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Reading: Crowdsourcing Television’s Past: The State of Knowledge in Digital Archives


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Crowdsourcing Television’s Past: The State of Knowledge in Digital Archives


Julia Noordegraaf

About Julia
Julia Noordegraaf is universitair hoofddocent bij het departement Mediastudies van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, waar ze ook het internationale masterprogramma Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image coördineert. Ze is de auteur van Strategies of Display: Museum Presentation in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Visual Culture (NAi Publishers/Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2004) en eerste redacteur van de bundel Preserving and Exhibiting Media Art: Challenges and Perspectives (Amsterdam University Press, verschijnt in 2012). In haar huidige boekproject (Performing the Archive: Tracing Audiovisual Heritage in the Digital Age) onderzoekt ze de impact van virtuele archieven, online portals en andere vormen van hergebruik van audiovisueel erfgoed op de status van het audiovisueel archief als kennisbewaarder. Daarnaast ontwikkelt ze onderzoeksprojecten op het terrein van media en onrecht (The Audiovisual Memory of (In)Justice) en de conservering van computergebaseerde kunst.
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The proliferation of digital technologies has changed the way we perceive of and use audiovisual archives and their holdings. The emergence of virtual archives and online portals is changing the relation between the keepers and users of audiovisual heritage, challenging the role of the archivist as principal expert on the knowledge the collection represents. In this article I investigate the implications of these developments for the status of the (audiovisual) archive as a gatekeeper of knowledge. Author discusses a recent experiment with social tag-ging, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision’s video labeling game WAISDA?, and asks to what extent experiments like this destabilize the existing archival platforms for validating and describing audiovisual heritage. She argues that, even though these new forms of access introduce a new type of ‘participatory knowledge’, in fact digitization only exposes the archives’ inherently dynamic, performative nature.

How to Cite: Noordegraaf, Julia. 2015. “Crowdsourcing Television’s Past: The State of Knowledge in Digital Archives”. TMG Journal for Media History 14 (2): 108–20. DOI:
Published on 02 Sep 2015.


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