Conference notes II: Archival case studies that inspire

Author: Kathrin Müllner, Maria Drabczyk

 

EUscreenXL gathered in Rome last week for our conference on the users and usage of audiovisual archives: “From Audience to User: Engaging with Audiovisual Heritage Online”. In this series of blog posts we fill you in on what happened. Session II was dedicated to audiovisual stories & best practices.

Digitization, media education, live performances – all under one roof

mdrabczyk_qbackx_20141030_IMG_9377The session, moderated by Marco Rendina from  Cinecittá LUCE was opened with a presentation by Michał Merczyński, director of  National Audiovisual Institute (NInA). This public cultural institution is based in Warsaw, Poland and was set up in 2005 as a publishing house, then transformed into NInA in 2009. The focus of NInA lies on digitizing and publishing the archives documenting Poland’s audiovisual heritage and becoming a leading cultural institution in this field.

The key objective of the Institute is to enrich its audiovisual archives by creating context and making access more user-friendly. In its video on demand service, launched last year, NInA started building thematic collections concentrated on one single access point. One such example is the portal Three Composers, which was shortlisted for the FIAT/IFTA Archive Achievements Awards in 2014.

A short video tutorial explaining how to navigate through Three Composers music collection.

NInA cooperates with national and international partners specialised in film, music and theatre, Google Cultural Institute and many more. Around 98% of the content available on its main access point – NINATEKA – is free of charge. Through NINATEKA EDU – the biggest educational project of the Institute, there are more than 1700 items, special collections and additional educational recources available for teachers. Although the web is the most natural environment for NInA’s activities, the Institute engages in various programmes in the real world to create an interest in the use of digital archives and to engage the end users.  With a new venue to be opened in May 2015, NInA keeps being in transition between the analog and the digital era and tries to link the old with the new. After Michał Merczyński’s presentation a shared feeling was visible among the audience: we may not be able to pronounce any of the names or tools but NInA surely got us engaged!

Breaking News: 1914 can still inspire!

mdrabczyk_qbackx_20141030_IMG_9397From Poland to France. After a packed and inspiring presentation about a freshly set up AV institution Laurent Duret from Les Films d’Ici took us on a journey into the past. The aim of his long-term, interactive and in-depth narrative project 1914:Breaking news was to bring back the collective memory from the First World War. As the understanding of the events of 1914-1918  obviously differs in France and Germany, a decision was made to focus on these two. Even though the contract for the project was signed in Berlin in 2009, it took Mr. Duret and his international team of historians, archivists and museum experts four long years of research before the documentary was finally finished. All scenes in the film were inspired by 14 diaries from all over Europe, in order to get a broad view of the daily life of the time. In cooperation with ARTE and various newspaper publishers in Europe, the material was broadcasted on a mobile website first, that kept a calendar of daily events leading up to the war. Only later was the documentary shown on television.

1914 Breaking news trailer from Laurent Duret

In order to attract wider attention of various target groups in an innovative and interactive way, Mr Duret and his team drew special attention to shareability and presence on social media. Moreover an online music quiz was developed in which users had to find out if the lyrics of a particular song belonged to a 1914 pop song or a contemporary hip hop song from 2014. This website had over one million unique visitors and about 30 million people saw the documentary on TV. 1914: Breaking news is a marvelous example of digital storytelling and shows how to engage millions of people with a challenging topic, depicting one of Europe’s darkest times.

A DIVE in Digital Hermeneutics

mdrabczyk_qbackx_20141030_IMG_9395Lora Aroyo from the VU University Amsterdam added an academic perspective to the conversation by holding the last presentation of the session with a special focus on digital hermeneutics and the CrowdTruth platform – a framework for crowdsourcing ground truth data. The aim of the project is to get the data to train, test and evaluate cognitive computing systems. In terms of user engagement, the question for Aroyo remains: how to make this engagement possible in a more scalable and reusable way? In contrast to the common approach – namely asking experts – engaging a large crowd allows different interpretations (harnessing disagreement) and annotations. The CrowdTruth workflow involves three main steps: exploring and processing input data, collecting annotation data, and applying disagreement analytics on the results.

