Film Heritage, Digital Future: Practice and Sustainability for the Film Archive Sector

Press release by the BUFVC

A one day event for professionals in film and TV archiving.
Friday March 4th 2011
Organised and hosted by Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research
Birmingham City University
Margaret St Campus

What issues are facing film and other audio-visual archives? What are the immediate challenges for archive holders of cuts to public funding and threats to intellectual property in a digital age? How is our film heritage to be sustained and used? What kinds of collaborations might support the legacy of UK film and prompt innovation and best practice?

This event offers an opportunity for those with a professional interest in the film sector to hear about best practice in a range of public-funded projects and to share insights and ideas about the challenges for the audio-visual archive sector in the digital age.

The event will be anchored by the presentation of a range of innovative projects funded by Screen West Midlands under the Digital Film Archive Fund. Since the launch of the fund by Film Council in 2009, these projects have created new archival material, investigated and repurposed existing material, reaching new audiences and prompting engagement with archive issues and cultural heritage. As the projects seek to secure their legacy, develop and expand their scope, the issues they face will provide a prompt for discussion.

The event will feature contributions from BBC, SWM, MACE, EUscreen, workers from a variety of archives and from the education sector. EUscreen will be represented by Dr. Rob Turnock and Sian Barber, postdoctoral researcher both from Royal Holloway, University of London. They will be presenting their paper “From archive to online user: EUscreen and the challenges of creating access to European television content.”

The programme of the event contains presentations, screenings, opportunities for networking and discussion of current challenges in the sector.

Refreshments and lunch are provided.

RSVP: paul.long@bcu.ac.uk

BUILDING A NEW FRAMEWORK: VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR DIGITAL CURATORS

Press release from Europeana/DigCurV

Work has begun on Digital Curator Vocational Education Europe (DigCurV), a new project funded by the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci programme to establish a framework for vocational education and training in digital curation which was launched in January.

Europe’s digital sector has seen strong growth in recent years. The rapid pace of development in the information technology sector has presented both challenges and opportunities to cultural institutions responsible for managing digital collections and their long-term preservation. One of the challenges faced by institutions has been in recruiting staff with skills in the field of digital curation.

DigCurV aims to address the availability of vocational education and training needed by curators in the library, archive, museum and cultural heritage sectors to develop the new skills that are essential for the long-term management of digital collections.

This thirty-month project will identify, analyse and profile existing training opportunities, survey training needs in the sector to identify the key skills and competences required of digital curators. It will establish a curriculum framework from which training can be developed in future. The curriculum will be tested and evaluated by stakeholders during the project.

DigCurV brings together organisations from Europe, Canada and the USA with a strong track record of international work in the field of digital libraries and digital preservation. The partners include the iSchool at the University of Toronto (Canada), Fondazione Rinascimento Digitale (Italy), Goettingen State and University Library (Germany),  HATII (UK), MDR Partners (UK), Trinity College Dublin, the Long Room Hub (Ireland) and Vilnius University Library (Lithuania).

The network of associated partners includes the Digital Preservation Coalition (UK), Institute of Museum and Library Services (USA), the nestor qualification consortium (Germany) and is open to new members.

Read more about the project.

European Film Gateway project publishes report about copyright issues

By the European Film Gateway (EFG)

In order to bring archival materials held in film archives online and giving access to them, rights clearing is a central topic in the framework of the EFG project. EYE Film Institute, one of EFG’s project partners, has established a report on Guidelines for Copyright Clearance and IPR Management. This report can be downloaded now from the EFG website.

The report includes:

  • an overview of legal frameworks in EU countries for the film sector
  • guidelines how to successfully clear rights related to film works
  • copyright basics (moral rights vs. exploitation rights, orphan works etc)
  • diligent search guidelines for rights holders

More information can be found here.

National Library of Sweden and the Swedish Film Institute launch new web site for moving images

By Christopher Natzen

On February 10 the new web site Filmarkivet was launched by the National Library of Sweden and the Swedish Film Institute. On the site you have the opportunity to see unique archival moving image material that otherwise is rarely accessed. The web site contains mainly shorts, non-fiction films, news-reels and commercials: films that reflect the transformation of Swedish society over the last century. Some 300 films are now available, a figure that will be doubled before the end of 2011.

5 Million Manuscripts, Films and Texts for Europeana

Press release from Europeana

Work begins this week to add over 5 million digital objects, ranging from Spanish civil war photographs to handwritten letters from philosopher Immanuel Kant, to Europeana from 19 of Europe’s leading research and university libraries.

The project is called Europeana Libraries and it will put many of these treasures online for the first time. It will also add extensive collections from Google Books, theses, dissertations and open-access journal articles to the 15 million items amassed in Europeana to date. Providers include some of Europe’s most prestigious universities and research institutes, including the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Trinity College Dublin and Lund University.

The assembled objects span centuries of European history. Manuscripts from Serbia date back as far as 1206 and relate to the Ottoman Empire’s European territories. Written in Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Persian, they are being digitised by the University Library of Belgrade. There will also be significant film additions. Footage of talks from 10 Nobel prize winners will be contributed by the University of Vienna and the Wellcome Trust Library in London will add 900 clips from medical science films produced over the past 100 years.

Europeana Libraries is notable not only for the content it will make available online but also because this project brings together national, research and university libraries under one umbrella, to make their materials available via Europeana.

The Europeana Libraries initiative is supported by key international library associations: the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL), the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL) and the Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche (LIBER).

Louise Edwards, General Manager of The European Library and project coordinator said: “This project will offer wonderful new resources for Europe’s humanities and social science researchers. Unique source materials that were known only to small numbers of scholars will now become widely accessible, promoting new understanding and cross-border study.”

Paul Ayris, President of LIBER, said: “Europeana Libraries will create a service that aggregates the digitised content from research and university libraries. By the end of the project, in two years time, we will have created a robust, automated delivery system which any library can use to deliver its digitised content to Europeana, The European Library, and other services for researchers.”

Marian Lefferts, Executive Manager of CERL, welcomed the start of Europeana Libraries, saying: “It signals a commitment by the different parts of the library sector to work together to deliver the greatest possible benefit to users. We will be able to extend our reach to international research audiences with new content and innovative services, and in doing so, help to develop the European knowledge base.”

The Power of Television: Including the Historicizing of the Live Romanian Revolution

Press release from Utrecht University

Date: February 4
Place: Utrecht

The dissertation “The Power of Television: Including the Historicizing of the Live Romanian Revolution” by Dana Mustata’ will be available soon after her defense on Friday, February 4 at Utrecht University. Mustata also works for EUscreen as a researcher where she focuses on contextualisation and the use of online television content in academic research. Her dissertation is a first history of Romanian television, dealing for the first time with the history of television under a former communist regime. It shows that despite the oppressive regime, television was not necessarily and not always an instrument of political control.

The dissertation develops an innovate method for understanding television in a coercive regime. The method studies television as an agent of power. Based on this method, the dissertation reveals brand new data on the televised Romanian Revolution in 1989: the event was not a spontaneous public outburst, but a decade-long rehearsed process that took place in the private spaces of television viewers and which was silenced, controlled and manipulated by the Securitate, the former Romanian secret services.

Being a first television history of a former communist country, the dissertation opens up this field of research in Eastern Europe, making a significant contribution to European television history. The dissertation is based on so far undisclosed and classified documents of the Romanian communist secret services.

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