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.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Noordegraaf, Julia. (2015). Crowdsourcing Television’s Past: The State of Knowledge in Digital Archives. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 14(2), 108–120. doi:10.18146/tmg.139