Digital Film Historiography – A Bibliography

Addressing emerging debates in film and media studies surrounding the digitization of film heritage, I started putting together, in 2014, the bibliography below with the aim of developing a better overview and understanding of digital research methods and publication formats in film historical research. Calling it “Digital Film Historiography – A Bibliography” I aligned it with the sub-field of Digital History which has existed in the discipline of history for well over a decade and which has already seen the publication of several pioneering monographs. As historian David J. Staley puts it in his 2003-monograph Computers, Visualization and History – How New Technologies Will Transform Our Understanding of the Past (M.E.Sharpe, 2003):

“Without our recognizing them as such, visual secondary sources do exist in our profession in the form of diagrams, maps, films, dramatic recreations, and museum displays. While these visual secondary sources surround us daily, historians accord them supplementary status to the ‘real history’ we believe is written” (p. 59-60)

In developing this bibliography my hope is that formats that increasingly permeate sites of film historical knowledge – video essays, data visualizations, DVDs, online platforms and museum installations – can be recognized as secondary sources of film history, and that the bibliography may stimulate critical scholarly reflection on these formats.

The bibliography is extensive but not comprehensive. Suggestions are always welcome. The bibliography is updated regularly.

Last updated: August 19, 2020.


Audiovisual Essays, Found Footage and Remix Culture

Video Annotation, Enriched and Historical-Critical Editions

Stylometry, Cinemetrics and Authorship Attribution

New Cinema History: Databases, GIS and 3D Visualization

Online Collections, Databases, Presentation and Curation

Digital Film Restoration and Historiography

Computer Vision, Visual Studies, Deformative Criticism & Epistemology

Digital Exhibition Design and Museology

  • Keidl, Philipp Dominik, “Toward a Public Media Archaeology: Museums, Media, and Historiography”, in The Moving Image: The Journal of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 20-39
  • Olesen, Christian Gosvig, “Panoramic Visions of the Archive in EYE’s Panorama: A Case Study in Digital Film Historiography” in Cinema & Cie, Vol. XIV, No. 22/23 (2014): 145-160
  • Smith, Caylin, “Extending the Archival Life of Film: Presenting Film History with EYE Film Institute Netherlands’ Panorama” in Exposing the Film Apparatus: The Film Archive as a Research Laboratory, edited by Giovanna Fossati and Annie van den Oever. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016.

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