Challenges in Enabling Mixed Media Scholarly Research with Multi Media Data in a Sustainable Infrastructure

See below the presentation I gave on 29-06-2018 at the Digital Humanities 2018 Conference, Mexico City, on the development of the Media Suite, an online research environment that facilitates scholarly research using large multimedia collections maintained at archives, libraries and knowledge institutions. The Media Suite unlocks the data on the collection level, item level, and segment level, provides tools that are aligned with the scholarly primitives (discovery, annotation, comparison, linking), and has a ‘workspace’ for storing personal mixed media collections and annotations, and to do advanced analysis using Jupyter Notebooks and NLP tools.

See the notes for the narrative that goes with the slides. The screencasts that were originally in the slides are not included. I will post these later.

The Media Suite is developed in the Dutch CLARIAH Research Infrastructure project by an interdisciplinary, international team of developers, scholars, and information technology specialists, and is maintained at one of the CLARIAH Centers, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

AV in the spotlight at DH2018

Next year we will have an easy ride to the Digital Humanities Conference as it will be organised in The Netherlands. But this year we’re off to Mexico City to have a “Humanidades Digitales” experience. My first DH conference was in 2011 at Stanford where I presented a poster on “Distributed Acces to Oral History collections: Fitting Access Technology to the Needs of Collection Owners and Researchers” (pdf) based on our experiences with the Verteld Verleden project. I remember I was a bit disappointed that at that time there was not so much interest in Oral History at the conference (and in my poster) nor in audiovisual content as a significant source for scholarly research. Thanks also to the workshops organized at DH in the past years by the AV in Digital Humanities Special Interest Group the topic ‘audiovisual’ in Digital Humanities is emerging. I am very pleased to be able to present our work on the CLARIAH Media Suite at this year’s conference (on Thursday) and show the huge progress the CLARIAH project made in unlocking multimedia content –radio, television, film, oral history, newspapers, contracts, posters and photos– from Dutch archival institutions for scholarly research.



Using open content for a music video

To create some nice music videos for the songs I created for the new Grafton Music album (preview), I fiddled around with the Open Images repository to create a remix that could work as a music video. My first try was for a song called ‘Lighthouse’. Well yes, after querying for ‘lighthouse’ I indeed stumbled upon some lighthouse related stuff. However, creating something exciting out of the beautiful, but the not really overwhelming amount of lighthouse footage, was quite a challenge. So I could say that it’s about the music and the video is ‘just for entertainment’.  On the other hand, the video somehow has a bit of the ’round-and-round-thingie’ you expect with a lighthouse, especially in the last part of the song.

My second try was for Belle Rebelle, a song by the famous French composer Gounod with lyrics (Jean-Antoine de Baïf ) from the late Middle Ages, put in a modern arrangement. As I wanted to follow the storyline of the song a bit, I tried several keywords such as ‘love’ and ‘beautiful’ but that didn’t quite do it. The keyword ‘fashion’ was the lucky shot that brought me some really cool retro footage that I thankfully ‘remixed’ for the music video. See below some outstanding example stills, or watch the video (and share-if-you-like, thank you).  Or try out yourself and dive into some great fashion content.