Mrs. Aroyo pointed out that when in a museum, people are guided through exhibitions. On the internet, they are left to themselves. A support is missing. The web is chaos! The argument led Lora Aroyo swiftly to the second part of her speech, in which she presented the DIVE browser – developed to provide innovative access on heritage objects from heterogeneous collections, using historical events and narratives as the context for searching, browsing and presenting of individual and group objects. DIVE is supposed to help people in their online exploration and research. Its interface invites users to continue their explorations by “diving into” a topic and get to infinity of exploration. DIVE is definitely a wonderful “How to…” approach on user engagement – you should want to try it for yourself.

 

Drawing made at the conference by Montse Fortino.
Pictures taken at the conference by Maria Drabczyk/Quirijn Backx

FIAT/IFTA Announces Seminar on Television Documentary

The Third FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Seminar on Television Documentary
March 13th and 14th 2014

 

FIAT/IFTA TSC Logo

The FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Commission will organise a two-day seminar, entirely devoted to Television Documentary, hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision at Hilversum.

On the first day 13th March 2014, former and current practitioners will discuss their work in a witness seminar and extracts from their work will be screened.

The second day will be open for presentations of scholarly work on any aspect of television documentary, its history, practice, and aesthetics. Comparative studies are particularly welcome. Scholars are invited to send in their 250-word abstracts and a short biography by December 1st, 2013.

The Seminar language will be English. We are asking participating FIAT/IFTA member archives to provide research facilities and extracts free of charge to candidates whose abstracts are selected.

Initial enquiries should be made to the appropriate member of the Television Studies Commission and completed proposals sent to the same person by 1st December 2013.

The Television Studies Commission members and the areas they are responsible for are:

  • For participants from the UK: Steve Bryant, BFI (steve.bryant@bfi.org.uk)
  • For participants from France and other French-speaking countries: Claude Mussou, INA (cmussou@ina.fr)
  • For Dutch/Flemish speakers: Bert Hogenkamp, Beeld en Geluid (bhogenkamp@beeldengeluid.nl)
  • For US participants: Mike Mashon, Library of Congress (mima@loc.gov)
  • For Central and Eastern European participants and members of the European History Television Network: Dana Mustata, University of Groningen (d.mustata@rug.nl)
  • For Irish participants: Liam Wylie, RTE (Liam.Wylie@rte.ie)
  • For all other potential participants, send your proposals to Andy O’Dwyer, BBC (andy.odwyer@bbc.co.uk).

Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies

On 18th July 2013, the EUscreenXL project was presented as part of the panel ‘Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies’ at the 25th International IAMHIST Conference held at the University of Leicester, UK. It was the second time EUscreen was present at the IAMHIST Conference, after the 24th International IAMHIST Conference themed ‘Media History and Cultural Memory’ at Copenhagen University in 2011.

 

Report by Berber Hagedoorn, MA (Utrecht University)

The International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST) is an organization of filmmakers, broadcasters, archivists and scholars dedicated to historical inquiry into film, radio, television, and related media. IAMHIST encourages scholarly research into the relations between history and the media as well as the production of historically informed documentaries, television series, and other media texts. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Childhood and the Media’.

The last decade we have witnessed an explosion of available digital databases and archives, and accordingly, the development of different tools to explore these archives in new ways. The panel ‘Digital Archive Projects: Rethinking Media Studies Methodologies’ discussed the possibilities and limitations of tools to explore digitised television, newspaper and radio archives for media scholars and historians. Each paper presented a particular project, its possible use for future research and a specific case study conducted by means of the tools. The panel was chaired by Luke McKernan (British Library, London).

Berber Hagedoorn from Utrecht University presented the EUscreenXL project, which aims to overcome the fragmentation of the audiovisual heritage sector in Europe and to make a growing collection of contextualised audiovisual content accessible and meaningful for diverse types of users, from the general audience, researchers and teachers, to professionals in the creative industries. Hagedoorn paid specific attention to the opportunities and challenges of the project and EUscreen portal for academic research. As a cross-national database of sources, the portal offers access to a range of audiovisual content in different languages, connected to various historical topics. Hagedoorn focused particularly on how the EUscreen portal and the use of European cultural resources lends itself to doing comparative research on the coverage of particular topics and genres across countries in Europe.

