Sparking ideas, making connections: digital film archives and collaborative scholarship

Sarah Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Film archiving is a rapidly changing field as a result of the accelerating development of online digital technologies. Taking as its case study the example of SP-ARK (1), the Sally Potter online film archive, this article proposes a notable shift from the traditional single-user archive model to emerging multi-user, collaborative forms of archival scholarship. The digital preservation and presentation of archival materials dramatically impact upon the nature of the types and levels of access to primary film materials and their associated ephemera that are afforded. Moreover, the nature of the discoveries, insights and findings that can be made through online digital interfaces are radically altered. In what follows, I will explore the SP-ARK model, both through close analysis of the archive itself, and also through an empirical user study of students who access the archive for their studies. I will argue for a re-thinking of archival process design and will contend that, in an ever-shifting digital landscape, the archival planning for future feature-film projects might be usefully considered at the earliest stages of the production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrames Cinema Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2012

Bibliographical note

© 2012 The Author


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