The Key to More Access: UK Launch Report

Report by Sian Barber

Friday 2nd December 2011 saw the UK launch of the new EUscreen portal. This event took place at the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) Annual General Meeting at the Royal Geological Society in Piccadilly, London. Eve Oesterlen from BUFVC and Dr Sian Barber from Royal Holloway University of London presented the EUscreen project to an audience of 70 guests.

The focus of the event was ‘more access’ and a variety of presentations on different projects demonstrated how this issue informs and influences BUFVC activity and how the EUscreen project fits into this agenda.

Sian Barber outlined the aims of the EUscreen project and highlighted the innovative nature of the content selection policy, explaining how functionalities like the virtual exhibitions and the content provider special collections will offer different user experiences from the rest of the portal. The technical side of the project was also used to demonstrate the complexities of EUscreen with Eve Oesterlen offering a brief overview of the challenges of the metadata scheme and working with different partners, different languages and individual workflows. Sian then suggested how EUscreen content could be used and drew attention to this material as a useful resource for students, scholars, teachers and casual browsers. The presentation and portal launch focused on the objectives of the project, what has been achieved so far and how EUscreen content offers exciting research and teaching and learning possibilities. The presentation concluded with a showing of the EUscreen promotional video and a suggestion that the audience explore the EUscreen portal for themselves. Following the presentations, a number of people queried what would happen to the EUscreen site and its material once the project was completed. It was felt that such careful work and such rich content should remain available as a resource.

Launching the EUscreen portal at this event offered the site to a new audience of those who work with audiovisual resources within education. The enthusiastic response of many people to the EUscreen portal, its content selection policy and detailed metadata schema demonstrates that there is a great deal of interest in the project and that the material is viewed as a useful resource for both teaching and learning.

Other highlights

Other highlights of the day included a presentation by Hetty Malcolm-Smith on the BUFVC Shared Services project. This ambitious project is based on a feasibility study and aims to link up the BUFVC collections of TRILT and TVTip with BoB National and data feeds from broadcasters, Channel 4 press packs and Higher and Further Education Institutions. The project also aims to include access to VHS recordings to help create the richest source of data for education in the UK and will begin by evaluating the possibilities of such a service.

One of the key resources for the shared service project will be the Channel 4 Press packs which are currently being fully digitised as part of the 1980s project at the University of Portsmouth. Dr Justin Smith (Portsmouth) and Linda Kaye (BUFVC) introduced this four year project which began in April 2010 which will have academic outputs but will also offer a context to the digitisation process. Each page of the press packs will be created as a PDF file to ensure that it can be individually identified and to improve access for the end user. Digitising the material in this way also offers access to the related and contextual data which surrounds the core information.

The final presentation of the day focused on other projects which involve the BUFVC, notably the Chronicle project; a collaboration with JISC and the BBC which will provide restricted access to news material from BBC Northern Ireland from the 1960s and 1970s.

See also

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).

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.

License to Remix! – Experiences from the Video Remix Workshop and the IPR workshop

By Kati Hyyppä, Sanna Marttila and Wietske van den Heuvel 

The License to remix! video remix workshop was organized in the context of the EUscreen project and the Remix Helsinki initiative last November in Helsinki, Finland. The workshop promoted creative, legal re-use of audiovisual media, and archival content in particular. Eleven young adults participated in the one weekend event, creating remixes with video editing programs and VJing equipment. Sanna Marttila and Kati Hyyppä, researchers from the Aalto University’s School of Art and Design, who organized the workshop in collaboration with their colleague Andrew Gryf Paterson, also interviewed the participants in order to obtain insight to emerging remix practices and challenges in legal remixing.
 
The workshop was overall a positive experience and showed that people are interested in using archival audiovisual materials creatively. However, the interviews with the participants revealed that it is not currently easy to find legal, relevant video and audio content for creative works. Licenses and terms of use are also experienced as confusing, and it is hard to determine which materials can be mixed together. The findings of the workshop thus highlight the need for an easy access to archival videos as well as clearly expressed terms of use.
 
The outcomes of the workshop were presented along with a framework of creative re-use of audiovisual content by Sanna Marttila and Kati Hyyppä during the Remix Cinema Workshop at the University of Oxford (UK) on March 24th. The presentation during the latter event, titled ‘Practices and Challenges in Re-using Archival Video Materials’, was received positively, and will be published later as an article.

The results of the first workshop were also presented during the internal IPR workshop at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NL) on March 16. During this workshop, partners from the EUscreen consortium discussed about the IPR limitations they face when providing access to audiovisual content. These limitations still causes difficulties for partners and it affects their content selection policy. One of the goals in EUscreen is to develop examples of how a less restrictive legislation like CC-licenses can create better and more meaningful access to audiovisual content. This is especially beneficial for students, teachers, researchers, media professionals and other users that need to be able to re-use audiovisual content. In order to facilitate this, EUscreen will provide access to a limited collection of CC-licensed material during the next two years of the project. The workshop also showed that all partners see the potential in offering this kind of access and that they would be happy to open up their content more, if only they could.

Recent conference visits by members of EUscreen: some highlights

By Sally Reynolds, Birgit Gray and Wietske van den Heuvel

One of the activities of EUscreen is visiting relevant conferences and meetings, so knowledge can be shared with different stakeholders who represent the different user groups and networks that EUscreen is addressing through the project. Sally Reynolds from ATiT and Birgit Gray from Deutsche Welle have written a small report about their recent conference visits for EUscreen. A more detailed overview of all conference visits can be found here.

