Conference report: Technical and Field related Problems of Classical and Electronic Archiving. Supplementary Education in the Fields of Archiving, Documenting and Informatics

By Aleksander Lavrencic and Katja Sturm

Date: 6-8 April
Place: Radenci

The conference “Technical and Field related Problems of Classical and Electronic Archiving: Supplementary Education in the Fields of Archiving, Documenting and Informatics” was held this year in Radenci, Slovenija.  The main themes of the conference were scientific study of archiviology, additional education and professional training of archivists, archival buildings, protection, access and use of archival holdings. The conference was attended by an international public: besides Slovenia there were also professionals from Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia.

Various lecturers of Slovene and foreign lecturers from the fields of archival theory and practice, preservation, electronic archiving and long-term preservation were invited to speak about technical and field related problems of classical and electronic archiving. These problems included access and use of archives, archival buildings, electronic archiving and long-term preservation. Questions like how to deal with the protection of common cultural heritage – efforts of archives, museums and libraries, archival science between theory, legal provisions and their implementation and improving the quality of managing archival activities were addressed during the lectures.

Katja Šturm held a presentation about EUscreen during the third day of the conference. This day was dedicated to digitisation of content and the presentation on the internet, how to run international projects and to promote archival activities and models of cooperation between archives. Other presentations in the session focused on using Slovenian film archives in theory and practise between 1968 and 2010 and alternative options of using archives – therapy for elderly people (inspired by “Storytables” and dr. John Ellis lecture in EUscreen conference in Rome).

Release of the EUscreen webcast portal

Press release

EUscreen has released its webcast portal, http://webcast.euscreen.eu, with presentations from events organised by EUscreen that were publicly accessible. Up to this point, the portal contains presentations from the Open Workshop on Metadata Schemes and Content Selection Policies and presentations from the First EUscreen International Conference. Some highlights of the portal:

  • Examples on metadata from projects and initiatives like the Europeana Data Model Group, the European Film Gateway, the EBU and the W3C Media Annotation Working Group.
  • Automatic metadata extraction of video and images and its applications.
  • Doing cultural research with television material: constructing cultural memories, building platforms for historians and making sense of digital heritage.
  • Case studies on creative reuse.

Future, public events organised by EUscreen will also be streamed on this platform.

EUscreen publishes its first Online Access to Audiovisual Heritage Status Report

Press release

Increasing access to digitised audiovisual heritage in particular and cultural heritage in general, has become an important topic for institutions in the field of cultural heritage, policy-makers, national governments and the European Commission. This report, written by Wietske van den Heuvel and Lotte Belice Baltussen focuses on access to audiovisual heritage in general and specifically, access in an educational setting.

The report consists of two parts. Part one outlines the general status of online access to audiovisual heritage and focuses on creating a business model for platforms with audiovisual content and on the value proposition of audiovisual content. Additionally, an overview of revenue models with examples is provided. Part two describes the access to online audiovisual heritage from an educational perspective and contains an inventory of educational platforms and a methodology for the analysis of these platforms. A selected set of platforms is analysed and the results are used to outline the specific value propositions for education. Occurring revenue models in the educational field are analysed and alternatives are presented.

The full report can be accessed here.

Royal Holloway launch of EUscreen portal – 4th April, BBC Television Centre

By Dr Sian Barber – Postdoctoral Researcher, RHUL

The EUscreen portal was launched by Sian Barber and Rob Turnock from Royal Holloway, University of London on Monday 4th April at BBC Television Centre to the Southern Broadcast History Group. This group comprises a number of broadcast historians, senior academics, archivists and industry professionals drawn from 8 different British Universities, the BBC and the British Film Institute.

As well as the launch of the EUscreen portal, this one day event saw detailed debates and discussions about current work in the field of Broadcasting history, notably radio in America, Germany and Britain in the 1930s and Broadcasting policy in the 1980s which fore grounded the importance of users and citizens as active listeners and viewers.

