Audio Visual Archives
The Audio-Visual Archive is home to moving images and sounds that document the history of Utah and the West. Predominantly original and unique and often unpublished, these time-based media collections offer the opportunity to hear the voices of the past and see historic scenes and artistic visions come to life. Audio and video items often relate directly to collections in the Manuscript and Photograph Archives and encompass a variety of subjects including University of Utah history and sports, home movies, independent film, oral histories, politics, outdoor recreation, music, dance, and news. Originally recorded on a wide array of modern and historic formats, these materials are being digitized so that users can access them online and in the Special Collections Reading Room.
For more information about audio-visual collection digitization and access please review the Digitization Policies below:
Audio-visual materials in Special Collections span a variety of formats, the majority of which are obsolete. Because most of these materials are old, rare, and difficult to play back, users must work with digital copies rather than with the original recordings.
Several finding aids and subject guides are available to aid your search for AV materials, but digital access copies have not been created for every item listed in these guides. Archival recordings are prioritized for digital preservation and access based on a variety of factors, including content, format condition and stability, and user requests. Requests for access to undigitized materials help the Audio-Visual Archive staff better understand the needs of its users and are strongly encouraged, but digitization cannot be guaranteed. To suggest an item for digitization, please contact the Moving Image and Sound Archivists by e-mail or phone.
The Audio-Visual Archive is dedicated to preserving its collections and making them accessible to the public. An ever-growing pool of digitized materials is available for access online and in the Special Collections Reading Room.
The AV Department of Special Collections is dedicated to preserving and making available unique media documenting the history of Utah, the Mormons, and the West. Audio-visual materials are of special concern to archivists not only because they present a dynamic glimpse into history and culture but also because they are in danger of being lost forever due to format obsolescence and deterioration.
Donations of audio-visual materials are encouraged. The University of Utah conducts physical preservation measures and has begun the systematic digitization of audio-visual collections for digital preservation and access. Because the digital preservation process is extremely resource intensive, materials are prioritized for digitization based on a variety of factors, including content, format condition and stability, and donor and user requests. Although it is the archive's goal to digitize and make available all of its audio-visual holdings, digitization of donated materials cannot be guaranteed within any specific time-frame, and scan-and-return donations are not possible at this time.
If you require immediate access to your audio-visual content, it is recommended that you pursue digitization before donating your collection. Even if your materials have already been digitized, please consider donating the original items to Special Collections, where they will be preserved and made accessible to future generations as valuable components of our region's historical record.
For a donation consultation or for information about donating born-digital or digitized items, please contact the Moving Image and Sound Archivists by e-mail or phone.
- Deed of gift
- Special Collections finding aids
- Local Digitization Services
- Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Guide to Archival Digitization Vendors, Services, and Suppliers
- Guide to AV Formats
Special Collections is the final repository for media and other historic materials produced by The University of Utah. However, materials should not come to the Audio-Visual Archive until they are no longer being used by the department that created them.
AV items still in use can be transferred to the Records Center in the University Archives and Records Management Department of Special Collections, where they can continue to be accessed at the convenience of the department. Any digitization performed while materials are in the Records Center is the responsibility of the department. When they are no longer in use, AV materials may be transferred from the Records Center to the Audio-Visual Archive where they will be preserved and ultimately made accessible for future scholars of University of Utah history.
Because the digital preservation process is extremely resource intensive, materials are prioritized for digitization based on a variety of factors, including content, format condition and stability, and user requests. Although it is the archive's goal to digitize and make available all of its audio-visual holdings, digitization of deposited materials cannot be guaranteed within any specific time-frame, and scan-and-return donations are not possible at this time.