filmarchives online

filmarchives online is a new, European-funded project to provide integrated access to moving image collections. The project is in its early stages, but the site is already offering records for 4,000 films (predominantly non-fiction) from five partner archives: the Deutsche Filminstitut – DIF e.V., the British Film Institute (BFI), La Cineteca di Bologna, the DEFA-Foundation and Národní Filmový Archiv Prague (NFA). Eleven more archives are expected to participate in 2007, with a target of 20,000 records online by the end of 2007. The site and database are available in four languages (English, French, German, Czech).

The search function is still in development, but you can search on silent films alone. Many are Topical Budget newsreel items and Mitchell and Kenyon actualities from the BFI. The emphasis is on technical records as opposed to filmographic data, though some records have credits and descriptions. This is quite a departure, as film archives traditionally have been cautious about revealing information on the film elements that they hold. As a potential union catalogue for European film collections this is clearly a project to keep an eye on.

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