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.

‘Rundfunk und Geschichte’ publishes report on the first EUscreen International Conference

By Dana Mustata

The German journal ‘Rundfunk und Geschichte’ will publish in their upcoming issue of February 2011 an extensive report on the results of the first EUscreen Conference that was held in Rome in October, 2010. Aimed at an academic audience, the report makes an overview of the main discussion points at the conference and emphasizes the challenges, inspiration and added value that the online availability of audiovisual sources brings to historical research.

Based on the talks held in Rome, the report entitled ‘Contextualization and the Critical Use of Online Audiovisual Archives’ acknowledges the changes that the field of the humanities and history and media studies in particular, are undergoing in the face of the growing availability of online audiovisual sources. As several key-note speeches suggested, these changes bring along a series of challenges to traditional ways of doing research and conventional methods of interpreting history. The report reflects on the conference talks that proposed possible solutions to such challenges. Challenges regarding online audiovisual material are experienced not only by researchers using these online sources, but also by the content providers making these sources available as well as by audiovisual heritage platforms such as EUscreen. The important concern at stake here is how to present online material to different categories of users, an issue discussed by several speakers at the conference and reiterated in the report. Borrowing from several discussions throughout the conference, the report also puts forward ways of stimulating creative re-use of online audiovisual material among different users.

The report constitutes a step further in disseminating the discussions held at the first EUscreen International Conference among other academic platforms. We hope that such dissemination will increase awareness among the academic community concerning the added value that online audiovisual collections offer to doing research and concerning practices of using digital audiovisual material to research purposes.

New AV Competence Centre will launch during Screening the Future 2011 Conference

Press release from PrestoPrime

The new AV Competence Centre  ― entitled PrestoCentre ― is a membership driven, non-profit organisation that will serve stakeholders in audiovisual digitisation and digital preservation in Europe. It will continue and expand the work of the EU-funded ‘Presto’ projects and will launch at the Screening the Future Conference in Amsterdam on 14 & 15 March 2011.

The conference will connect small and large archives, service providers, vendors, funders, policymakers and educators developing solutions to the most urgent questions facing audiovisual archiving. AV stakeholders in Europe and beyond are invited to attend the conference and to join the celebration of the launch of PrestoCentre.

More information
For registration and information visit: www.prestocentre.eu
E-mail: events[at]prestocentre[dot]eu

About PrestoCentre
PrestoCentre is an initiative of five large national audiovisual and broadcast archives in Europe:

  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC);
  • l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA);
  • Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Beeld en Geluid);
  • Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF);
  • Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI).

For more than a decade, these archives have worked together in the EU-funded ‘Presto’ projects to bring together expertise and experience in AV digitisation and preservation in Europe. The goal of PrestoCentre is now to make sure that the knowledge and dedication that was built up in these projects persists and does not ‘fade away’.

1914-18 archive alliance signed

Press release by Europeana

The German National Library, Oxford University and Europeana have signed an agreement to digitise family papers and memorabilia from the First World War in order to create an online archive about the people involved in the conflict.

Oxford University began the initiative when it asked people across Britain to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised. The success of the idea – which became the Great War Archive – has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, library and museum, to bring the German National Library into an alliance with Oxford University to roll out the scheme in Germany. The collaboration will bring German soldiers’ stories online alongside their British counterparts in a 1914-18 archive.

There will be a series of roadshows in libraries around Germany that will invite people to bring documents and artefacts from family members involved in the First World War to be digitised by mobile scanning units, and to tell the stories that go with them. There will also be a website allowing people to submit material online if they are unable to attend the local events. Everything submitted will also be available through Europeana, where it add a new perspective to collections of First World War material from institutions across Europe.

Dr Elisabeth Niggemann, the German National Librarian, said, “We are proud to be part of this alliance. These artefacts and their stories have survived and we must record them while they are still part of family memory. Little of this material will ever have been on public display, or been made available to historians. What the 1914-18 War demonstrates, especially at the personal level, is the futility of war, and the pity of it for the men and their families.”

