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.
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.
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