, Cultural Collections | Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound