Digital Preservation and Access

The digitisation, indexing and IT teams conduct digitising, audio-visual editing, backup, indexing and access management to the digital collections of the Genocide Archive of Rwanda.


Audio Visual:

The first recorded testimonies and most of the first collected audio-visual material after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi were recorded on VHS and audio tapes. To store these items properly and to have them accessible online, the analogue data was converted to digital data. This process is called digitisation.

When materials are digitised, they are converted to digital data with the help of a digital video recorder and computer software. This allows the data to be:

  • Transferred to DVDs
  • To be uploaded, preserved digitally and backed up on a secure server
  • To be accessed digitally worldwide

Once the analogue data on VHS and audio tapes has been digitised, the tapes are given to the physical preservation team to be stored in the physical Genocide Archive of Rwanda for proper preservation.


Collected photographs are also digitised by being scanned and are then stored digitally. The physical photographs are also given to the preservation team which preserves and stores them in the physical archive.


The digitisation team uses high tech equipment to capture audio-visual, audio recordings and photographs for the archive’s collection. The team:

  • Assist the collection team in collecting testimonies
  • Cover events and ceremonies
  • Produce films for the Aegis trust and the Rwanda Peace Education Programme (RPEP)
  • Collect audio visual content for virtual tours on the Genocide Archive of Rwanda website’s interactive maps


Once the collected audio visual footage, audio recordings and photographs are digitised and stored, the digitisation team then formats these items for the best quality for online viewing.


Once the video and photographs are formatted, these are given to the content curation team. This team:

  • Translates all content into Kinyarwanda, English and French, and provides subtitles for audio visual material
  • Creates metadata and descriptions for all the materials
  • Uploads the materials and their metadata to the archive’s website
  • Creates content for all other sections of the website
  • Determines levels of access to the collections based on the wishes of those who provided the items or testimony


The digital collections are managed by the IT and digitisation teams. The collections are stored digitally on the archive’s secure server, and are backed up on a cloud based system.

The IT team provides the necessary support to maintain proper digital preservation, by:

  • Overseeing technical implementation and support for the digital archive's systems and all other IT related tasks in the archive
  • Assisting archivists in digital archive management to ensure proper description, preservation and access to all digital collections
  • Enabling uninterrupted access to digital content for the archive team and external users
  • Collaborating with partners, researchers and regional, national and international institutions for proper access provision and approved levels of access
  • Complying with, and contributing to, the development of the standards and practices of the digital preservation community, in Rwanda and internationally.