FIAF Oral History Project

In 2004, the General Assembly approved a proposal for FIAF to initiate an Oral History Project, in order to record both its own history and the related histories of its affiliated archives, and leading archivists. Because FIAF was founded by European and American archives, it is inevitable that the longest connections should be with archives in those regions. The forefathers of the film archive movement are no longer with us, but some of the archivists who worked with them, or had some other connection with them, are still alive. It is therefore essential, and increasingly urgent, to record the memories of this second generation of film archivists, before the possibility of direct contact with those early years disappears entirely. Because of this, if there were need to prioritize resources, first claim would have to be given to European and North American archives. However, given the relatively small costs of the practical side of this project, affiliates from other regions should not have to wait until the work of these pioneers has been recorded. There is absolutely nothing to prevent interested archives from any region from arranging for interviews of people in their own countries, provided the same standards are maintained across the board.

The FIAF Oral History Project is currently co-ordinated by the Federation’s Senior Administrator. His primary tasks as Co-ordinator of the Project are: to identify potential interviewees and archives and/or individuals keen to take part in the Project; to bring new interview suggestions to the Executive Committee for approval; to co-ordinate the making of transcriptions and translations of interviews; to ensure that standard practices are used by all participating archives; to ensure that the interviews, transcriptions, and translations are properly archived and accessible; to help ensure the highest quality of transcription and translation; to administer the Project budget; to ensure the Project’s continuity.

If you have suggestions for future FIAF Oral History interviews, or if you are interested in interviewing a colleague yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact the FIAF Secretariat.

You will find the FIAF Oral History Project Guidelines HERE, and a list of all the interviews carried out since the start of the project in 2004 HERE.