Digital Archives 2021

FSS Digital Archives
Digital Archives, Foto © Jürgen Keiper

The summer school "Digital Archives. Data Literacy and Presentation Strategies in Audiovisual Archives" is a 5-day, practice-oriented educational offer directed at staff members of audiovisual archives as well as any other interested person who would like to enhance their knowledge about digital environments and processes related to digital archives.

Date: 6-10 September 2021

Language: English

Number of participants: 20       

Location: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF*

Cost: 1195,- EUR

Early Bird before 30 April 2021: 1115,- EUR

* a part of the Summer School Digital Archives will be opened for online participation (more info under Online Participation)

The ongoing process of digitalisation presents film archives with the necessity of changing their workflows, strategies, and policies and of providing their staff with additional training. For this reason, we decided to establish the "Digital Archives" Summer School in collaboration with the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin. The first edition focuses on the subject of data literacy and presentation strategies.

Typically, film archives are not archives in the traditional sense, but hybrid institutions that, due to their development history and the complexity of film rights, often face major challenges in terms of cataloging, metadata management, transparency, and accessibility.

In 1973, the first Summer School of the FIAF took place in East Berlin. In this respect, I am very pleased that the Film Universität is able to present in cooperation with the FIAF Cataloging & Documentation Commission as well as the German Kinemathek Berlin a new training format for the international community of film archives.

Prof. Dr. Chris Wahl
Professor Audiovisuelles Kulturerbe


In the morning, various educational formats ranging from lectures to seminars and exercises will deal with the following subjects:

  • Conversion, Codecs
  • Metadata Schemes, Controlled Vocabularies/Thesauri
  • Data Cleaning/Mapping/Open Refine
  • Identifier and Authority Files, Linked Open Data
  • Wikidata, LOD
  • Open Source: Software Overview, hands-on: FFMPEG, DCP-o-Matic

In the afternoon, longer courses allowing for more interaction between instructors and participants will provide insights into:

  • Digital Preservation
  • Storytelling
  • Visualization

The evening program will include a keynote speech by Christophe Dupin (FIAF), a film screening of Beuys (2017, Andres Veiel), and a discussion with Monika Preischl, who acted as archive researcher and producer for the film.

Emphasizing practical aspects, the Summer School will give participants the opportunity to discuss questions related to their daily work. The event focuses on teaching methods and concepts that can be implemented into practice without major financial investments. We place great value on extensive feedback enabling us to further improve the quality of future Summer School events.

The preliminary program can be downloaded as a PDF here.

Online Participation

We are happy to announce that the Summer School Digital Archives can take place on-site at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf this year. As we have received many requests regarding online participation, we have decided to stream parts of the program for people who may not be able to travel due to the pandemic or its economic impact.

We will be streaming lectures, seminars, and the panel discussion in their entirety via ZOOM. Unfortunately, the morning workshops are not streamable due to their practical nature.

An overview of the preliminary program and which content will be available online can be downloaded here. The cost is 400,- Euro.


Instructors (Day 1 and 2)

Prof. Dr. Chris Wahl has been a Professor of Audiovisual Cultural Heritage at the Film University since 2013 and is Head of the Film Culture Heritage M.A. program. He is also deputy managing director of Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften (ZeM), co-founder and co-curator of Moving History – Festival des Historischen Films Potsdam e. V. as well as co-creator and member of the management board of Potsdam – UNESCO Creative City of Film.
Peter Bubestinger | FSS Digital Archives (opens enlarged image)

Peter Bubestinger

Peter Bubestinger-Steindl studied Media Informatics at TU Wien and has been working as a project manager and developer in the field of digital long-term archiving since 2002. He specializes in the coordination and implementation of paid open source solutions for complex use cases and is a sought-after trainer and lecturer. In 2015, he established AV-RD, a service provider focusing on the professional use of open source software in the field of archiving.
Dr. Christophe Dupin | FSS Digital Archives (opens enlarged image)

Dr. Christophe Dupin

Dr. Christophe Dupin is the Senior Administrator of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and the Executive Publisher of the Journal of Film Preservation, and a film historian. Previously, he worked for the British Film Institute (1999-2004) and carried out extensive doctoral and post-doctoral research on the history of the BFI, which resulted in the publication of The British Film Institute, the Government and Film Culture, 1933-2004 (Manchester University Press, 2012), co-edited with Geoffrey Nowell-Smith. His current research topic is the history of the international film archive movement.
 (opens enlarged image)

Natasha Fairbairn

Natasha Fairbairn has worked at the BFI (British Film Institute) since 1986, first as a Library Assistant, then subsequently as a Film Records Keeper, Assistant Cataloguer, Indexer, Data Cleaning Unit Manager, Senior Cataloguer, and Documentation Editor. Since 2011, she has worked as an Information Specialist, dealing with the standards, taxonomies and thesauri, data, and data architecture of the BFI’s Collections Information Database (CID). She is a member of the FIAF (Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film) Cataloguing and Documentation Commission and one of the authors of the FIAF Moving Image Cataloguing Manual (2016); and has also been involved in FIAF cataloguing workshops and training.