Martijn Kleppe from Erasmus University Rotterdam discussed the PoliMedia project, which showcases the potential of cross-media analysis by linking digitised transcriptions of debates at the Dutch Parliament with newspapers, radio bulletins, newscasts and current affairs programmes. Kleppe explained the workings of the PoliMedia portal and its possible future use for media scholars, discussing how the portal will allow researchers to browse for debates or names of politicians and analyse related media coverage, as well as evaluating debates in which politicians appeared and how they were covered in the press. As Kleppe pointed out, an advantage of the PoliMedia project is that the coverage in the media is incorporated in its original form, enabling analyses of the mark-up of news articles, newspaper photos, and televised programme footage.

Jasmijn van Gorp from Utrecht University presented the project BRIDGE: Building Rich Links to Enable Television History, in which she zoomed in on two tools developed by this project for exploration and contextualisation. MeRDES (Media Researchers’ Data Exploration Suite) enables comparative analysis between two individual items from the television catalogue of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision archives, through visualisations such as word clouds and timelines. Secondly, CoMeRDA (Contextualising Media Researchers’ Data) links different collections, including television programmes, national newspapers and television-related photographs, and enables simultaneous search across these collections. Van Gorp demonstrated how the discussed tools ‘bridge’ or build links between heterogeneous collections, therefore allowing media researchers, historians, and digital humanists to explore, analyse and compare (elements of) Dutch television history.

 

The discussion session highlighted the necessity of translation, in particular for transnational or European-wide archival projects. This is especially the case for EUscreenXL which, as an audiovisual online archive, is also more dependent on its metadata to allow researchers to explore the archive for relevant content. Translation and subtitling will therefore not only aid in the usability of the audiovisual content, but in improving the searchability of the EUscreen portal, too.

All presentations touched upon how analysing media coverage across several types of media forms or outlets is a challenging task for researchers. New digital tools to explore archives therefore allow researchers to study more and new sources as well as generating novel research questions. The panel enabled a fruitful dialogue with media scholars and historians, emphasizing the relevance for scholars in the Humanities to further engage in digital archival projects.

European Television Memories

Third issue of open access VIEW Journal for European Television History & Culture highlights debates on how television fosters the moving borders of national memories.

VIEW issue 03 cover image

Cover image © Special collection Bibliothèque Forney

VIEW, the Journal of European Television History and Culture is the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture. It offers an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage. The journal is proud to present its third issue: European Television Memories. It has been guest-edited by Jérôme Bourdon & Berber Hagedoorn and is freely available at: http://www.viewjournal.eu

In the context of the fast development of memory studies, the third issue of VIEW highlights debates around the moving borders of national memories, fostered by television in the context of European history. The articles in this issue focus on the contribution of European television researchers, covering all three areas of media studies: production, text and reception. They touch upon a broad range of topics, including:

  • the reconstruction of the national past after regime changes in both Southern and Eastern Europe;
  • competing versions of the “same” past;
  • the fragile fostering of a European identity;
  • the regional/would-be national past.

The issue emphasizes the different ethnographic & historical uses of life-stories from television viewers. It hints at the possible changes to memory formation brought about by television in the post-network digital era. Finally, this issue charts the field of European television memories and suggests ways it can be researched further, both nationally and transnationally.

We wish you a pleasant and inspiring journey through European Television Memories!

