Together with Jan Olsson I am organizing an upcoming conference on new forms of media archives at the National Library of Sweden in mid November. Some students of film today believe that “everything” is available on the Web and, thus, can be “googled”. If not “there”—it doesn’t exist. In such an ideal world, cultural heritage and contemporary mass culture are well co-mingled and one can merrily shop around on the laptop, iPhone or Blackbery, save time, download primary and secondary material (legally or otherwise), and leave archives and libraries behind. Or can we?
Is Web-archivism merely a publicity stunt which does a disservice to new media cinema studies if it encourages scholars to bypass “real” archives? Or does digital archiving, as an appetizer of sorts, prompt students to explore material in old-school archives? And does a focus on the Web within archives divert funding from urgent, but less glamorous needs, such as preserving cellulose nitrate film?
There is no dearth of reasons why heritage institutions have gone digital. The implications for archivism and scholarship are indeed complex and important to discuss – and will, hence, serve as points of departure for this workshop. A select group of scholars—well-versed in the world of archivism—have been invited as keynote speakers to take stock of the past, present, and future media scholarship and its interfaces to archivism.
Learn more about the conference here.