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Online European TV archive launched

December 2011 saw the UK launch of the EUscreen portal, which provides free access to over 30,000 items of  videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives from early 1900s until today. The project is financed by the European Union and developed by the project consortium is made up of 28 partners and nine associate partners from 20 European countries. By developing a number of interactive functionalities it will prove valuable to a wide range of cultural, educational and recreational users.

Although audiovisual content is now being digitized and some of it is already available online, access to audiovisual archives, television in particular, remains fractured and scattered. EUscreen has developed a content selection policy and metadata framework that aligns the heterogeneous collections held throughout Europe and encourages the exploration of European television history. As one of the main audiovisual content aggregators for Europeana, EUscreen and its collection is also connected to an online collection of millions of digitised items from European museums, libraries and archives.

The EUscreen content selection policy has been divided into three parts, and these will be developed over the coming months to allow visitors the opportunity to investigate, explore and watch clips and programmes in a number of different ways, including:

  • Historical Topics: The vast majority of EUscreen content will be made up of clips and programmes that have been selected to explore 14 Historical Topics. The partners in EUscreen will be providing content for each of these historical topics between now and August 2012.
  • Content Provider Virtual Exhibitions: As part of the EUscreen project, EUscreen archives and broadcasters will be developing their own Virtual Exhibitions on themes that they have selected themselves. Each exhibition will be accompanied by a range of resources such as photographs, documents, audio and written text to explore and investigate specific themes in depth.
  • Comparative Virtual Exhibitions: These will include clips and programmes from all the EUscreen archives and broadcasters to explore three themes comparatively across Europe. These small exhibitions will be designed by curators in EUscreen to show how events have been seen from different European perspectives and to explore how television has developed in diverse ways in different European countries.

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