Ski flying in Planica comes back this weekend!

In 1934 a small alpine valley in northwestern Slovenia started its history making in ski jumping and ski flying. The first giant ski jumping hill in Planica allowed a man to ski-fly over 100 meters and then over 200 meters for the first time in history.

The first world record (92 meters) was done by a Norwegian, Birger Ruud. Two years later Josef Bradl from Austria landed at 101 meters  – a distance that turned ski jumping into “ski flying”. After the Second World War, Planica was renovated and 1948 was another successful year with a new record of 120 meters by a Swiss Fritz Tschanen. In the fifties new ski-flying jumps in Oberstdorf, Kulm and Vikersund took away Planica’s primacy until a year of 1969 when Planica took back its dominat role as the first ski jumping hill in the world.

Who would not remember the extraordinary jump of Manfred Wolf from The German Democratic Republic, when he set a new world record with a 165 meters and other heroes and world record holders such as Helmut Recknagel, Jiří Raška, Bjørn Wirkola, Heinz Wosipiwo and Walter Steiner. In 1994, the 50th anniversary of Planica, Toni Nieminen reached over 200 meters as the first man in the history. Until today, the record has been pushed close to 240 metres. It seems like the limits of Planica will never be reached!

Explore EUscreen Virtual Exhibition about Planica and find out more about the history of ski flying.

ski jumping

Diversity of Christmas rituals on EUscreen

On EUscreen there are many television programmes from all over Europe which show Christmas customs, traditions and habits. Some programmes explore Christmas preparations in different countries, some others adopt a historical approach and consider the changes in tastes and trends over the recent years. To explore the variety of Christmas rituals, go to “Food and Drink” Virtual Exhibition.

 Virtual Exhibitions were created by curators, archivists and researchers on the project. 23 exhibitions were developed around specific themes that cover historical events, political debates and everyday life in Europe. The exhibitions bring a storyline approach to the diverse collection of audiovisual heritage available on EUscreen. Read more


Exhibition Christmas food

Virtual Exhibitions shortlisted for FIAT/IFTA’s Archive Achievement Awards.

EUscreen’s Virtual Exhibitions entered the second round of one of the most prestigous competitions in the audio-visual archiving domain: FIAT/IFTA’s Archive Achievement Award 2013. It presents the most exciting audiovisual projects of the year and invites you to choose your favourite and vote for it.

The EUscreen Virtual Exhibitions have been shortlisted in the category Most Innovative Use of Archive. We’re most happy to say that we compete wagainst two projects that are close to us: EUscreen partners RTÉ Archives & Sound and Vision have been nominated with respectively The School Around The Corner and The Sound of the Netherlands.

Exhibiting EUscreen

To help users get the most from the EUscreen material, researchers, experts and members of its partner broadcasters and audiovisual archives have created a series of online exhibitions. They cover historical events, political debates and everyday life in Europe. Designing the VE tools has included various activities. Virtual Exhibition builder prototypes have been developed and tested incrementally in order to reflect the needs of the different users and to improve the ease of use.

The tools designed for these exhibitions allow for the insertion of multimedia materials from all the project’s content providers. The clips link back to the original items on the site, where users can find out more about them, share the links or get in touch with the providers themselves. 23 exhibitions with multiple strands have been produced in 2012. In the new EUscreenXL project, we’ll be working on pilots to get the tools ready for everyone to start creating their own exhibitions.

Archive achievements

The worldwide organisation FIAT/IFTA has been handing out Archive Achievement awards since 1994. A professional jury decides on the winners, but in certain categories voting is open for the wider audience. The votes from all over the world are collected by August 12th, 2013 and a winner will be announced on October 26th at the Archive Achievement Awards Ceremony during the 2013 FIAT/IFTA World Conference in Dubai. Enough time. we’d say to take a look at the various inspiring archival projects and to give your vote to the project you like best.

More information:

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Report on the Final EUscreen Conference, Part 2 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.

Presenting the Virtual Exhibitions

The last presentations of the first day of the conference discussed the virtual exhibitions that were recently published on the EUscreen portal. These online exhibitions aim at helping visitors find their way throughout the mass of materials and sources available on the portal and providing more stories and background info linking together its contents. During this latest round of presentations, we were presented with the future of the exhibition builder, a tool built specially to create and manage the exhibitions on EUscreen. A second point for discussion was the editorial work to put them online and their use as sources for television history researchers.

Mr. Ockeloen and dr. Barber presenting the EUscreen exhibition development (Photo: Miklós Varga)

This last aspect was presented by Dr. Dana Mustata, from the University of Groningen. She began with the personal thought that she considered herself an analogue researcher in a digital world, wherein she realised that historical television items are often displaced and decontextualised when they are published online. Online archives have been pre-selected by archivists and are placed on websites with limited information or historical context. Dr. Mustata proposed methods and a historiography to be developed to use online sources. She first highlighted the phenomena, practices and processes of Europeanness and trans-nationality in television history, then explained how she prefers to present this kind of collaborative practices as visible agencies, so that it could help rediscovering neglected aspects of television history. Mustata concluded her presentation by stating that the scientific value of EUscreen could be increased with a collaborative platform through which experiences could be shared and could contribute to writing television history.

