24 March 2011 – Today Europeana launched a new project entitled “Erster Weltkrieg in Alltagsdokumenten” (“The First World War in everyday documents”) with a call to the public in Germany to participate in building a digital European archive by contributing private memorabilia from the First World War.
The project is looking for photographs, letters, diaries, short films, audio recordings and the stories connected to those objects. People interested in contributing World War 1 memorabilia can bring them to one of the four roadshows that will take place in Frankfurt am Main (31 March), Berlin (2 April), Munich (6 April) and Stuttgart (12 April). There, the objects will be digitised professionally and added to the online archive, along with corresponding descriptions. Independently of the roadshows, everyone can contribute their digitised images and information via www.europeana1914-1918.eu.
Until 2014, the year of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1, Europeana will collect memorabilia in digital form from many of the countries involved in the War. The project, which a partnership between Europeana, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and Oxford University, aims to save people’s family memories of this tragedy that convulsed Europe and make them accessible to the world.
For further details, please see the full press release in German and in English.
20 February 2011 – As of 10 February 2011, more than 300 archival films are available online for free at filmarkivet.se, a joint project between the Swedish Film Institute and the National Library of Sweden. The majority of the films originates from the Swedish Film Institute’s Archival Film Collections; mainly shorts, non-fiction films, newsreels and commercials – films that reflect the transformation of Swedish society over the last century.
The selection of films is being done by an editorial board with representatives from both institutions. Many of the films selected are virtually unknown but the locations, events and people depicted in them are very familiar. Each film is presented with a short synopsis and production credits. Many also contain longer texts to put the films into context.
Besides an English project description, filmarkivet.se is available in Swedish only.
7 January 2011 – PrestoCentre, a new organisation continuing the work of the Presto projects, will launch at its first European conference in Amsterdam on 14 -15 March 2011. “Screening the Future – New Strategies and Challenges in Audiovisual Archiving” aims to connect AV archives, service providers, vendors, funders, policymakers, and educators with keynote speaches and masterclasses on some of today’s most urgent issues such as digital preservation strategies and technologies, funding mechanisms and policy making.
26 October 2010 – Main question of the conference, which took place in Ghent on 13-14 October 2010, was how the internet and digitisation changed the way of dealing with audiovisual heritage and the concept of heritage itself, and how heritage archives respond to this.
20 August 2010 – On 18 August, the European Commission’s Reflection Group (“Comité des Sages”) on digitisation launched a consultation on how best to foster the online presence of cultural heritage. As Europe’s creative and cultural sectors undergo a revolutionary transition, innovative solutions are needed to keep up with technological advances and reap their full benefits. The Commission has asked the Reflection Group to look at how best to speed up the digitisation, online accessibility and preservation of cultural works across Europe. Contributions to this consultation will feed into the recommendations the Group will make before the end of the year (see IP/10/456). The consultation will run until 30 September 2010. All interested parties – citizens, cultural institutions, public authorities, private companies, NGOs, academic institutions – to give their views on key issues of digitisation.
28 April 2010 – The Schlemmer Frame Collection is the property of Edith Schlemmer, the former chief archivist of the Austrian Film Museum. Mrs. Schlemmer had received it in the 1960s as a donation from an anonymous collector, and decided to make it available to the Austrian Film Museum for purposes of research and publication.
This little treasure consists of 2254 frames and fragments of films, mostly silent and mostly from the period between 1910 and 1920, many of which are believed lost. The collection has now been digitized and ordered, with the aim of identifying and cataloging the individual items as well as preserving the original order. At present, 35% of the collection have been identified. The process of research and identification is ongoing and will presumably continue for several years. As a parallel endeavour, a visual database of these beautiful images has been created and can be accessed here.
Although many film archives are in possession of these types of collections, it is the first time that one of them receives such detailed attention from researchers. The aim of the Austrian Film Museum is to make these images accessible to the larger public, to enable everyone to enjoy the colors and photography of early cinema, to constitute a historical resource for archivists and researchers, and to enlarge the debate about open archives and “orphan” collections held in those archives.
31 May 2010 – On 3 May, 2010 the Lithuanian Central State Archive started the implementation of a 30-months project called “Lithuanian documentaries on the Internet”. The archive has received support of about 2.8 million for this project from EU Structural Funds. The objective of the project is the preservation of Lithuanian documentary heritage by digitisation as well as its accessibility for everyone via the Internet. It is expected that the project will digitize and transfer to the Internet 1000 titles of Lithuanian documentaries, created in the period between 1919-1960.