Table of Contents

Editorial – Jérôme Bourdon,  Berber Hagedoorn

DISCOVERIES

  1. ‘Remembering Our First TV Set’. Personal Memories as a Source for Television Audience History – Cecilia Penati
  2. “It’s just so hard to bring it to mind”: The Significance of ‘Wallpaper’ in the Gendering of Television Memory Work – Hazel Collie
  3. Martin Luther in Primetime. Television Fiction and Cultural Memory Construction in Cold War Germany – Stewart Anderson
  4. The Production of Czechoslovakia´s Most Popular Television Serial ‘The Hospital on the Outskirts’ and its Post-1989 Repeats – Petr Bednařík
  5. Parallel Stories, Differentiated Histories. Exploring Fiction and Memory in Spanish and Portuguese Television – José Carlos Rueda Laffond, Carlota Coronado Ruiz, Catarina Duff Burnay, Susana Díaz Pérez, Amparo Guerra Gómez, Rogério Santos
  6. Looking for What You Are Looking for: A Media Researcher’s First Search in a Television Archive – Jasmijn Van Gorp

EXPLORATIONS

  1. Television as a Hybrid Repertoire of Memory. New Dynamic Practices of Cultural Memory in the Multi-Platform Era – Berber Hagedoorn
  2. Why Should We Study Socialist Commercials? – Anikó Imre
  3. Window to the West: Memories of Watching Finnish Television in Estonia During the Soviet Period – Annika Lepp, Mervi Pantti
  4. The Life and Afterlife of a Socialist Media Friend. On the Longterm Cultural Relevance of the Polish TV Series ‘Czterdziestolatek’ – Kinga S. Bloch
  5. Chronology and Ideology. Temporal Structuring in Israeli Historical Documentary Series – Bosmat Garami
  6. Great Escapes from the Past. Memory and Identity in European Transnational Television News – Andreas Widholm
  7. Memory, Television and the Making of the BBC’s ‘The Story of Wales’ – Steve Blandford, Ruth McElroy

Publishing info

VIEW is published by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in collaboration with Utrecht University, Maastricht University and Royal Holloway University of London. It is supported by the EUscreenXL project, the European Television History Network and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Guidelines to Properly Cite Audiovisual Productions

In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features, it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these sources properly. The BUFVC’s AV Citation Guide brings together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation.

The AV Citation Project

In an exciting initiative, the BUFVC has brought together academics, archive historians, journal editors and researchers to address the complexities of audiovisual citation. As part of the HEFCE-funded Shared Services project, this working group is currently producing a series of guidelines to enable the citation of a range of audiovisual sources for teaching, learning and research. The guidelines are being created for two purposes: to provide sensible, clear and practical uniform ground rules for the citation of audiovisual material and to ensure that all audiovisual material referenced and used in research and higher education can subsequently be found by others.

Current Citation Practice

Existing guidelines for audiovisual resources are modelled on standards established for text-based sources. They frequently privilege the author, a practice that is unsatisfying when applied to a great deal of audiovisual material. In the era of YouTube videos, podcasts, adverts, off-air recordings and DVD extra features it is crucial for students, researchers and academics to be able to cite these kinds of sources according to what is useful rather than simply the title, author, date and publisher. Useful information for audiovisual sources may include detail on date uploaded or created, version, format, date accessed, chapters, URL or point of access, and owner of material.

These guidelines don’t equal a catalogue record or a database entry. As with any source, you can find out a great deal about audiovisual material which does not need to be included in a straightforward citation. Digital records often include extensive metadata such as catalogue numbers, length of the footage in feet, the date of the original footage, when it was digitised, related items in the series and if it has been broadcast since its original transmission. This is important information, yet including all of this in a citation is not appropriate or practical.

Project Status

Following a survey of existing guidelines on AV citation the working group, led by Dr Sian Barber, is now producing a set of new guidelines to offer a practical approach to this tricky problem. Once finalised, the guidelines will be thoroughly tested and incorporated into the final template. Rigorous enough to provide all the necessary information for referencing purposes and yet flexible enough to allow for the citation of material as diverse as YouTube videos, radio programmes and lecture podcasts, the guidelines will be made freely available in March 2013.

More information

Have you ever wondered how to cite a TV advert? Or extra features on a DVD? What about a scene from a director’s cut feature film or amateur film footage held in an archive? Or how do you ensure that those writing for your journal provide enough information on the resources they have used? How can you give the best advice to students and how do you make sure that your own resources are being correctly cited?

