Digital Film Historiography – A Bibliography

With digitisation of film heritage occurring at an increasing pace, the past decade has seen an array of digital formats of access and reuse emerge, in scholarly as well as in museum contexts, to become central to the production, contemplation and validation of film historical knowledge: video essays, data visualizations, DVDs, online platforms and museum installations are formats that increasingly permeate sites of film historical knowledge.

As pointed out by film and media scholars Vinzenz Hediger (2008), Malte Hagener (2011) and Katherine Groo (2012) with regard to this development, it becomes increasingly urgent to understand how and if the appropriations of digitised films in these formats confirm, challenge or reformulate understandings of film history.

Addressing this debate and the concerns it expresses, I have established the bibliography below with the aim of enhancing the overview of emerging uses of digital methods in film historical research amongst film and media scholars. I have called it “Digital Film Historiography – A Bibliography” to align it to the sub-field of “Digital Historiography” which has existed in the discipline of history for well over a decade and 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)

My hope in making this bibliography is that the aforementioned formats can indeed be recognized as secondary sources of film history and contribute to the scholarly discussion about their theoretical implications. The bibliography is updated regularly.

Last updated: July 12, 2017.

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Audiovisual Essays, Found Footage and Remix Culture

CD-Roms, Historical-Critical DVD Editions and Annotation

Stylometry, Cinemetrics and Authorship Attribution

New Cinema History: Databases, GIS and 3D Visualization

Online Collections, Presentation and Curation

Digital Film Restoration and Historiography

Scientific Visualization, Visual Studies and Epistemology

Digital Exhibition Design and Museology

  • 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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