World War 1 Film Footage in Cyberspace

— Press Release

Postkarten vom Kriegsschauplatz

Films about World War 1 that have never been seen outside a cinema or on television are to be made available on the internet for the first time ever.

The European Film Gateway 1914 (EFG1914) plans to digitise up to 650 hours of footage and make it freely accessible via europeana.eu, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive. It will also appear on the film portal www.europeanfilmgateway.eu

The 2-year project was launched  during a meeting of more than 40 representatives from 25 partner institutions at the German Film Museum in Frankfurt am Main.
The footage, which includes newsreels, documentary films and footage as well as fiction films from and about World War 1, is being digitised by archives across Europe, including the Imperial War Museum in London – which has one of the largest institutional World War 1 related collections – along with partners in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands.

Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana, said, “This is an enormously valuable project for historians, schools, researchers and film buffs, and will provide a remarkable resource in time for the 2014 centenary, when public interest will really peak.”

“It’s important too because although a considerable amount of film material covering the Great War was produced, but  experts estimate about 80% of that footage has been lost forever. Surviving films remain in analogue format, but access to them can be difficult, cumbersome and costly. But through digitisation, the material can be accessible to all on the web.”

Project organisers are sharing hundreds of hours of film material and expertise from a number of individual European archives in order to highlight the benefits of film digitisation and digital preservation of historical films across the sector.

Partners in EFG1914 are:

  • Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V. (Frankfurt), coordinator
  • Arhiva Nationala de Filme (Bucharest)
  • Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (Frankfurt/Brussels)
  • Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies (Athens)
  • Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée – Archives françaises du Film (Bois d´Arcy)
  • Cinecittá Luce S.p.A (Rome)
  • Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (Brussels)
  • Cineteca di Bologna (Bologna)
  • CNR-Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell´Informazione (Pisa)
  • Det Danske Filminstitut (Copenhagen)
  • Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen (Berlin)
  • Estonian Film Archive (Tallinn)
  • EYE Stichting Film Instituut Nederland (Amsterdam)
  • Filmarchiv Austria (Vienna)
  • Fondazione Cineteca Italiana (Milan)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS (Erlangen)
  • Imperial War Museum (London)
  • Instituto de la Cinematografia y Artes Audiovisuales – Filmoteca Española (Madrid)
  • Instituto Valenciano del Audiovisual y de la Cinematografia Ricardo Munoz Suay (Valencia)
  • Jugoslovenska Kinoteka (Belgrade)
  • Magyar Nemzeti Filmarchivum (Budapest)
  • Národní filmový archiv (Prague)
  • Nasjonalbiblioteket (Oslo)
  • Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Vienna)
  • Reelport GmbH (Cologne)
EFG1914 is coordinated by the Deutsches Filminstitut on behalf of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE), with support from the European Union. It follows the success of the European Film Gateway, which has become the most frequently used web portal for finding films and film-related material from the film archives and cinémathèques of Europe. Between 2008 and 2011, more than 500,000 objects were made available for users to view online.

For more information about EFG1914 see the project website www.project.efg1914.eu

EUscreen at Museums and the Web

The Museums and the Web conference is taking place this week – starting tomorrow, April 11th and continuing until the 14th. The conference constitutes a buzzing intersection between museum curators, analysts, strategists and interested folk willing to bring musems (and related instituations such as libraries and archives – the so-called GLAM-community) fully into the digital world. To do so, nascent trends have to be followed up on and discussed, but more importantly, recent and real-world initiatives are reviewed and discussed in a wide array of talks, workshop and debating sessions. Members of the community vote for the People’s Choice award in the annual Best of the Web series, which EUscreen’s predecessor Video Active proudly took home in 2009.

EUscreen is present in a variety of sessions this year, to reflect on television heritage and its place online, on the intersection between webvideo, exhibition content, popular culture and open access. Johan Oomen, technical director of the project, will give a demonstration of the available tools, benefiets and realisations of the project. Furthermore, the special session Linking Europe’s Television Heritage will discuss EUscreen’s Linked Open Data pilot – a topic that is also reflected on in the session Sharing cultural heritage the linked open data way – everyone’s invited.

Last, but not least, EUscreen is one of the contenders for the Best of the Web Awards, so although competition is fierce and there are strong, innovative contenders out there, we do hope to win the hearts and minds of the museum world this year.

Keep your eyes open for the #museweb and conference-specific #mw2012 Twitter conversations or dive in the conference presentations over at: http://museumsandtheweb.org

Links

Two new featured archives in CST series

The ‘Featured Archive’ series on Critical Studies in Television focuses each month on a different EUscreen content provider. Its two latest installments turn the spotlights on the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the National Library of Sweden.

The piece written by Erwin Verbruggen and Evelien Wolda offers an insight into the Sound and Vision collections and can be viewed here: http://cstonline.tv/sound-and-vision. The article also documents the Institute’s involvement in various digitisation and conservations projects including Images for the Future and showcases fascinating samples of the material contributed to EUscreen including episodes from the Willem Ruis Lotto show and Pippo the Clown.

Christopher Natzén relays the coming-of-age of the Kungliga Biblioteket in his article at http://cstonline.tv/swedish-archive, the collection of which goes back to the Middle Ages. Some rather bewildering examples from their audiovisual collections include news items such as this item, which uncovers the health risks of taking snuff.

The pieces are a great addition to the growing featured archive series which so far includes contributions from Czech TV, Slovenian Television and Ina and will continue with future articles from ORF and TVC. Many thanks to Kim Akass for supporting this series and helping us disseminate our work on EUscreen by publishing these articles!

For the full list of articles, see: http://blog.euscreen.eu/?page_id=2610

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