New web exhibition and book release about Harry Schein at the National Library of Sweden

By Christopher Natzén

In March 2010 the National Library of Sweden (KB) released a new book with the title ”Citizen Schein” (eds. Lars Ilshammar, Pelle Snickars and Per Vesterlund) about Harry Schein, the founder of the Swedish film institute. A web exhibition for the book release was created by Tomas Ehrnborg and Örjan Markusson. The exhibition contains both audiovisual materials as well as documents, and has had over 16.000 visitors since the launch of the site. With the book, two DVD’s were released that contain news clips and other appearances of Harry Schein, mainly on television programmes taken from KB’s collections. Some of the items, as an arranged tennis match where the former Prime Minister of Sweden Olof Palme acts as referee, can also be viewed at KB’s YouTube-channel.

New INA president appointed

By Claude Mussou

Mathieu Gallet, former deputy chief of the staff for Frederic Mitterrand , French minister of Culture and communication, has been appointed as Ina‘s president after Emmanuel Hoog was elected president of the French Press Agency (AFP) on April 15th. AFP is one of the top four press agencies in the world with journalists working in 165 countries and offices in 115 countries.

Mathieu Gallet, 33 years old, has graduated from Bordeaux Institute of Political Sciences and holds a Masters degree in business from the Sorbonne. He had been working in the Media industry (Pathé, Canal+) before he started a career in public affairs, chief advisor to several French ministers.

Archivists and Academics Coming Together at 1st FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Seminar

By Berber Hagedoorn & Dana Mustata

On May 14th, l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) in Paris hosted the 1st FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Seminar. Participants came from a wide range of countries: India, Greece, Romania, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Great Britain and France. PhD students, professors and archivists presented their research results. The papers presented findings resulting from studies in television archives and were illustrated by archival material from their holdings. Presentations were structured around four main panels: “Television and memory”, “Early TV, going from black & white to colours”, “News broadcast & current affairs: comparative approaches” and “Television and cinema”. The event promoted academic research in FIAT/IFTA member archives, which provided excerpts for illustration during the presentations. Liselotte Doeswijk (University of Amsterdam) was selected to present her paper on “Colour and Graphic Design for Television” at the upcoming FIAT 2010 Conference in Dublin.

Members from the EUscreen consortium were predominantly present at the event. Alexander Hecht (ORF), Claude Mussou (INA) and Andy O’Dwyer (BBC) were part of the organizing FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Commission. From the EUscreen partner Utrecht University, Berber Hagedoorn presented on “Television as a Practice of Memory: the Case of Herinnert U Zich Deze Nog?” based on archival materials from the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision. Dana Mustata, also from Utrecht University, presented on “Televising European Events: from Cold War Borders to EU Borders” providing archival materials from the Romanian Multimedia Archives and Video Active. Members of the European Television History Network also participated.

Europeana Public Domain Charter: libraries, museums and archives support Europe’s heritage

Europeana press release. The Hague – May 25th, 2010., Europe’s digital library, museum and archive, has published the Public Domain Charter. The Charter has been drawn up by the Europeana Foundation, Europeana’s governing body, which is supported by the European Commission. It’s based on the belief that:

  • The Public Domain must be preserved.
  • A healthy Public Domain is essential to the social and economic wellbeing of society.
  • Digitisation of Public Domain knowledge does not create new rights over it.
  • Europeana is publishing the Charter because the Public Domain is under threat. As Public Domain information is digitised, it is often becoming less accessible to those who own it: the public. Policy-makers and funding bodies need to consider the implications of removing information from the Public Domain and the knock-on effect this has for creative enterprise, learning, research and the knowledge economy.

    When Public Domain material changes format from a book or a picture to a digital file it must not leave the Public Domain. What has been held in trust for the public for generations, often at taxpayers’ expense, should not enter the private sector when it is digitised.

    “A healthy and thriving Public Domain is vital for education, science, cultural heritage and public sector information. No society can afford to put up barriers to information access in today’s knowledge-based economies.” – Elisabeth Niggemann, national librarian of Germany and Chair of the Europeana Foundation.


    What is the Public Domain?

    • The out of copyright information that people can freely use without restriction
    • Information that rights holders have decided to remove barriers to access
    • Much of the world’s knowledge – the paintings of Leonardo, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Diderot’s Encyclopédie – is in the Public Domain.

    Why is it important?

    • Society constantly re-uses and reinterprets material in the Public Domain and by doing so develops new ideas, inventions and cultural works.
    • The internet gives access to the heritage of previous ages on an unparallelled scale. It has accelerated the rate of innovation and the creativity of new ideas and applications.
    • Access to Public Domain information lies at the heart of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”.