SOIMA2013 Expert Course

Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections

DATES 23 September – 16 October, 2013
PLACE Nairobi (Kenya) with study visits to partner institutions

Today sound and image records account for a large portion of the world’s memory and are found in diverse cultural institutions. As documents of intangible heritage and contemporary culture they are of immense value; yet, archives, museums, libraries and other cultural institutions around the world are struggling to conserve their sound and image collections in both analogue and digital formats. Moreover, conservation of sound and image materials is complex and requires specialized guidance, skills and infrastructure. While digitization offers new possibilities for wider access and preservation, many institutions lack expertise to assess the technological implications and to make informed choices that do not strain institutional resources and at the same time respect the authenticity and inherent values of this heritage.

The course will provide an overview of issues related to the preservation and access of sound and image materials e.g., photographs, films, video and audiotapes, and digital materials. It will discuss the value, meaning, selection and use of sound and image collections in various institutional contexts, exploring the potential of sound and image media in transmitting knowledge and cultural traditions. Initial sessions will especially focus on identification of various formats including the playback equipment, life expectancy of media and ways of detecting deterioration. Additional course topics will include: current knowledge and practices for documenting and cataloguing, media handling and storage, risk assessment of collections, emergency preparedness and response, criteria and technologies for migration and reformatting, planning preservation projects, outsourcing options, digital preservation and management. Issues such as curating and access, copyright laws, legal deposit, and institutional and national preservation policies will be discussed in context with participants’ working realities. Adaptation to technological changes and related cost-effective preservation strategies will form a key component of the course.

Objectives

At the end of the course, participants will be able:
1) to recognize materials and media in their sound and image collections,
2) to identify the risks to such collections,
3) to make informed choices for preservation and access within given means;
4) They will have improved their skills to communicate effectively across disciplines and to work in teams.

Course Methodology

The course will comprise lectures, a variety of group activities, practical sessions, case studies and site visits. Significant time will be allocated for independent consultation with the course team. Case studies for the course will be based on participants’ inputs and will address issues and challenges identified by them. Thus, active involvement of participants will be sought during the course preparation phase. A follow-up programme, will involve working on self-defined initiatives in participants’ home institutions and communicating as well as networking through a platform supported by the organizers.

Participants

The course is aimed at professionals working with mixed collections that have sound and image records of national or regional significance. In particular, it will interest archivists, collection managers, conservators, curators and librarians in charge of preserving such collections in various cultural institutions around the world. It will also interest Information Technology professionals working on projects involving digitization of sound and image collections or allied professionals and managers working for broadcasting institutions. Preference will be given to people actively involved in teaching and advising.
A maximum of 22 participants will be selected.

Organisers

  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • TARA – Trust for African Rock Art
  • In cooperation with: National Museums of Kenya

Teaching Team

International team of recognized experts identified through professional networks of the partners.
WORKING LANGUAGE: English
COURSE FEE: 900€

Travel, Accomodation and Living Expenses

Participants will be responsible for their round trip travel costs to and from Nairobi (Kenya). In order to cover living costs during the course, participants should plan for a minimum total allowance of approximately Euro 1200. This sum would include the costs of accommodation in moderately priced hotels identified by the organizers. Candidates are strongly encouraged to seek financial support from sources such as governmental institutions, employers and other relevant funding agencies. . ICCROM may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships to selected candidates who have been unable to secure funding.

Application

Please use the course application form at http://www.iccrom.org/eng/01train_en/forms_en/2013_SOIMA_applfrm_en.doc and send it by e-mail to Soima2013@iccrom.org. Please note it is mandatory to include the statement stating your reasons for applying. Application deadline: 1 March, 2013. Applications without the statement of intent will not be considered. Should you be sending the application by mail, please send to the following contact address: SOIMA 2013-Collections Unit, ICCROM, 13, via di San Michele, 00153 ROME RM, ITALY.

