With EFG1914, a major European co-operation project enters a new phase: Within the last three years (2008-2011), The European Film Gateway became a frequently used web portal for finding films and film-related material from the film archives and cinémathèques of Europe. Now, the follow-up project EFG1914 was kicked off. It officially started on 15 February and will run for two years. 26 partners contribute to the project. It will digitize up to 650 hours of film from and about World War I, and make the digitized film collections available on the Internet through the European Film Gateway and the European digital library Europeana (www.europeana.eu).
During the 1910s, a considerable amount of film material was produced, covering the events of the Great War. Today, the largest part of this historical material is considered lost: About four fifths of the contemporary film production are estimated to not have survived until today. Many of the preserved films still rest only on analogue film and therefore access to these films remains cumbersome and costly. With the digitisation carried out in EFG1914, access will become easier and more efficient. The films are expected to become available over the next two years, just in time for the 2014 centenary of World War I. At the same time, the project serves as a means of facilitating good practices of film digitization and digital preservation by pooling the individual archives’ considerable experience in this field.