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Collection, preservation, and documentation of audiovisual heritage

Collection, preservation, and documentation of audiovisual heritage

As a public institution, INA is entrusted by law with the preservation and management of the French audiovisual heritage. INA enforces the audiovisual and web legal deposit and has digitized almost all its collections. The Institute develops innovative ways of managing and preserving the audiovisual archives, which makes it one of the top specialized institutions in the world.

Crédits photo : Michel Lioret


The audiovisual legal deposit was entrusted to INA in 1992. It now encompasses 179 television channels and radio stations, broadcasted continuously. It was completed in 2006 by the online legal deposit and today the contents of more than 14,000 websites and 12,600 social network accounts are collected.

INA collects and manages many other private and public collections within the framework of commercial and/or heritage mandates (ICAIC, AFP, IOC, UNESCO, etc.) with or without restoring them.


Digitisation is now the most appropriate way of preserving and storing audio-visual content saved on physical media; it facilitates its reading and the restoration of damaged archives. The digitisation of collections opens endless possibilities for publishing and broadcasting, which is perfectly suitable for today's digital media.

In 1999, INA — a worldwide leader in this field— launched a huge Backup and Digitisation Plan, which today allows it to have all its collections in digital form, storing them in its three data centres.

Development and management

The enhanced and researched digitised audio-visual collections are included in INA's "data lake"; a massive, structured set of data and metadata linked to the collections providing knowledge, identification and re-use of content.

INA is responsible for a research and innovation centre and for storing millions of hours of programmes. It develops and markets its own tools and methods to manage and exploit large amounts of data, enabling access to the most advanced tools in this field (AI, information systems, search engines, etc.).