Report on the Final EUscreen Conference, Part 1 of 2

EUscreen organised its final conference on September 13 and 14, focusing on Television Heritage and the Web. We looked back on lessons learned, showcased the achievements of the project and looked at the road ahead. This conference report wraps up the conference topics and debates and was jointly edited by Brecht Declerq, Florian Delabie, Berber Hagedoorn, Yves Niederhäuser, Elke Poppe, Katja Šturm and Erwin Verbruggen. Presentations and video recordings of the conference will be made available over the next days at the conference overview page.

Television Heritage and the Web

Prof. Spigel responds (Photo: Miklós Varga)

The first EUscreen conference, held in 2010, focused on selecting and contextualising historical audiovisual media through links with existing sources on the web. The second conference, in 2011, focused on use and creativity in the audiovisual domain. This third conference revisited these topics and further developed related ideas, based on individual contributions in the field. It was the final conference in multiple ways, as Prof. Dr. Sonja de Leeuw, who led both EUscreen and its predecessing project Video Active, announced that she would step down as the project leader. A celebrated television scholar, she chaired most, if not all of the previous EUscreen conferences, and opened this Budapest conference with a warm welcome and remarks on the current status of television research and the role of the EUscreen project.

Keynote speaker prof. Lynn Spigel started off the conference with an outline of her upcoming book, which focuses on the visualisation of mass culture through personal archives. She researched the representation of television sets in mass-media (magazines, ads, etc.) and family snapshots. Advertisements and snapshot photographs represent very specific and individual ways of incorporating the television set as an everyday object. The images in family albums seem to document an inversion of the use of TV – instead of “watching TV”, the set becomes an accessory for personal performance instead. Throughout the ‘50 and ‘60s, people adopted televisions in many and unintended ways and used it to condense, stage and amplify the individual and the family life. On nowaday’s online platforms, snapshots of television sets with a personal, sentimental as well as a commercial value aggregate to become a shared popular culture that merges analogue nostalgia and digital culture.

Wilfried Runde leads an interdisciplinary R&D-Team with 14 people at Deutsche Welle that follows and analyses trends and major changes in the media world. One of these changes is the shift from linear TV consumption to ways of media consumption that don’t depend on timely or spatial constrictions. Social media clearly play a key role in this context. The main interest for the media production industry is in the take-over of breaking news by social media platforms such as Reddit), which are faster than mainstream media could ever be. Social media changed the attitude of media consumers in that they no longer are looking for news but assume that relevant news will find their way to them. The question now for media corporations is what they can learn from these changes. Runde sees one of the answers in data-driven-journalism and sees a form of “data-tainment” emerging. In the discussion it was pointed out that data-driven journalism has to approach data as critical as it approaches other sources for journalistic research. As long as the basic methods of critical journalism are kept in place, contemporary technology allows journalists to do their work faster, working with data collections as a new source.

Wilfried Runde

Wilfried Runde (Photo: Miklós Varga)

Prof. Eggo Müller is not only a renowned television scholar, but will from March on lead the follow-up project EUscreenXL. His presentation Television Heritage Online: From Accessible to Participatory Archives focused on the participation imperative. The engagement of users with online television content, from sear

ching to commenting, offers new possibilities that archivists could explore. In this context, Müller discussed Isto Huvila’s notion of participatory archiving of which the fundamental characteristics are “decentralised curation, radical user orientation and contextualisation of both records and the entire archival process“. As there are very engaged people documenting TV heritage out there, participatory archives could provide the platform where users become contributors to archives and archivists act as moderators and supervisors of this process.

The subsequent round table concluded that many fascinating stories can be told from the archives with respect to how objects are found, researched and presented. Making this ‘implicit’ knowledge ‘explicit’ could provide a good starting point for putting participatory archiving into practice.

EUscreen Showcase

András Kovács (Photo: Miklós Varga)

András Kovács (Photo: Miklós Varga)

Looking back on what has been done, drawing the lessons and building bridges to the future were the aims of the afternoon session of the first conference day. EUscreen’s seven work package leaders got the opportunity to each shed some light on the achievements of their part of the project. Vassilis Tzouvaras and his team at NTUA faced the challenge of creating interoperable solutions to the heterogeneity of metadata. It’s a nice example of a day-to-day problem in audiovisual archives that in theory has long been solved theoretically (there’s broad support for EBUcore for example), but remains tough in practice. Marco Rendina from the Luce archives in Italy reported about the conferences and workshops that spread the word on EUscreen and connected the scholarly, educational, technological and archival groups that cooperate in the project. With a record of three conferences, eight workshops and three extra workshops at the annual FIAT/IFTA conferences, EUscreen has found a wide response in the designated archive user communities.

