Crossing Boundaries in the Digital Archive: Repurposing Audiovisual Content through Collaborative Description

by Prof. Dr. Julia Noordegraaf (UvA)

Abstract: The rapid digitization of the contemporary media landscape has greatly changed the ways in which archives collect, store, preserve and make accessible audio-visual content. Due to the versatile nature of digital media, films and broadcast productions now exist in multiple versions that are viewed at different times, via various types of screens and platforms, inviting a more pro-active approach to their acquisition and preservation. Digital technology has also impacted the way audio-visual media productions are received and used: with viewing on demand, commenting, sharing and remixing users have become their own archivists and producers. This lecture addresses the consequences of digitization for the role and place of the audio-visual archive. It argues that in a digital archive, audio-visual content achieves its meaning in an information network that crosses the boundaries of the institution and involves both producers and users. As such, it opens perspectives on activating archival content in a collaborative, dynamic process of interpretation.

Julia Noordegraaf is Professor of Digital Heritage at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. From its origin in 2003 until 2012 she acted as director of the P&P programme. She currently is Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACCHI) and acts as board member for Media Studies in CLARIAH, the national infrastructure for digital humanities research.