Instructors (Day 2 and 3)

FSS Digital Archives | Jürgen Keiper  (opens enlarged image)

Jürgen Keiper

Jürgen Keiper works for Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, where he is responsible (among other things) for the DFFB Archive website, the "Wir waren so frei" online archive as well as the conceptual and technological implementation of the RomArchive storytelling platform. He also focuses on research in the field of standardization and gives lectures on the subject of storytelling. Together with Chris Wahl, he hosts the blog Memento Movie.
FSS Digital Archives | Elisabeth Gamperl © Jessy Asmus (opens enlarged image)

Elisabeth Gamperl

Elisabeth Gamperl is managing editor of the storytelling unit at Süddeutsche Zeitung. She is part of a multi-disciplinary team of journalists, designers and coders who are using interactive tools and multimedia to tell stories and help reporters develop a digital narrative for their stories. She worked on the digital implementation of the Panama Papers, the Implant Files and the Strache videos. During her two-year training program at SZ, she spent two months working in the data team of the British daily The Guardian. Gamperl studied social anthropology. She was a founding member of in Vienna, a project of the Swiss NZZ Mediagroup and she worked for the investigative platform Her texts were published, among others, in the monthly magazine DATUM, taz and Zeit Online.
FSS Digital Archives | Monika Preischl © Sandra Weller (opens enlarged image)

Monika Preischl

Monika Preischl has been working in the field of archive research and as an archive producer for 15 years and has contributed to more than 30 international documentary and fiction film productions. Until 2005, she studied Experimental Film Design as a master-class student with Heinz Emingholz at UdK Berlin. She is a freelance lecturer of research methods at dffb Berlin and gives seminars on working with archive footage at various art and film schools. In 2019, her archive research for the documentary Kulenkampffs Schuhe brought her a FOCAL International Award in London. Preischl lives in Berlin and works as a freelance "bildfinderin".
FSS Digital Archives | Dr. Reto Kromer © Racheal Stoeltje  (opens enlarged image)

Dr. Reto Kromer

Having graduated in mathematics and computer science, Reto Kromer became involved in audio-visual conservation and restoration 34 years ago. He has been running his own preservation company, AV Preservation by, and lecturing at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola in Donostia (San Sebastián). His current research includes colour spaces, look-up tables and codec programming and emulation. Previously he was head of preservation at the Cinémathèque suisse (the Swiss National Film Archive) and lecturer at the University of Lausanne.

Instructors (Day 4 and 5)

Oliver Hanley | FSS Digital Archives

Oliver Hanley

Oliver Hanley is a film scholar specializing in film history and film restoration. After obtaining an M.A. degree in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image from the University of Amsterdam in 2008, he contributed to several online projects and exhibitions of Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin. From 2011 to 2016, he was responsible for DVD and online publications as well as restoration and digitization projects at Österreichisches Filmmuseum in Vienna. Hanley has been an academic assistant in Film University Babelsberg's Film Culture Heritage M.A. program since 2016. He is a member of the FIAF Programming and Access to Collections Commission.
Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk © Jonas Parnow | FSS Digital Archives  (opens enlarged image)

Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk

Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk is a Research Professor of Information Visualization at the Urban Futures Institute of Fachhochschule Potsdam. He is co-director of UCLAB, a visualization research group situated between design, computing, and the humanities.
Dr. Adelheid Heftberger | FSS Digital Archives (opens enlarged image)

Dr. Adelheid Heftberger

Dr. Adelheid Heftberger is Head of Film Access in the Film Archives Department of the German Bundesarchiv in Berlin. In the past, she worked as a researcher, curator, and archivist at Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften in Potsdam and Österreichisches Filmmuseum in Vienna. She holds a PhD in Russian Studies and obtained an M.A. degree in Comparative Literature from the universities of Innsbruck and Vienna. In 2016, she completed her studies of Library and Information Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Heftberger is a member of the FIAF Cataloguing and Documentation Commission and actively supports the Open Science movement.
FSS Digital Archives | Dr. Jakob Voß (opens enlarged image)

Dr. Jakob Voß

Dr. Jakob Voß works in the Research and Development Department of the Head Office of the German Common Library Network (GBV). His research focuses on data modeling and knowledge organization. Voß has been involved in the Wikimedia movement for more than a decade. His current project coli-conc deals with the creation and management of mappings between authority files.

Registration and participation

The Digital Archives summer school is directed at staff members of film-related archives and all persons who would like to enhance their knowledge and skills related to digital film archives.

Participants are asked to register online using our application form. Spots are limited and will be awarded based on registration date after assessment of the application and receipt of the participation fee.

The fee covers materials, lunches, and a dinner at the end of the event. Travel and accommodation expenses are not included and must be covered by participants. For our participants we have reserved a room contingent in nearby hotels. Please contact us if you are interested.


Update on restricted university operations 25 May 2021:

Beginning 07 June 2021, classes may be held on site. AHA rules will apply unchanged. We will inform you of the current hygiene measures in advance. At this time, we recommend that you book your travel and accommodation with the option to cancel.

FIAF scholarship

The International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) kindly awards a small number of scholarships that will cover partial or full participation fees. Travel and accommodation costs must be covered by the applicants themselves.

Please indicate in your application whether you are applying for a scholarship, and if so, for what reasons:

  • Why is it important for you to participate in the Digital Archives Summer School?
  • What impact will your participation in this training have on your institution or working environment?
  • Why do you need financial support?

Please submit your answers in English to The application deadline for the FIAF scholarship is 30 May 2021.

If you would like to be kept regularly informed about the upcoming editions of the Digital Archive Summer School, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Deutsche Kinemathek Logo

The "Digital Archives" summer school is an event organised by the Film University Babelsberg (Filmuni Summer School) in cooperation with FIAF Cataloguing & Documentation Commission and the Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin. The concept was developed by Dr. Adelheid Heftberger, Jürgen Keiper and Prof. Dr. Chris Wahl from an initial idea by Adelheid Heftberger.