Showcasing EUscreen.eu
For the EUscreen launch, Rob Turnock gave a brief introduction to the project, highlighting the possibilities of the site as a research resource as well as one for teaching and learning. Rob explained the role of Royal Holloway within the project and mentioned some of the challenges encountered on the project so far and the way in which the project team have worked to overcome them. Particular attention was paid to how the portal will focus upon the needs of users and the issues faced in integrating differing metadata schema and providing the necessary contextual information to a disparate range of users. Rob also mentioned the Virtual Exhibitions and the e-journal which will allow for interactive discussion around the content and increase dissemination activity, and would be of great interest to the Research Group.

This discussion of the project was followed with a demonstration of the portal. Rob highlighted three different ways of searching the portal; basic search, advanced search and searching by language. Much attention was given to the detailed metadata which accompanies each individual record, and the way in which the fourteen historical topics provide a structure to the portal which promotes easier searching and filtering.

The explore function was also demonstrated to show how content on the site could be filtered by genre to see what exists in different categories. Rob also drew attention to the list of languages currently available, noting that a much wider range of languages will exist in the next version of the portal. Rob also stressed that in the next release, the portal will have increased functionality and greater interoperability.

Following the presentation, questions were raised about the rationale behind the e-journal, what kind of content it would include and when it would be published online. There was also further discussion about the range of content providers who were involved in the project and if other material from different content providers could be added and integrated at a later date. These queries promoted a broader discussion of the project as a whole and many expressed interest in looking at the portal in more detail and for research and teaching purposes.

Connect to 400 years of history through millions of historical records

JISC news release

Millions of historical records have become more accessible to the public through a JISC funded project at the universities of Hertfordshire, London and Sheffield. Connected Histories provides a single point of access to a wide range of distributed digital resources relating to early modern and nineteenth-century British history. The Connected Histories website is fully searchable and provides access to millions of pages of text, hundreds of thousands of words and tens of thousands maps and images. It incorporates the following digital sources:

• British History Online
• British Newspapers 1600-1900
• Charles Booth Online Archive
• Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835
• London Lives, 1690–1800
• Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 1674–1913
• Origins Network
• Parliamentary Papers
• Printed Ephemera from the Bodleian Library
• Strype’s Survey of London

Access the resources here.

BBC releases new digital collection for the educational domain

Announcement by the BBC

“This new digital collection from Gale offers researchers and students access to the complete, fully searchable facsimile archive of The Listener, the BBC periodical published from 1929-1991. The online archive consists of the complete 62 year run of the paper, allowing users to search across 129,000 pages and more than 226,000 articles  – all newly digitised from originals in full colour.

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in 1929 under its Director-General Lord Reith. It was the intellectual counterpart to the BBC listings magazine, Radio Times. Developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks – initially on radio, but in later years television as well – The Listener is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts. As well as commenting on and expanding on the intellectual broadcasts of the week, The Listener also previewed major literary and musical programmes and regularly reviewed new books.

Over its 62 year history, it attracted the contributions of E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf. It also provided an important platform for new writers and poets, with W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath and Philip Larkin being notable examples.” (taken from the Listener Historical Archive website)

Read more

Sneak preview of the EUscreen portal during the Learning on Screen conference

By Eve-Marie Oesterlen

The British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC) was proud to present a sneak preview of the EUscreen portal as part of its Learning on Screen conference held at the National Film Theatre (BFI Southbank), London, on 24th March 2011. In his showcase presentation, Luis Carrasqueiro outlined the benefits and challenges of providing standardised and multilingual access to the television content of 19 European archives to around 50 delegates from British universities and media institutions.

The demonstration of the beta version of the EUscreen portal and its content focused on ways in which to make best use of this unique European multi-media resource within the context of higher education. Questions by interested participants revolved around the re-use of content, the range of the audiovisual material included in the project and whether copyright issues prevented the inclusion of up to date material. Learning on Screen is the annual conference and awards ceremony held by BUFVC on the importance and benefits of using image and sound in education.

The presentation slides can be found here.

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