As dr. Sian Barber from Royal Holloway, University of London, presented, the editorial process to choose/select media to be published into the exhibitions follows the lines of such an intricate collaboration. The main purpose of the exhibitions is to give meaning to content through collaborative work between researchers, content providers and technological partners. Working together with these groups allows researchers to better understand the process of content selection, while content providers get the opportunity to show their archives in another way and to highlight new aspects of their collections. dr. Barber concluded with a presentation of the selection process that was used on some of the online exhibitions that have recently been released . Daniel Ockeloen from Noterik completed this presentation by showing the technical challenges of the exhibition builder, which has been custom-built within the project to create and manage exhibitions that include the various video sources and the descriptive information on EUscreen.

Workshop: Best-Practice Applications

Ms. Šturm and mr. Lavrenčič from RTV (Photo: Miklós Varga)

On Friday the Final EUscreen International Conference continued with opening and welcoming by Sonja de Leeuw, who introduced the two EUscreen best-practice applications showcased by TVR (Romania), RTV (Slovenia) and RTBF (Belgium). Due to unforeseen circumstances, keynote speaker Jamie Harley was not able to attend.

Irina Negraru from TVR and dr. Dana Mustata presented their personal experiences working with content within the television archive of the Romanian public broadcaster. Both emphasised the lack of content concerning social issues, sexual revolution or any other sort of socially related items during the Nicolae Ceaușescu era. They discussed the necessity of de-westernalizing and reevaluating the existing frameworks and concepts that emerged out of a Western reality. Together, they emphasized the need to redefine television research methods in future television history writing by adding new theoretical concepts that emerge out of Eastern histories.

Katja Šturm from RTV Slovenia carried out the second presentation in this morning slot. She illustrated a successful project in which audiovisual materials of a national broadcaster are reused and contextualised. In 2011, RTV Slovenia created a special web portal 20 Years of Slovenia to honour the country’s 20 years of independence. The online portal includes content from three media sources: television, radio and multimedia contributions. The next step was implementing the involvement of the general public on one side and of TV crews, journalists and reporters on the other to personalise the portal with their own memories and personal stories. The portal is now available in Slovenian only, but we recommend perusing through the portal with the aid of online translation tools to discover the wealth of national content and personal experiences that lie within.

Mr. Nemes from Kitchen Budapest (Photo: Miklós Varga)

Xavier Jacques-Jourion presented how his broadcast institution, the Radio Télévision Belge Francophone has performed a number of web experiments and has fine-tuned an application that links television archive material materials to the broader web of knowledge that is the internet. After concluding that for many access portals that have been built in the past it’s often more difficult to find the framework than the original videos that were on them, the broadcaster set about developing a browser that unites the raw archive data with information sources on the web. Instead of creating new separate web projects, they now intend to create a rich interface to support researchers, journalists and production assistants to go through the collection and discover unexpected sourrces. We’ve talked extensively on this blog about the power of the semantic web and Xavier’s GEMS example is a compelling next step into applying this theoretical model to a day-to-day application. For more info about this technology, take a look at Europeana’s video What is Linked Open Data or at the EUscreen LOD page.

The conference was closed by Hungarian curator Attila Nemes, who founded Kitchen Budapest, which is a new media lab that focuses on innovative research into fields as varied as mobile communication, digital storage and online content. His contribution focused on the use of digital media to improve people’s private lives, thereby including private materials and gathering information on how focus groups such as little children or the elderly go about using digital and moving image technologies and can use them to improve personal bonds, facilitate family communication and aid their daily dose of happiness.

Overall, the conference gave a healthy overview of the playing field in which EUscreen operates. It showed that the project has constructed both a technological platform – one that provides a place where unique content is gathered and contextualised for different groups of users – and a network of people from different backgrounds with a shared interest in providing access & context to historical audiovisual materials. In this double sense, EUscreen has a challenging task in a time where media outlets are rapidly changing and next steps to take in the years that lie ahead.

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Exhibiting EUscreen

Created by Kati HyypäMore Context for Content

Over the past two and a half years, EUscreen has been sourcing all kinds of content and has worked closely with developers and designers to make this rich and varied collection accessible online. The EUscreen portal currently hosts over 21,000 items which relate to television history and the history of Europe in a collection that includes items from the earliest days of the medium (and before) right up until the present.

Contributions from 22 different broadcasters and archives from across Europe have been brought together and made freely available in one one single portal. Well, two portals actually – all of these items are also being made available on Europeana, where they sit amongst almost 22 million cultural objects from across Europe.