Stuart Lee, an Oxford University academic and Director of the Great War Archive said, “Working together with the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and their partners in Germany to extend this initiative will give it new resonance. The Centenary in 2014 of the first year of the war will prompt many people to discover more about it and find out about family members involved. The 1914-18 archive will bring them close to those who witnessed it at first hand, showing the souvenirs that they kept throughout their lives and telling the stories that they handed down the generations.”

“One such story that was submitted to the Great War Archive during the British project exemplifies what we want to do. It concerns RAF man Bernard Darley who was commended for putting out a fierce fire in a workshop containing petrol tanks. At his side throughout was a German prisoner of war, Otto Arndt. The two became friends and Otto made a matchbox from a shell-casing as a memento which he inscribed and presented to his friend. This story shows the human side of the war – in this case an unlikely friendship between normal people caught up in a war not of their making.”

Jill Cousins, Executive Director of Europeana, says that the organisation is well placed to bring together such partnerships: “Europeana acts as the facilitator in an extensive cross-European network of libraries, museums and archives. We aim to create partnerships with organisations from other theatres of the First World War, such as Belgium, France and the Eastern Front, so their stories can be included.”

“The 1914-18 online archive will reflect the reality of the lives of the soldiery on different sides of the conflict. As a people’s history it will offer a vivid testimony that school students will find compelling, and we are keen to work with educational organisations to create teaching resources. We are also planning exhibitions and information services that provide a pan-European focus on activities around the 1914-18 centenary.”

Read about the major developments of EUscreen in the annual report

By Wietske van den Heuvel

EUscreen’s annual report is now published online. The report describes the major developments during the first year of the project. With the first release of the EUscreen coming up soon, the report provides valuable insights in the choices that are made and the effort that is put into the creation of the first version of such a portal. Some highlights from the report:

  • The milestones for the first year have been reached. These are milestone 1, project establishment and milestone 2, definition of the user requirements and the metadata schema.
  • A detailed description of the user groups, their needs and user requirements.
  • An overview of the architecture of the portal and a preview of the frontend and the backend.
  • A definition of the content selection guidelines and the metadata schema.
  • A summary of activities that have been undertaken.

Read the full report.

EUscreen International Conference: photos and report online

The first EUscreen International Conference took place on 7 and 8 October, 2010 and was hosted by Cinecittá Luce in Rome. The theme of this years conference was Context Selection Policies and Contextalisation. Over 100 participants attended the conference. The programme provided different angles on this theme with lecturers coming from the academic domain, the archives domain and the audiovisual production domain. With such a rich and interesting programme, many issues regarding online audiovisual content were addressed. In the conference report we will focus on only a few of these issues, notably contextualisation, collective memory and different users and uses.  The full conference report written by Andy O’Dwyer, Sian Barber and Wietske van den Heuvel can be read here.

Besides being the EUscreen projectmanager, Quirijn Backx also works as a photographer. She has taken photos during the conference which can be viewed here.

The First EUscreen International Conference has started

The First International Conference on Context Selection Policies and Contextualisation has started with a warm welcome by Marco Rendina and Sonja de Leeuw. The conference takes place in Rome and is hosted by Cinecittá Luce. Over 100 partcipants have registered for the two-days conference. The first day programme contains four key note lectures and a number of case studies,  providing the participants with an academic point of view on contextualisation and content selection policies in the audiovisual domain. The full programme can be found here. The conference can also be followed on Twitter.

The EUscreen consortium expands with Maastricht University

By Wietske van den Heuvel

The EUscreen consortium has welcomed Maastricht University as a new partner into the project. The university will be represented by Professor dr. Andreas Fickers, currently working as an Associate Professor for comparative media history at the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He has also worked for the University of Utrecht where he has been involved in Video Active, the precursor of EUscreen.  Dr. Andreas Fickers is one of the founders of the European Television History Network, an academic network which is closely involved in EUscreen. The work of Maastricht University will mainly focus on the contextualisation of audiovisual content and addressing the academic community.

EUscreen is always looking for opportunities to enlarge it’s consortium and network. Currently, we have a special interest in audiovisual archives. If you would like to join, please contact us.

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