Reto Kromer teaching. Photo courtesy of the Film Heritage Foundation

FIAF Commissions’ Thursday Online Workshops (2023)

In June 2022, the FIAF Commissions announced a new series of online workshops covering  a wide range of topics discussed in FIAF. The first three of these workshops, hosted by the Cataloguing and Documentation Commission, took place between September and November 2022.

The basic idea is rooted in what libraries have done for some time now and which is called Library Carpentry. Rather than inviting external experts, trained people from libraries teach each other basic concepts which will also revolve around data literacy (introductions to Open Refine, Python, GitHub etc.). We could expand that format and think of other ones to accompany this very technical focus.

We also want to address current debates revolving around sustainability, long term archiving and online presentation. How can we digitise, archive and present digital media by taking questions of rights, formats and the environment into consideration?

The workshops are planned as virtual events for the moment and might later be extended to in-person events.

Possible formats include presentations plus a panel discussion and hands-on teaching. More can be developed as we gain experience. We don’t aim at experts. Usually, no previous experience is required. Advanced levels are marked as such and will provide knowledge for those who want to explore topics into more depths. The number of participants vary depending on the nature of the specific workshop, but is generally be limited to enhance knowledge transfer and discussion. No fee is charged, but participants have to register and places are limited. Information on how and when to register will be posted below.

30 March 2023

5 p.m. (CET)

“Using ffmpeg in a film archive - convert, concatenate and prepare your files for your use case - Advanced” 

Duration: 3 hrs

Organized/presented by: Adelheid Heftberger (Host, Head of the CDC), Reto Kromer (Presenter)

Limited to 10 participants.

Target group: Depending on workshop: beginners: everyone interested welcome, advanced: knowledge required. Anyone interested in automatising workflows with ffmpeg within a film archive.

Content: Practical examples will include converting, concatenating and integrating logos, watermarks and time codes. Prerequisite is the installation of ffmpeg and working in the command line.

Registrations will be open online on 6 February. Watch this space.

18 May 2023

5 p.m. (CET)

“Shifting cultural practices - Rights Clearance and the Quotation Exception within Film Archives”

Duration: 3 hours (short break included)

Organized/presented by: Matěj Strnad (Host, Head of PACC), Claudy Op den Kamp (Bournemouth University), Adelheid Heftberger and Sabine Lang (Bundesarchiv)

Limited to 20 participants.

Target group: Anyone interested in rights questions, rights clearance issues and how to make your films available.

Content: Part 1 - Despite copyright law being territorial, there are elements that bind those national laws. Countries signed up to the Berne Convention, for instance, share a right to quote copyright works. We mostly understand the right to quote in a textual realm, but what does it mean for films – and film archives? Through a practical exercise, we’ll explore some options. Part 2 - We will present experiences we gained in the Bundesarchiv while embarking on a 5-year-rights-clearance project as well as how we can use the new EU directive of out-of-commerce works. We would like to show that rather than clearing rights we should discuss archival strategies of how to make more films available online based on the legal framework that exists.

Registrations will be open online soon. Watch this space.

6 July 2023


“Introduction to the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) for Film Archives” (Beginners)

Duration 2: hrs (Presentation and Discussion)

Organised/presented by: Adelheid Heftberger (Host, Head of the CDC), Sarah Higgins (Presenter, Professor at Aberystwyth University)

Limited to 20 participants

Target group: Anyone interested in long term archiving, the OAIS reference model and how to apply it to your collection.

Content: Introduction to the OAIS reference model with discussion of provided examples from the participants. No software installation/preparation needed.

Registrations will be open nearer the time of the Workshop. Watch this space.

19 October 2023

5pm (CET)

“METS and Premis in your Film Archive - A Case Study from the Cinémathèque suisse”

Duration: 2 hrs

Organised/presented by: Adelheid Heftberger (Host, Head of the CDC), Rebecca Rochat (Presenter, head of non-film digital heritage), Robin Francois (Presenter, digital archivist), and Maryline Monnerat (Presenter, documentalist at the film department), all from the Cinémathèque suisse.

Limited to 20 participants.

Target group: Everyone interested in using METS and/or Premis in their digital workflows and information management systems. A basic understanding of filmographic and technical metadata will be beneficial but is not required.

Content: The Cinématèque suisse will present the results of their pilot project in implementing METS and Premis in their digital workflows and integrating these standards in their cataloguing system. After the presentation we will discuss questions by the participants.

Registrations will be open nearer the time of the Workshop. Watch this space.