Movie-going at the docks

From the early days of the cinema, Flanders boasted among the highest cinema attendance per capita on the continent, while their Dutch neighbors were about the least frequent moviegoers of all Europeans. The aim of the project is to map and explain this remarkable difference in the two neighbouring cinema cultures. Can we explain this disparity by how the cinema industry was organized, or by cultural differences, for instance in the different manifestations of ‘pillarization’ in
both countries?

MEPAD: Mapping European performing arts data

The project MEPAD (Mapping European Performing Arts Data) aims to set up an inventory of existing databases and research projects on film, theatre and music (1600-present), while also identifying key research and valorization partners. By doing this, it is intended to further develop the CREATE research agenda on the data-driven history of performing arts.

Cinema Parisien 3D

Between November 2014 and December 2015, we collaborated on building a 3D visualisation of Cinema Parisien, one of the first permanent cinema theatres in Amsterdam, established in 1910 by cinema owner and distributor Jean Desmet (1875-1956). The project aimed to investigate the affordances of 3D modelling for presenting digital cinema heritage in a comprehensive, evocative form. In addition, it explored the opportunities of 3D visualisation as a research tool for studying the history of cinema. In this presentation, we will demonstrate the final version of the model, explain the research and building process, and reflect on the relevance of 3D visualisation as a tool for the history of cinema-going.


The CINEMAPS project aims to map cinema markets in the Netherlands and Flanders in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in a comparative study, combining a geospatial analysis of cinema density in both areas with data on pillarization, class and the organization and economics of the industry. As such, it will provide an answer to the core question of how the development of the cinema, as a specific cultural industry, interrelates with the social and cultural dimensions of modern public life in The Netherlands and Flanders.

DIGIFIL: Digital Film Listings

DIGIFIL aims to digitise and publish the Dutch “Filmladders” (the weekly listings of movie showtimes at local cinema theatres or other venues). The screenings constitute the focal point of film culture: they are the place where distributors, exhibitors and audiences meet. Collecting information about these encounters yields an invaluable resource for linguists, socio-economic historians and media scholars to study the ways in which cinema-going contributed to the formation of modern societies.

This project builds upon the digitization effort of the Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, henceforth KB). Their current collection, available via Delpher, already contains an impressive set of digitized, segmented and enriched newspapers. The point of DIGIFIL is to improve digitization and enrichment of cultural agendas (mainly the Filmladders) embedded in the newspaper corpus. we use the available digitized materials as a starting point but refine and extend them wherever that is required, using existing tools developed by CLARIAH Work Package 3 (PICCL, TICCL, FROG).

The US Exhibition and Reception of Julien Bryan’s Documentaries for International Understanding, 1947-1985

I am currently researching the distribution, exhibition and reception of the educational documentaries of Julien Bryan (1899-1974) both in and outside the traditional US classroom. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Bryan produced and directed a large number of films on peoples around the world for the US Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CI-AA) and for his own International Film Foundation (IFF). Enjoying wide distribution to classrooms, civic and religious organizations and libraries in the later part of the 20th century, Bryan’s films participated in an American post-World War II cultural formation in which screening and discussing educational film became a key vehicle in the forging of new internationalist identities.

Cinema Culture in Warsaw, 1895/6-1939: A Transnational Perspective

The interdisciplinary project is situated at the intersection of history and film studies. It proposes to explore the heuristic potential of the cross-disciplinary spatial turn by studying the cinema culture in the multi-ethnic city of Warsaw between the emergence of this form of leisure at the turn of the 20th cen-tury and its destruction in the Second World War and the ravages of the Holocaust. is a film archive and database which uses a wiki structure to enable a continuous growth of updated material that include texts and images on Turkish cinema. The basic structure of the database is buillt on Turkish Flm Guide (Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, SESAM: 2008) and IMDb data. Currently the archive includes 500 films  and documentaries, as well as texts on film studies. is part of a larger database project which includes and Established in 2007, is an online public access digital media archive, which uses video as the primary source material.’s features include the ability to do time-based transcribing and annotations, and essentially allows deep and new kinds of access to video material online. which share the same software structure with these two databases hosts: 1) films which are annotatable; 2) texts and documents with embedded videos and images; 3) encyclopedic data and deep metadata about films; 4) interviews, and other documentary images

Enlightened City

Film culture today is the result of a historical process in which movie theatres and film, through economical and ideological lines, became prominent parts of the cultural and social life. This media historic research project focuses on the interaction between the pilarization, the commercial imperative and the concrete film experience. The project works on several crucial items: the exploitation of the movie and image industry vs. the experience, commercial vs. ideological imperatives, top-down vs. bottom-up forces, publicvs. private space and media experience.