ALT conference in Nottingham, UK

The ALT (Association for Learning Technology) conference took place this year from 7-9 September in Nottingham, UK and attracted over 500 people to what is probably one of Europe’s leading academic conferences on educational techology attracting more and more participants and members from non-UK organisations.

ALT this year offered a terrific mix of provocative presentations, really stimulating discussions and workshop sessions and a rich mix of networking opportunities. Despite the general atmosphere of doom and gloom in the UK Higher Education sector, ALT-C was awash with new initiatives, innovative developments and a great sense that education technology held the key to many of the challenges facing universities. Sally Reynolds was there to highlight the MEDEA Awards and the Media & Learning Brussels 2010 conference as well as to promote the Media in Education Newsletter.

She was also there to explore opportunities for collaboration particularly in relation to the use of media in teaching and learning including the use of existing media resources provided through the EUscreen project. Interest in the use of video is high within the ALT community where a new Video in Teaching & Learning special interest group was launched this year.

ICL conference in Hasselt, Belgium

Sally Reynolds presented the work being undertaken by ATiT in relation to the use of media resources for teaching and learning at the recent 13th annual ICL conference held in Hasselt from 15-17 September. During her presentation, Sally described the growing interest in using media for teaching and learning and several of the initiatives in which ATiT in involved. This includes the annual MEDEA Awards as well as the courses being run for teachers and trainers by ATiT on how to use existing media resources as well as how to create their own video clips. During her presentation Sally promoted the EUscreen project which will provide high-quality video material for teachers to use in classrooms.

Deutsches Kulturerbe auf dem Weg in die Europeana in Berlin, Germany

Birgit Gray from Deutsche Welle (DW) gave a 20-minute presentation at the event “Deutsches Kulturerbe auf dem Weg in die Europeana” (German cultural heritage on its way to Europeana) on 4 Oct 2010. The two-day conference entailed presentations from German partners in Europeana-related projects and from other relevant institutions. DW presented its three projects related to Europeana: VideoActive, EUscreen and Assets.  About 100 participants from German libraries, national archives, audiovisual archives and other interested participants from the digital library domain attended the presentation about EUscreen.

New Media in a digital world: Tool or Threat for Learning?

The Media & Learning Conference taking place in Brussels on 25 and 26 November 2010 addresses how new media can contribute to improve learning. Media literacy and digital fluency are amongst the most important skills young people can learn in order to find, use and create accurate information to become the creative citizens of a future society. But how can educators be sure that learners are learning better thanks to media?

During this conference practitioners, experts and researchers will discuss how learners handle video and audio in a meaningful and thoughtful manner to support their learning, how media repositories complement existing teaching and learning materials effectively, how young people learn by creating their own media and how ICT can enhance the teaching and learning process.

The programme for the Media & Learning: towards the era of digital fluency Conference 25-26 November 2010 Brussels is now finalised and available online. Johan Oomen will do a presentation about EUscreen on Thursday, 25 November in the session about Re-using existing media resources for education and training.

Pascal Smet, Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities and Brussels Affairs will open the conference by introducing the three main discussion topics: media literacy, re-use of existing media and the value of content created by learners and teachers. Speakers include Paul Bottelberghs, writer and media innovator; Pelle Snickars, co-editor of “The YouTube Reader”; Helen Keegan, educational social media innovator and practitioner; Francesc Pedró, lead researcher with the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, Rowan Simms from iTunes U and Paul Ashton, educational broadcaster and commissioning editor of Teachers TV, UK.

The conference programme includes discussions and presentations about existing media resource banks like those provided by AthenaWeb, lesite.tv and EduHi as well as practical schemes aimed at increasing teachers and trainers skills in creating and publishing their own media-based resources. Policy and practice come together in online and offline discussions on topics like how best to teach media literacy and what resources are available to enhance understanding of the complexities of copyright in the sector. Best practices from the US, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Italy and the UK will highlight how educators are keeping up with student expectations and experience. Games and media-rich materials like Poverty is not a Game (PING) and The Climate Mystery will be demonstrated and discussed. Teachers from the UK, Italy, Belgium and Denmark will show how they use media to make teaching and learning more exciting and more effective for teachers and learners.

The Media & Learning Conference will be supported by an online discussion that starts one month before the actual Conference and that will facilitate networking and exchange of ideas before, during and after the conference within the Media & Learning community of practice.

On Thursday 25th November alongside the Media & Learning Conference, the MEDEA Awards Ceremony takes place where the winners of this year’s awards will be announced.

More information from the conference website.

The National Library of Sweden organized a meeting on Open Access at the 76th IFLA 2010 Conference in Gothenburg

By Christopher Natzén

During the 76th IFLA Conference “Open access to knowledge – promoting sustainable progress” between 10-15 August, the National Library of Sweden (KB) initiated a satellite meeting on the 9th of August in cooperation with the libraries of the universities of Gothenburg, Uppsala, Lund and Malmö under the headline “Open Access and the Changing Role of Libraries”. The aim was to address questions relating to Open Access and its effect on academic libraries. Increasingly libraries are involved in supporting the creation and dissemination of scientific and scholarly information, which for example requires that new competencies become strengthened within libraries, and that technical platforms for publishing and archiving will be developed. Full presentations in English can be found here.

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