EBU LAUNCH ESC DIGITAL ARCHIVE IN MAY
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Eurovision Song Contest Online Archive, which aims to store a copy of every song ever performed during the event’s 59 year history, will open for testing in May ahead of this year’s event in Copenhagen.
Members of the EBU Community will be asked to contribute copyright guidance, and transfer digital copies of local versions of their final broadcasts to the technical platform, constructed with help from Danish Member DR, this year’s Contest host.
Professional Users will be asked to test and provide feedback on the platform. This follows Member requests for access to historical editions of the ever popular contest. Full access will be given to broadcasters and producers next year when the contest celebrates its 60th anniversary.
After searching for a platform flexible enough to handle the different technical needs of Members, Project manager Jeroen Depraetere said the EBU discovered DR’s ‘open-source’ solution known as the Cultural Heritage Archive Open System (CHAOS).
“An important aspect for any archive is that it be sustainable and accessible in whatever form broadcasters require,” Mr Depraetere said. “With all the various languages, video codecs and archive software out there, the challenges were considerable. We were pleased to have found DR’s CHAOS platform, and in particular, to be working with a fellow EBU Member to preserve the heritage of Europe’s oldest, and most beloved TV show.”
Mr Depraetere says a substantial amount of work has already been done. “We have digitized what we had available in our archive in Geneva,” he said, “but the job is far from complete. Most of the material existed on VHS tape, which is unsuitable for professional use. Now we are set-up, we expect to pick up speed as Members make their contribution. Our goal is to have at least one copy of the nearly 1,500 songs and interval acts that were performed during the ESC’s history.”
“We are also hoping that the buzz the archive creates and the momentum of this year’s contest will lead us to the ESC ‘Holy Grail’ – the lost final broadcasts of the very first edition in 1956 and the lost edition of 1964,” he said.