The BAI archiving funding scheme was instigated to address the absence of a national audio visual archiving policy. The Scheme seeks to contribute to the preservation of lreland's broadcasting heritage and a record of lrish culture, heritage and experience by supporting the development of an archiving culture in the lrish broadcasting sector. The Scheme concerns programme material and advertisements broadcast in whole or in part, or recorded for broadcast, on radio and/or television. The BAI administered three funding rounds under the first Archiving Scheme, which expired in April 2016. Following a review process, a second Archiving Scheme was launched in June 2018 and will run until 2022.
Work completed in 2016 included a project undertaken by TG4 to digitise, catalogue and make accessible approximately 1,400 hours of music and documentary programming, and The Radharc Trust's project to preserve production material, documentation and photographs generated by the Radharc productions from 1964-1997.
Projects funded with the support of the Scheme in 2017 included the Irish Film Archive's Adverts Project, which saw the conservation and digitisation of a selection of television advertisements from the 1960s to the 1980s. This project has been made available on the Irish Film Institute's Player and provides a fascinating look at Irish consumer society and culture over three decades.
Separately, the RTE News Collection Archive from Ireland's national broadcaster was launched in October 2017. With funding support from the Archiving Scheme, this project digitised a selection of videotape recordings of RTE News from 1985-1999. Accessible online via RTE Archives, the selection captures a range of footage, from historic news stories to those more light-hearted in nature.
In 2018 the funding round focused on the safeguarding of programme material threatened by fragile physical
condition or soon-to-be obsolete formats. In December 2018 six projects were awarded funding under the Archiving Scheme. Applications were structured on strategic approaches to the safeguarding of valuable cultural content and, in particular, to developing and adhering to internationally accepted archiving standards, building capacity and knowledge and providing ease of access for the public to collections. A partnership approach was also evident across a number of the applications, which is encouraged by the Scheme and met with one of the main objectives, that of developing an integrated approach to archiving.
In 2019, the scheme focused on the archiving of programme material with the specific objective of the preservation of a historic record of Irish culture, heritage and experience and, in particular, that which safeguards historic material that is threatened by fragile physical condition or soon to be obsolete formats. Thirteen applications were received in total, from which six projects were awarded EU1.89 million.
In 2020, common with the previous rounds under the Scheme, the latest round focused on the safeguarding of programme material threatened by fragile physical condition or soon to be obsolete formats. Eleven applications were received in total, from which five projects were awarded funding of EU1.34 million.
2019-2020 funding EU3.2m ($3.74m)
ln the last quarter of 2016, the BAI undertook a review of the Scheme, which encompassed the following:
I. Examination of the operation, effectiveness and impact of the Scheme in the context of its objectives, both internally and externally;
The findings show that the impact of the Scheme has been positive and in particular, the cultural benefit is noteworthy in that the Scheme has facilitated the safeguarding of material of historical and cultural value that would otherwise have been lost
II. Identification of recommendations for revisions to the Scheme;
The findings also show that the Scheme has been effective in achieving its objectives. This includes safeguarding broadcast material of heritage value and also, importantly, encouraging and promoting archiving activities within the wider broadcasting sector including amongst the independent community and commercial broadcasters and the independent production sector. The access to the archived broadcast material was viewed as critical and a positive aspect of the Scheme.
III. Identification of proposed operational improvements in the context of the current Scheme
The overall findings reveal that stakeholders who engaged with the Scheme had a positive experience. However, there were four common opinions across the feedback for actions that could improve the operation of the Scheme:
a) More supporting information about the Scheme should be provided;
b) The application process should be streamlined;
c) More detailed feedback should be provided in the BAI's assessment reports of applications; and
d) The grant agreement process should be streamlined.