research and projects

Eye is involved as a partner in various national and international research projects that centre on the application of innovative methods of restoring, digitizing and providing access to the collection.

  • La chenille de carotte (FR, 1911)

  • Le royaume des fleurs (FR, 1914)

  • Le royaume des fleurs (FR, 1914)

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Current projects

Materials in motion: a conservation strategy for analogue Dutch animation artwork from the period 1930–2000

In the project Materials in motion: a conservation strategy for analogue Dutch animation artwork from the period 1930–2000, research is being carried out into Eye’s collection of animation artwork, which includes sketches, storyboards and other visual material. Researchers are drawing up guidelines for the registration of animation artwork and are formulating a conservation and digitization strategy. For more information visit the blog Materials in Motion.

The project is funded by Metamorfoze. 

Network for Experimental Media Archaeology

Eye is a member of the Network of Experimental Media Archaeology (NEMA). This international network promotes new forms of collaboration between universities and heritage institutes in the field of obsolete media technologies. The network aims to ensure that museums and archives acquire a laboratory function in which historians, archivists and curators are challenged to experiment with (film)apparatus from the collection.   

completed projects


The research project The Sensory Moving Image Archive (SEMIA). Boosting Creative Reuse for Artistic Practice and Research took off in September 2017. Eye was collaborating in this project with the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and Studio Louter. SEMIA developed a search method that enabled visual artists and researchers to search digitised heritage collections on the basis of visual features such as light and colour, form or movement. For two years, two postdocs at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and two senior researchers at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the UvA have worked on the project. Various workshops, expert meetings and a conference took place.

The project is funded by NWO's Smart Culture – Art and Culture research programme.

A Million Pictures: Magic Lantern Slides Heritage as Artefacts in the Common European History of Learning

A Million Pictures was a three-year research project in which an international team was carrying out research into the use of magic lantern slides by educational, popular and scientific societies in the 19th century. Researchers and archivists have worked closely together to develop a standard procedure for describing and documenting magic lanterns.

The project has received a grant from the European Joint Programming Initiative in Cultural Heritage. 

Data-Driven Film History: a demonstrator of Eye's Jean Desmet Collection

In 2015, the pilot project Data-Driven Film History: a de­monstrator of Eye’s Jean Desmet Collection (2014-2015) was completed. In July 2014 this research project, supervised by Giovanna Fossati (chief curator at Eye and professor of Film Heritage at UvA), received a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The project resulted in the launch of a website that visualizes the distribution patterns of cinema owner and film distributor Jean Desmet: a demonstration tool that combines three databases and four Desmet collections held at Eye (films, posters, photographs and business archive). The grant was used to make the collections themselves, as well as information about them, more accessible to researchers.

The project was financed by NWO through the KIEM programme (Knowledge Innovation Mapping), which stimulates collaboration between knowledge institutes and companies in the creative industry. The project involves collaboration between Eye, the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI), the research group Moving Images: Preservation, Curation, Exhibition from the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and two software companies (Dispectu and Hiro). More information


MediaNow is a research project aimed at the development and testing of open source search algorithms to facilitate searches of large media archives.

MediaNow is funded through the NWO Creative Industry programme.


From 2014 to 2016, Eye was intensively involved in the ABCinema pilot project and its sequel, ABCinema Plus. In these projects, six leading European film archives and the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) joined forces to promote film among children and youths. Over a two-year period they developed a varied programme of activities related to film heritage. The content is available in various languages and can be used by all partners for their own activities in the area of film education. Eye’s contribution focused specifically on the 11-14 age group.

ABCinema was funded by the European Commission within the framework of the Creative Europe programme. More information


CogNovo is a network of doctoral programmes in the field of cognitive innovation. The project (2014-2017) accommodated 26 doctoral candidates who researched the role of innovation and creativity in cognitive processes from an interdisciplinary perspective. Eye was specifically involved in the research project Early Cinema and Cognitive Creativity.

CogNovo was financed by the European Commission through the Marie Curie programme and by Plymouth University.


FORWARD was a three-year European project (2013-2016) that aimed to develop an EU-wide automated system to provide information about the rights status of audio-visual works, including so-called orphan works. This will give cultural institutes a clear idea of whether a film belongs to the public domain or if it is copyrighted. Moreover, the system supplies information about the conditions under which a work can be used in Europe.

FORWARD was funded by the European Commission through the ICT-PSP programme.