“Audiovisual content plays an increasingly vital role in our lives as we seek to understand the world and engage with our fellow beings.”

UNESCO World Day for AV Heritage Website

On October 27th 1980, UNESCO held its 21st General Conference in Paris, and adopted the Recommendation for the Safeguarding and Preservation of Moving Images for all member states. To commemorate the event and raise awareness of the urgent need to protect our audiovisual documents, UNESCO has declared October 27th The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (WDAH). In 2015, the 38th General Session approved its ‘Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage, Including in Digital Form‘ and began fundraising efforts to digitize its vast archives. By 2018 they had raised enough money to build an on-site lab where they could begin their digitization efforts and launch the project ‘Digitizing our shared UNESCO history’ in celebration of WDAH.

Audiovisual materials as documentary heritage objects provide a window to the world as we observe events we cannot attend, we hear voices from the past who can no longer speak, and we craft stories that inform and entertain.


In consideration of the vast number of nations experiencing quarantine due to COVID-19, the theme for 2020’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was chosen to be “Your Window to the World.” MSU Libraries participated by launching our Media Preservation Humanities Commons Blog, starting with posts featuring our favorite media formats, and sharing a ‘highlights reel’ of clips across some of our collections.

Media Preservation “Highlights Reel 2020” at MSU Libraries

The theme for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage 2023 is “Your Window to the World“. We also encourage you to explore the CCAAA’s website where you will find events from dozens of organizations around the globe that you can participate in from your home. Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions, and check this page for further updates on World AV Heritage Day celebrations!