The increasing availability of films and cinema-related heritage in digital form, as well as the creation and use of structured datasets related to the contexts of film production, distribution and consumption, have invited the use of new, computational approaches for studying cinema and its history. In this article, we review the online database Cinema Context ( and its impact on the study of historical film cultures. Cinema Context is a relational database and research instrument for studying the history of film culture in the Netherlands. After an introduction to Cinema Context and its position within the international research context, we address its usage in order to discuss the opportunities and challenges of transforming a complex phenomenon such as Dutch film culture into structured data, and we reflect on its implications for film historical research.DOI: 10.18146/2213-7653.2018.369

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Keywords Cinema Context, digital databases, cinema history, film exhibition, digital humanities
Publisher Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid
Journal Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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Note Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis; Vol 21, No 2 (2018): Big Data Histories; 106-126
Noordegraaf, Julia, Lotze, Kathleen, & Boter, Jaap. (2018). Writing Cinema Histories with Digital Databases: The Case of Cinema Context. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 21(2), 106–126.

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