Open Access Journal Advances Scholarship in the Field of European Television History and Culture

VIEW Journal Vol 01 Issue 02/2012

Second VIEW Journal issue

In March 2012, EUscreen launched the first issue of the Journal of European Television History and Culture – the first peer-reviewed, multi-media and open access e-journal in the field of European television history and culture. It offers an international platform for outstanding academic research and archival reflection on television as an important part of our European cultural heritage. Today, EUscreen is proud to present the second issue: Europe on and behind the Screen, which is freely available at: http://journal.euscreen.eu

Embedded audiovisual sources

This second issue comes in a brand new form, with a new title: VIEW, a fresh design and a new member in the team of editors-in-chief: John Ellis from Royal Holloway, University of London.The journal makes use of an open access publishing system, OJS, and has developed a tool to insert relevant audiovisual sources in the online reading experience. The journal also received a redesign to maximise readability. The new name, VIEW, indicates a clear vision for the future of the Journal of European Television History and Culture.

Europe on and Behind the Screen

Its second issue enables a discussion of European television through different themes, approaches and case studies. The Discovery articles zoom in on case studies from different corners of Europe, while the Explorations offer different approaches to writing Europe’s television history and advancing theoretical discussions in the field. The full table of contents for the second issue is:

Editorial – Dana Mustata

DISCOVERIES

1.    Mapping Europe: Images of Europe in the Eurovision Song Contest – Mari Pajala
2.    Spain Was Not Living a Celebration. TVE and Eurovision Song Contest during the years of Franco’s Dictatorship – Juan Francisco Gutiérrez Lozano
3.    The Golden Stag Festival in Ceausescu’s Romania (1968-1971) – Alexandru Matei
4.    Comunicar Europa/Communicating Europe. Spain and television co-productions – Manuel Palacio & Concepción Cascajosa
5.    Zen and the Art of Adaptation – Jeremy Strong

EXPLORATIONS

1.    Live from Moscow: The Celebrations of Yuri Gagarin and Transnational Television in Europe – Lars Lundgren
2.    Reading Between The Lines. A Transnational History of the Franco-British Entente Cordial in Post War Television – Andreas Fickers & Andy O’Dwyer
3.    Transnational Relations Between The BBC And The WDR (1960-1969): The Central Roles Of Hugh Greene And Klaus Von Bismarck – Christian Potschka
4.    Poland’s Return to Europe:  Polish Terrestrial Broadcasters and TV-Fiction – Sylwia Szostak
5.    Hello, Lenin? Soviet Nostalgia on Post-Soviet Television – Kateryna Khinkulova
6.    From European Identity and Media Imperialism to Public Diplomacy: the Changing Rationale behind Euronews – Eva Polonska-Kimunguyi & Patrick Kimunguyi
7.    Télé-clubs and European Television History Beyond the Screen – Ira Wagman

As Dr. Dana Mustata from the University of Groningen, managing editor of the journal, says: “After the book A European Television History by Jonathan Bignell and Andreas Fickers, this issue on Europe on and behind the Screen is the second concerted effort on an European scale dedicated to advancing our understanding of European television.”

View, the Journal of European Television History and Culture, is published by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in collaboration with Utrecht University, Maastricht University and Royal Holloway University of London. With its interdisciplinary profile, the journal journal is open to many disciplinary perspectives on European television – including television history, media studies, media sociology, cultural studies and television studies. Read more about the journal.

More info

View is made possible by support from the EUscreen project and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The journal works in partnership with the European Television History Network.

 

MEDEA Workshop: EUscreen as an Educational Resource

— Update, May 21st: video recordings of the sessions are now online available

Promoting the use of EUscreen resources for education at MEDEA Workshop in Torino

On April 20 and 21st, the Istituto Amedeo Avogadro (IIS), a large technical school in Torino is home to a workshop on the use and re-use of video materials for learning. This workshop is aimed at teachers in primary and secondary education that want to adopt media and more specifically video and audio in their classroom activities.

The workshop is organised by partners in the MEDEA2020 project, a project that supports the MEDEA Awards – the annual competition that recognises and rewards the best use of media to support teaching and learning.

Marco Rendina from LUCE is part of the workshop team, leading a session on unlocking European media archives and highlighting the work of EUscreen.

Mathy Vanbuel, one of the originators of the MEDEA Awards and project partner in both EUscreen and MEDEA2020, is leading a session on working with the EUscreen platform and other platforms to mash up, edit and create your own materials.

Links

Marco Rendina at the MEDEA Workshop

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