Intertwining spheres: Public archiving of private home video collections

Public audiovisual archives like the Österreichische Mediathek (Austrian National Audiovisual Archive) have long been concerned with documenting the political as well as the cultural public sphere. National and international efforts have worked to collect and preserve historic film documents from the private sphere. An ongoing Österreichische Mediathek project addresses a source typically viewed as marginal: private video sources from the 1980s and 1990s. The challenges are not only to develop a collection and archiving strategy for a type of content on which there is little to no scientific research but also to master the technical challenges of archiving such materials for the long term. This paper examines the development and the workflow of the project and goes on to consider the historical functions of home videos and their qualities as historical sources.


This article is part of the book ‘SOIMA: Unlocking Sound and Image Heritage