Exploring Television History

Within EUscreen our aim is to make this material available to as wide a range of interested users as possible. To do so, the partners in the consortium have been hard at work to realise the next step in the project: making the collection accessible through online exhibitions and suggesting ways for users to engage with the EUscreen material. We have been creating a virtual exhibition builder that provides a set of tools for creating online exhibitions which can feature various media such as video, audio, still image and text. A first version of these tools will soon be part of the EUscreen portal. Recently, Daniel Ockeloen from Noterik and Sanna Marttila from AALTO/TAIK gave a presentation at the Europeana gathering in Mykonos. We’ve posted it here to give you an idea about what to expect.

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An Online Exhibition Space

Designing the VE tools has included various activities, such as workshops in which collaborative hands-on design methods have been used for generating ideas and improving designs. Virtual Exhibition builder prototypes have also been developed and tested incrementally in order to reflect the needs of the different users and to improve the ease of use. The Virtual Exhibition tools have been developed in collaboration with various EUscreen consortium partners. The technical development and user interface design is the brainchild of Noterik and TAIK, who have worked closely with other partners, such as the Comparative Virtual Exhibition curators Dr Dana Mustata from Groningen University and Dr Sian Barber from Royal Holloway, University of London as well as colleagues from the British Universities Film and Video Council.

We are currently piecing together the final elements of the first exhibitions which will be made available on the portal very soon. EUscreen archive partners are also curating their online exhibitions to present focused explorations into television history. Watch this space to be the first to know when new exhibitions appear!

Historic Travel Documents Make Online Debut

Press release by the European Library

Take a journey to the North Pole, book your ticket on a 1930s car trip through eastern Europe or flip through hundreds of historic postcards, maps and guidebooks. These are among over 500 items that have been collected from 13 prestigious national and university libraries in Europe for Travelling Through History – a virtual exhibition created by The European Library.

The opening of the exhibition marks the first time that many of these important historical documents can be accessed online. They were digitised for the EuropeanaTravel project, and the assembled collection covers a broad geographical and historical range. India, Japan, Central Africa and the South Pacific are some of the destinations represented, with objects dating from the 12th century to modern times.

A leather-bound photograph album, documenting a tour around Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina by British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, is one of the exhibition highlights. Evans was a prolific traveller, who became famous for his excavation of Knossos Palace on the Greek island of Crete. The trip in 1932 retraces a similar journey Evans made on foot in 1875.

The visitors’ book of Dutch scientist and physician Bernardus Paludanus (1550-1633) is also fascinating. This bulky little album with about 1,900 contributions was signed by the many people who visited Paludanus at his home in the Netherlands. It also accompanied Paludanus on his travels to places as far away as Palestine, and includes illustrations by Italian artists of Venetian beauties and a gondola voyage.

Other curiosities include an 1821 visitors’ guide to Poland, and a Baroque map in the shape of a Rose. Vienna – the capital of the Hapsburg Empire – forms the stem of the flower, while the petals of the flower spread across Bohemia. The map is embellished with the crown and the motto of King Leopold I, who ruled over much of Central Europe in the 1680s.

Each object in Travelling Through History is accompanied by curatorial information in English and the main language of the contributing institution. Most objects can also be downloaded.


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.

Europeana opens virtual exhibition space

Press release from Europeana

Europeana, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive, has launched two online exhibitions that explore highlights of art and literature – Reading Europe and Reshaping Art Nouveau.

Reading Europe: European culture through the book showcases the full texts of 1,000 of Europeana’s most fascinating books, from medieval cookbooks to 18th century English bestsellers. Many literary masterpieces can be found in their earliest printings, including Don Quixote in the first Spanish edition and Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot in the first Russian edition. Visitors can browse richly decorated manuscripts and discover compelling historical works like Jammers Mindethe fascinating 17th century autobiography of a King’s daughter and her 22-year imprisonment in Copenhagen’s infamous Blue Tower.

Reading Europe offers a unique opportunity to view literary gems in 32 languages, from Albanian to Yiddish. It was commissioned by Europeana and curated by The European Library, working with experts in Europe’s national libraries. It gives users an engaging introduction to some of Europe’s literary highlights, selected from among nearly 5 million  digitised texts on Europeana.

Reshaping Art Nouveau takes visitors on a cross-border journey that encompasses everything from domestic furnishings and decorative art to architecture and advertising. It tells the story of how the curved lines and floral themes of Art Nouveau – Jugendstil in German, Stile Liberty in Italian – brought an elegance and a hint of decadence to urban life as it swept through every European capital around 1900.

The stories behind the artists and styles are told in a narrative accompanying the remarkable collection of images. These range from the well-loved posters of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha and the stained glass designs of Scotland’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to the infamous book illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley and rare photos of fashions designed by Vienna’s celebrated Gustav Klimt.

The two new exhibitions unite geographically distant items in a single online space, illustrating how digitisation helps Europe’s citizens explore a shared heritage. brings printed collections together with paintings, films, sounds, museum artefacts and archival documents in its collection of over 12 million items, revealing previously hidden links and inspirations.

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