World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2021 – October 27

The United Nations(UN)’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) is annually observed across the globe on October 27th to honour audiovisual preservation professionals and institutions that safeguard our heritage for future generations.

The day also aims to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents and create awareness about the measures to preserve them.

  • The WDAH is an initiative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA).

The theme of the WDAH 2021 is “Your Window to the World”.


i.During the 33rd session of the UNESCO’s General Conference held in October 2005, the resolution proclaiming the 27th October of every year as the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was adopted.

ii.The day commemorates the adoption of the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images during the 21st General conference held in 1980.

  • The first World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH) was observed in 2006.

Significance of audiovisual archives:

i.The audiovisual archives feature the stories of people’s lives and cultures from across the globe. It represents the heritage which is an affirmation of the collective memory and a valuable source of knowledge that reflects the cultural, social and linguistic diversity of the communities.

ii.‘Digitizing our shared UNESCO history’ the project launched by the UNESCO Archives aims to ensure that this heritage remains accessible to the public and future generations.

Efforts of UNESCO to preserve audiovisual heritage:

Memory of the World:

The Memory of the World Programme was established by UNESCO in 1992.


The world’s documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.


  • To facilitate preservation, by the most appropriate techniques, of the world’s documentary heritage.
  • To assist universal access to documentary heritage.
  • To increase awareness worldwide of the existence and significance of documentary heritage.

Digitizing our shared UNESCO history:

i.Digitizing our shared UNESCO history is a UNESCO Archive Project for safeguarding and promoting UNESCO’s documentary heritage.

ii.The project is supported by the Government of Japan.

iii.In 2018, under this project, in partnership with Picturae BV, a digitization company, an on-site laboratory was installed at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in February of 2018.

About Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA):

CCAAA is a global network of nine international nongovernmental organizations dealing with all aspects of audiovisual archiving on a professional level.
Chair (2020-2021)– Toby Seay
Members– 9 members(Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT-IFTA), Federation of Commercial Audiovisual Libraries (FOCAL International), International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA), International Council on Archives (ICA), International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA))

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