Rob Turnock from Royal Holloway discussed EUscreen’s activities on information and access. His challenge was to bring the project and all the valuable content to the web in such a way that they made sense as a whole. A well-developed content selection policy and a common metadata scheme (based on EBUcore) provided the toolbox to get the job done. The final result is a real tour de force: 40.000+ items online, two comparative exhibitions, 11 virtual exhibitions made by individual content providers and, last but not least, two editions of the open access online journal (one to appear in October).

A web site is nothing without its audience. András Bálint Kovács from Eötvös Loránd University led the work package that researched and enhanced the user experience, which aimed at education, academics, reuse and the general public. András and his colleagues managed to translate the remarks of the educational sector into an easier and more attractive user interface for EUscreen. Differing IPR issues between countries and target groups remain challenging and will certainly roar their heads again in EUscreen’s successor, EUscreenXL. Pelle Snickars from Sweden’s National Library stressed the diversity of needs amongst user groups. His main challenge was to unite and target the comments of different users, coming from different perspectives.

The final work package focused on disseminating the project’s results and attracting a growing audience. Erwin Verbruggen from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision presented EUscreen’s activities on this level. Results were disseminated at more than 150 events and in more than 200 articles. EUscreen’s technical coordinator Johan Oomen, from Sound and Vision provided the conference audience with some future perspectives on the follow-up project, EUscreenXL, which will involve 32 partners from 22 European countries.

Prof. de Leeuw opens the conference (Photo: Miklós Varga)

To conclude, EUscreen’s ambitions are all but limited. The creation of an open platform for the European audiovisual heritage collections can hardly be called a walk in the park, but is a big step that connects broadcasters from different cultural and economical backgrounds all over Europe. Media creators and broadcaster’s archives are in the middle of a massive cultural and institutional shift, in which traditional restricted access is challenged and models for openness are explored. The EUscreen project provides these archives-in-transition a platform to share experiences and learn form each other what models for providing access, content and context may or may not work. The shared goal is to build and improve upon an environment that provides the best experience for those users wanting to explore the rich cultural treasure troves they each hold.

TV3 in focus on Critical Studies in Television

Image by Turisme de Subirats

The ‘Featured Archive’ series on Critical Studies in Television focuses  on a different television archive each month. Its latest installment turns the spotlights on a EUscreen partner from Catalonia: broadcaster TV3.

Director of TV3’s Documentation Department Alícia Conesa and Montse Fortino both hold degrees in librarianship and have a broad experience working at the Catalan public television broadcaster Televisió de Catalunya (TV3). In the CST article, they provide an intriguing insight into TV3’s broadcast history, mission and archive material.

Read the article at to find out more about TV3’s societal function, digital archive and its effort to promote the use of the Catalan language. Moreover, view the Tricicle Theater company’s look at the world of sports for a guaranteed world of genuine Catalan pleasure.

For the full list of Featured Archives, visit:

Third EUscreen Conference: Conference Programme

For those spending time with us next week at the EUscreen conference, hosted at Budapest’s ELTE University, here’s the final conference programme. For those who cannot attend, as we did for the previous conferences, we will make sure to write reports about what’s being said and done. Soon, after the conference, video registrations of all sessions will be made available on our webcast site. Have you not registered yet? Go to For info about logistics, visit ELTE’s conference site at

Thursday 13th September

  • 09.30 – Opening and welcome

Key note lectures

  • 09.45 – Lynn Spigel (Northwestern University, USA): TV Snapshots: An Archive of Everyday Life
  • 10.30 – Wilfried Runde (Deutsche Welle, DE): Media Game Changers – Social Media and Data-driven Journalism

11.15    Coffee break

  • 11.45 – Eggo Muller (Utrecht University, NL): Television Heritage Online: From Accessible to Participatory Archives
  • 12.30 – Round table (chair: Sonja de Leeuw, Utrecht University)

13.00    Lunch break

EUscreen showcase

  • 14.00 – EUscreen achievements. (Coordinator feat. WP leaders)
  • 15.10 – eJournal presentation. (Andreas Fickers, Maastricht University)
  • 15.30 – EUscreen Virtual Exhibitions

16.30 – Conclusion of the day (Sonja de Leeuw, Utrecht University)

Friday 14th September

Workshop: EUscreen best practice applications showcase. The exploitation of broadcast material in the field of learning, research, leisure/cultural heritage and creative reuse.