    Why publish the Charter?

    The Charter is a policy statement, not a contract. It doesn’t bind any of Europeana’s content providers. It recognises the dilemma in which heritage collections find themselves. Their drive to digitise and make Public Domain content accessible is tempered by a recognition of the costs involved, and the need to arrive at the most appropriate agreements with those who are willing and able to fund digitisation programmes – including the private sector.

    However, it is necessary to label the rights associated with a digitised item very clearly so that they are understood by Europeana’s users, who will be able to exclude content from their results that requires payment or doesn’t comply with the Public Domain Charter. Rights labelling will become a requirement when submitting content to Europeana by the end of this year.

    While Public-Private Partnerships are an important means of getting content digitised, the Charter recommends that deals are non-exclusive, for very limited time periods, and don’t take material out of the Public Domain.

    The Public Domain Charter is published in support of the recent Public Domain Manifesto. The Manifesto is a statement made from the content users’ perspective. Communia, who have published it, represent education and research, consumer agencies, technology developers and think tanks.

    Europeana, and its governing body, the Europeana Foundation, support the principal aspirations of the Manifesto. The Charter represents the position of the content holders – the organisations that are entrusted with the safe keeping of Europe’s Public Domain content.

    The Public Domain Charter is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.

    Feature on EUscreen in D-Lib Magazine

    By Wietske van den Heuvel

    D-Lib Magazine has included a feature about EUscreen in it’s May/June issue. D-Lib is an online journal “with a focus on digital library research and development, including new technologies, applications, and contextual social and economic issues. D-Lib Magazine appeals to a broad technical and professional audience. The primary goal of the magazine is timely and efficient information exchange for the digital library community to help digital libraries be a broad interdisciplinary field, and not a set of specialties that know little of each other.” (D-Lib website)

    The article about EUscreen can be found in the “In Brief” section. It describes the main project goals in general, and the connection to Europeana, the development of user requirements and software in more detail. The article can be found here.

    Distance Educators to Focus on Media Use at Next Annual EDEN Conference

    By Sally Reynolds

    Sally Reynolds from ATiT in Belgium along with Deborah Arnold, VIDEOSCOP, Université Nancy 2, France will be presenting examples of media use in education and training at the next annual European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) conference in Valencia 9 to 12 June. This presentation will feature a selection of examples from higher education as well as other sectors and will include a discussion into what really makes for effective educational media.

    The EDEN conference has a particular focus on media this year and is entitled ‘Media Inspirations for Learning’. It is expected to attract plenty of practitioners from the higher education sector interested in finding out more about the ways in which audiovisual and social media can be used to enhance learning. More available from the conference website.

    More than 75% of teachers in the USA use digital media

    By Sally Reynolds

    The 7th annual study from PBS (USA’s national platform for online educational media resources) on media and technology use within the classroom, provides a range of useful insights on the take up of digital media in the US. The study reports the following main findings:

    • A majority of teachers are using digital media, with applications including instruction, lesson planning, communications and professional development.
    • Teachers who do use digital media value it and believe that it helps them—and their students—be more effective.
    • Teachers continue to use video, but they increasingly access video online, rather than from broadcast, cable or videotape. And teachers are becoming more strategic in their media use and savvier about integrating it into their repertoire of instructional strategies and resources.
    • Teachers value many different types of digital media, with games and activities for student use in school topping the list.
    • Increasing numbers of teachers are joining virtual professional communities—and many are comfortable using social networking tools in their personal and professional lives.

    This report also provides interesting research findings on the specific use of video and the increased use of short video segments in place of full video programmes. The most popular length of video segment found in this study was between 5 and 10 minutes. The full report on this study is available here.

    Open EUscreen workshop on Metadata Schemes and Content Selection Policies

    23-24 June, Mykonos, Greece

    EUscreen has organised a two-day workshop on metadata schemes and content selection strategies in the audiovisual domain, to be held in Mykonos town, Greece on June 23 and 24. The workshop will focus on the presentation and analysis of metadata schemes and content selection policies within major European projects in general and EUscreen in particular, and will present some state of the art applications in multimedia retrieval and reuse.

    The first day’s programme will be devoted to developments within the EUscreen project. This includes the presentation of the project’s content selection strategy, a demonstration of the EUscreen back-end, and a preview of the EUscreen portal, to be launched in January 2011.

    The second day provides an overview of experiences and state of the art European projects in the audiovisual domain. This includes presentations by projects and organisations such as the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Film Gateway (EFG), Europeana and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). More information about the workshop, along with the full program, can be found here.  Attendance is free, but online registration is required.

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