For seven years Images for the Future had a pioneering role in the development of large-scale digitisation processes and the role of heritage institutions in the digital society++UPDATEAt the end of 2018 we have ended our activities in the areas of copyright and cultural heritage. Kennisland has been working on these themes for over a decade. Read what we have done to improve copyright and access to digital heritage.
During the project Sound and Vision, EYE Film Museum, the National Archives and Kennisland preserved, digitised and – in part – made available over 90 thousand hours of video, 20 thousand hours of film, 100 thousand hours of audio and 2.5 million photographs. The digitised material is now being reused on platforms like ++The CommonsCheck out some of the photos from the National Archives, EYE Film Museum and videos from Open Images on Wikimedia Commons., in learning materials, and in various apps and services, including National Archives joins Flickr The Commons, Oorlogsmonumenten in Beeld (War Monuments) and Celluloid Remix.
These figures are90 thousand hours of video, 20 thousand hours of film, 100 thousand hours of audio and 2.5 million photographs preserved and digitised. impressive. Hundreds of people have been working hard for seven years to achieve this goal. From the nitrate bunkers in the dunes of Overveen and Scheveningen to digital “production lines” for film, video, audio and photography, set up in Amsterdam, The Hague and Hilversum. Without Images for the Future large parts of the Dutch audiovisual history would have been lost. In that respect, the project is of great importance and has been very successful.
KL drives innovative applications
Besides the large-scale rescue operation, experiments were done with new applications for the digitised material. At the start of the project, innovation in the heritage sector was still in its infancy. The project was seen as a one-time catch-up. Meanwhile, among the innovations that yielded Images for the Future, the so-called “Pearls from the collection” emerged as the most iconic results of the project. Kennisland played a key role as a driver, a strategic partner and facilitator of numerous innovative projectsKennisland played a key role as a driver, a strategic partner and facilitator of numerous innovative projects. in collaboration with partners. This resulted in a series of ++Pearls from the collectionView all “Pearls from the collection”, including Open Images, T_Visionarium, The Scene Machine Live and Celluloid Remix on the (now static) website Images for the Future..
Not only successes
However, there is a “but”, because the project was not always as successful as we had hoped for. The project created high expectations regarding the accessibility of the digitised collections – which seemed to be unrealistic at a time when YouTube had just begun its march. At the very beginning of the project, in the summer of 2006, the consortium Images for the Future did not see copyright as a structural theme in making collections available. The only foreseen limitation was that such access would not always be free. Today, the digitised material has a limited digital availabilityToday, the digitised material has a limited digital availability., even if we include paid access. Open licenses are even less common.
Kennisland has carried out an alternative vision and application of copyright within the project, but there is a world yet to be conquered. Seven years Images for the Future has produced an enormous amount of knowledge and experience that can help us achieve all goals.