MIMEHIST: Annotating Eye Filmmuseum’s Jean Desmet Collection

Unlocking the Eye Filmmuseum’s digitized Jean Desmet Collection and facilitating scholarship on it with video annotation tools in the CLARIAH Media Suite.

Principal investigator
  • Christian Olesen
Resource types
Film poster 'Barabas'

The research project MIMEHIST: Annotating Eye’s Jean Desmet Collection aimed at unlocking Eye Filmmuseum’s digitized Jean Desmet Collection and facilitating scholarship on it with video annotation tools in the CLARIAH Media Suite. The Desmet Collection is a unique resource for media historians. It contains a large amount of rare films from silent cinema’s transitional years and an extensive documentation of cinema exhibition and distribution practices from the early to mid-twentieth century. For these reasons the Collection is internationally renowned and also part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

Carbon copy of handwritten letter by Jean Desmet’s assistant George De Vrée dated Nov. 10th 1912.
Carbon copy of handwritten letter by Jean Desmet’s assistant George De Vrée dated Nov. 10th 1912.

Towards Mixed Media Analysis in Digital Media History in AV-collections

MIMEHIST has embedded the Collection’s approximately 950 films produced between 1907 and 1916, 1050 posters and business archive containing around 127,000 documents from eight decades, in the Media Suite. To unlock the collection, MIMEHIST has performed handwriting recognition, OCR and made a visual classification of Desmet’s business archive. This has improved the archive’s searchability drastically and allows scholars to browse and annotate items - all in high resolution - with great ease. Consequently, the Desmet Collection is now much more accessible and can stimulate research on film distribution, exhibition and content in cinema’s early years to a greater degree than hitherto possible.

Researchers

Christian Olesen
PI
Christian Olesen

Assistant Professor Digital Media & Cultural Heritage , University of Amsterdam