The Dutch visual history of the past century is stored in the archives of the organisations Beeld en Geluid (Netherlands Institution for Sound and Vision), EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Nationaal Archief (Dutch National Archives). The educational, cultural and economic value of this material is unprecedented. In the Images for the Future (Beelden voor de Toekomst) project, four institutions save a significant portion of the Netherlands’ audiovisual heritage through preservation and digitisation. Kennisland focuses on knowledge sharing, modernisation of copyright and is responsible for communication and positioning of the project.
During this project, a total of 91,183 hours of video, 22,086 hours of film, 98,734 hours of audio and 2.5 million photos from the archives of the institutions will be restored, preserved, digitised and made available. This digitised material is made available as widely as possible for education and the public. The institutions also help the heritage sector to innovate by sharing the acquired expertise, knowledge and experience. The project started on 1 July 2007 and will last seven years.
Making digitised heritage available to society is no easy task, but it is an extremely important one. Traditionally, heritage institutions have been set up to manage heritage and make it accessible to a relatively small group of professionals. The educational field, the creative industry and the general public are new target groups that represent a significant group of potential users due to the low costs of digital distribution. The sector, however, has little experience with these users. This transformation is essential for capitalising on the social value that the project represents.
Kennisland and Images for the Future
Kennisland is not a heritage institution so it does not manage its own collection. Kennisland wants to make the Netherlands smarter and help strengthen the knowledge economy. Within Images for the Future, Kennisland is active in knowledge sharing (via events such as Economies of the Commons), modernisation of copyright, and responsible for communication and positioning of the project through small and innovative projects called ‘Pearls’ (Parels). The end user is central in these Pearls and we aim to maximise the visibility and socio-economic impact of the project through these projects.
Check some examples of these ‘pearls’ here.
Featured video: ‘Images for the Future in 90 seconds’, Kennisland (CC BY-SA).