Fraunhofer IIS Supports “European Film Gateway EFG1914” Project to Preserve Cultural Film Heritage

Press Release / 12.4.2012

The Erlangen based Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS partners in the project European Film Gateway EFG1914. The institute provides technical and scientific expertise on digitizing film material and photographs from and about World War I to create a wide availability of the collection. Since the project’s kick-off in February 2012, 20 European film archives as well as five businesses and research institutions have been cooperating in digitizing up to 650 selected hours of film and about 500,000 photos, film posters, censorship material etc. from the period. The digital collection will be made available to the public.

The EFG1914 project expands the archive of the European digital library Europeana, which has been sponsored by the European Union since 2007. The aim is to locate and preserve Europe’s cultural heritage while making it available to the general public. The archives contribute films and related material from their collections to the project. The selected content, together with the technical and descriptive metadata, is then stored in a data base and prepared for the European Film Gateway catalog. Project partners are, among others Filmarchiv Austria, Cinemathèque Royale de Belgique, det Danske Filminstitut, EYE Stichting Film Instituut Nederland, as well as the London Imperial War Museum.

Original film material of the period needs to be cleaned and restored before it can be digitally scanned and processed. The digitized image data are stored as lossless JPEG 2000 files for further processing and can then be re-encoded, for instance, as H.264 files for online presentation.

Fraunhofer IIS offers the scientific knowledge to create effective workflows for film digitization, digital image- and archiving formats and compression methods. The EFG1914 project partners make use of the experience and developments from EDCINE, an earlier project which cooperated with the European film archives with focus on the development of standardized formats for long-term archiving and distribution. Within the framework of EFG1914, IIS scientists will collect and analyze the technical requirements of the archives for long-term archiving and implement the results in a technical workflow. This way digital archive packages and formats for online distribution can be generated in just a few steps.

For a high level of proficiency with the new technology, Fraunhofer IIS provides tailored staff training to meet the specific needs of the archiving industry. The first training session will be held early May in Copenhagen.

For more information, go to http://www.project.efg1914.eu