The website filmarkivforskning.se marks a first step in updating filmarkivet.se in terms of research in the field. Under its Infrastructure for Research remit, Riksbankens Jubileumfond – The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (RJ) – has granted funding for this research project, with its purpose of “developing the filmarkivet.se website, a joint venture by the Swedish Film Institute and the National Library of Sweden.”
Umeå University is managing the funding for the project, which is led by Professor Pelle Snickars of the Department of Culture and Media Studies / HUMlab.
For more background on the project – see the information on approved research grants at rj.se.
About the collections
As the content of the archives and libraries is digitised, more and more historical material relating to film will become available. Under the ‘Film library’ tab this infrastructure project therefore intends to bring together relevant film history literature that is out of copyright and can thus be downloaded in full. This may include small press, Swedish Government Official Reports (SOUs) or some free journals, but above all the ‘Film library’ tab will provide access to publications written by various national film pioneers – which went out of copyright in the mid-1940s and are now in the public domain. Naturally, this limits the selection of publications that may be of relevance to film history, but it nevertheless gives an indication of what has been published.
The material will be grouped thematically under subheadings listed in the left-hand column of the site, with some rudimentary metadata and a short description of the publications in question. The majority of publications date from the period before the Second World War, with certain exceptions, such as the SOUs that have a bearing on the formation of the Swedish Film Institute, for example. Within the framework of this project, our ambition is to gradually add different types of books and journals as they are ordered for digitalisation through the National Library of Sweden. Suggestions for relevant literature are welcome – as long as they are universally accessible for free open access, in full-text format.
Concerning the movie posters large swathes of silent film history remain shrouded in darkness – and many playbills and posters have been discarded over the years. But not all have been lost. With some initial detective work by Professor Jan Olsson from the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, and later in collaboration with the then Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images (now the National Library of Sweden), the scanning and digitising of around 8,000 early playbills and posters from the silent film era began a couple of years ago, within the framework of the government’s Access programme. The original posters are held at the Lund and Uppsala University Libraries. In international terms, this is unique material relating to the history of film and advertising, bearing witness not only to the development of the national film culture but also to what the cinemas were actually screening. Funding for this digitisation project ended, however, and the posters have since languished in the archives. Thanks to grants from the Magn. Bergvall Foundation and Södermalms Arbetareinstituts Stipendium, work on making the posters accessible has now resumed. Lund and Uppsala University Libraries have generously given their permission for the publication, downloading and dissemination of the posters.