The Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) holds tens of thousands of audio-visual items in its collections, comprising photographs, maps, posters, audio-recordings, videos, and more.
On 26 October, anticipating the observance of the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on 27 October, the HAEU launched the beta version of its multimedia portal, an optimised platform for the consultation and visualisation of audio-visual materials. The new platform allows users to search the audio-visual holdings, view the result in a user-friendly display, access the archival metadata of each item, and visit the associated archival record for complete information on context and provenance.
Dieter Schlenker, Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union, said “We are very happy to launch the new multimedia platform this week. Archivists and historians have long concentrated on written documents, using audio-visual elements more for illustration than as content to study critically on its own merits. But, as with popular culture in general, the research community is now more visual than ever. We are glad to offer our research community an effective tool that maximises their ability to consult and include our audio-visual holdings in their research on European integration.”
The project is the result of months of collaborative work between the audio-visual archivist and the HAEU’s ICT support team.
Juan Alonso, the HAEU’s audio-visual archivist, explained “The new multimedia portal is more intuitive for users, and provides an environment adapted to the particularities of audio and visual files. In addition, each item remains linked to its original archival file or dossier, thus respecting the principle of provenance. The portal permits a richer and more objective interpretation of the item.”
At present, the multimedia portal makes available only part of the HAEU’s audio-visual collections. The number of items available on the platform will increase as additional items are digitised.
A future upgrade of the platform will also allow for the display of archival exhibits using multimedia materials.
Search the new multimedia portal here.