  • 09.30 – Opening and welcome

Key note lecture

  • 09.45 – Jamie Harley (FR): Rearranging the Past – Found footage videos today

Case studies

  • 10.30 – Irina Negraru (TVR, RO) and Dana Mustata (Groningen University, NL): Television History Goes East: TVR’s Heritage in EUscreen
  • 10.50 –  Aleksander Lavrenčič and Katja Šturm (TV Slovenja, SI): The Portal 20 Years of Slovenia: Gallery of Documents, Stories and Memories
  • 11.10 – Xavier Jacques-Jourion (RTBF, BE): Exploring the past: web experiments at RTBF

11.30    Coffee break

  • 11.50 – Attila Nemes (Kitchen Budapest, HU): Remote Life: Video Based Artistic Research and Future Scenarios for ICT
  • 12.30 – Panel discussion (chair: András Bálint Kovács, ELTE)

13.00 – Closing of the Conference (Sonja de Leeuw, Utrecht University)

CfP: Europe on and Behind the Screens

Mirrored Video at the Cinema Museum, Turin, Italy. Image from Flickr by ezioman.

Contributions are welcome for Volume 2 of the Journal of European Television History and Culture, which is the first peer-reviewed multi-media e-journal in the field of television studies.

Call for Papers: Vol. 2 September 2012.
500 word proposals: January 5th, 2012.
2-4,000 word articles: April 1st, 2012.

Offering an international platform for outstanding academic research on television, the journal has an interdisciplinary profile and acts both as a platform for critical reflection on the cultural, social and political role of television in Europe’s past and present as well as a multi-media platform for the circulation and use of digitized audiovisual material.

Our main aim is to function as a showcase for a creative and innovative use of digitised television material in scholarly work. At the same time, the journal intends to stimulate the fruitful discussion between audiovisual heritage institutions (especially television archives) and a broader community of television experts and amateurs. In offering a unique technical infrastructure for a multi-media presentation of critical reflections on European television, the journal aims at stimulating innovative narrative forms of online storytelling, making use of the digitized audiovisual collections of television archives around Europe.

The focus of Vol 2 of the journal, due for publication in September 2012, will be Europe on and Behind the Screens.



Proposals are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:

Europe on the screen:

  • Eurovision or Intervision programmes:
    • Eurovision/ Intervision Song Contest
    • European News Exchange
    • Jeux Sans Frontières
    • Sports
  • National Programmes dealing with Europe:
    • “With Europe in View” (BBC)
    • European Journal
    • European politics / public sphere
    • History of European integration on television
  • Europe television culture:
    • Comparative studies on European television cultures
    • Europeanization / Americanization / Sovietization of television
    • Development of European television audiences

Europe behind the screen:

    • The History of European broadcasting institutions (E.B.U. and O.I.R.T.) and bi-lateral cooperation between national broadcasters
    • Hidden collaboration between East (OIRT) and West (EBU) during Cold War
    • Political initiatives to promote television as a means for European understanding (TV without frontiers,…)
    • The infrastructures of European live transmissions and programme exchange
    • Transnational Actors and Personalities: programme makers, engineers, technicians, presenters
    • Subversive cross-border viewing practices in totalitarian regimes
    • Commercial initiatives and programme trade in the European television landscape
    • Legal frameworks of European television trade and exchange, especially copy right problems

For our “discovery”-section, a platform dedicated to present latest developments and initiatives in the field of audiovisual heritage institutions and television archives, we especially invite contributions dealing with past experiences and future challenges of collaborations between television scholars and audiovisual heritage institutions. These essays (2.500 words) should reflect on the practical challenges of doing television research in an archival or academic environment.

Please send your abstracts no later than 5h of January, 2012 to the managing editor of the journal, Dana Mustata:







Greek Heritage Accessible for Persons with Disabilities

EUscreen partner ERT Archives, from Greece, have taken an important step in making the Hellenic radio and television heritage accessible to all Greek-speaking people. State-of-the art technology now provides access to digital content to people with disabilities. On the website, ERT Archives developed and implemented innovative software that takes away all restrictions to enjoy valuable audiovisual content online.

The service’s web pages were designed with disabled people in mind and follow international standards for access. It uses special software that puts together the media files for the Web and  also makes use of a media player that supports functionalities specifically developed for the visually or hearing impaired. These include big and clearly distinct control buttons, control of basic functions via the keyboard, audio descriptions, etc.

In this pilot stage, ERT Archives makes television programmes of the digital channel prisma+ available to everyone with special access services for disabled people. These programs were produced by ERT within the framework of the Digital Convergence operational programme of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), 2007-2013, which was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. ERT Archives aim to extend the use of these new services to content already available through the website as part of its policy, which is also supported by other NSRF-funded projects.



EUscreen Project Video Release

Today we’re proud to release the promotional video for the EUscreen project:


We’d like to invite you to spread it around: Embed it on your website, send it to friends who haven’t yet discovered the project or use it in presentations around the world. We hope the video will explain what EUscreen is all about, what it can be used for and why you should delve in and explore the rich archival content that’s there.


EUscreen: Explore Your Past was created by Anna Dabrowska, intern at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and student at the Amsterdam MA Preservation & Presentation of the Moving Image, who assembled the video using and remixing footage from various EUscreen partners. Job de Haas at NISV did the sound, Jacky Spears the voice over.

Footage sources:


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