Dutch Culture Minister Bussemaker opens EYE Collection Centre

EYE Collection Centre (photo: Ton Söder), design: cepezed, commissioned by: WAD Archief Depots

21 September 2016

EYE’s new Collection Centre has been opened by Dutch Culture Minister Jet Bussemaker on Friday 16 September. This state-of-the-art storehouse with ideal storage and preservation conditions in North Amsterdam provides a safe and permanent environment for EYE’s collections. The EYE Collection Centre is also designed to be a centre of expertise for professionals engaged in film preservation, restoration and research.

The EYE Collection Centre is not only a storehouse but also a modern centre of expertise where film scholars, filmmakers and students from all over the world will be able to consult EYE’s collections. With its glass front, the EYE Collection Centre is an inviting building. In the EYE Study on the ground floor professionals can watch films, engage in research and consult material from the other collections, including books, periodicals, DVDs, posters, personal and company archives, scripts, the audio collection, sheet music and film equipment.

The Collection Centre, which features an Artists/Scholars-in-Residence programme, will function as a research laboratory, investigating both the collection and new ways of deployment. The multi-functional film theatre with its 30-seat capacity will be used for a range of activities, including meetings with filmmakers, press presentations and expert workshops on preserving, restoring, digitising and presenting the collection, which currently comprises more than 40,000 films.

The EYE Collection Centre offers a permanent solution to the long-standing problem involving EYE’s previous storage facilities, which were inefficiently spread across various locations in North Holland. The new Collection Centre will finally unite three fields of expertise under one roof: preservation, restoration and research.

WAD Archief Depots B.V. is the commissioning client and founding partner of the EYE Collection Centre. The design is by cepezed architects. The furnishing of the Collection Centre has been financed with funds from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Gispen company and the Dioraphte Foundation. The activities of the Collection Centre are funded by contributions from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, the BankGiro Loterij and the Gieskes Strijbis Fonds.

Restoration

EYE has built a reputation as one of the world’s top restoration studios and leads developments in the field of film heritage digitisation and restoration. Thanks to its expertise in this area, EYE cooperates closely with partner institutions and experts in the Netherlands and abroad. Every year EYE preserves, digitises and restores dozens of national and international films that are regularly screened at prestigious festivals. EYE won several awards for its restoration work, including the Jean Mitry Award, the Film Preservation Honors and the Prix Henri Langlois.

Research

EYE has won a strong position in film scholarship partly as a result of the appointment of the Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture Chair at the University of Amsterdam, which is currently held by EYE chief curator Giovanna Fossati. The combination of professor and chief curator is an exceptional one in the international  film archive world and ideally connects the professional restoration activities of the EYE Collection Centre with the scholarly research at the University of Amsterdam.

Centre of Expertise

The new Collection Centre offers a fruitful environment for researchers and students, including those of the University of Amsterdam’s Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image Master’s course, in which  EYE is involved as co-founder and partner. The research assistantship programme provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience under the supervision of experienced curators, restorers and digital film experts.  The multi-functional film theatre will also be used for lectures, workshops and seminars on a range of subjects within the field of film heritage.