New Publications

Latest Issue of “Synoptique” about Moving Image Archival Training

SYNOPTIQUE : An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies 6:1

Institutionalizing Moving Image Archival Training:
Analyses, Histories, Theories


To speak of moving image archiving as a professional field with practitioners who have completed vocational training is a recent phenomenon. Numerous specialized degrees emerged since the late 1990s and early 2000s that prepare their graduates to work with all kinds of moving images in diverse institutional settings, ranging from local and national archives and museums to software developers and media corporations, among others.

This institutionalization of university-based archival training stemmed from an increased interest in moving image heritage, the expansion of archival networks, and the need to equip students with applicable expertise for careers in the cultural industries. They also emerged in a publicized awareness of the alleged crisis of the moving image in times of the increasing digitization of cultural heritage (Cherchi Usai 2001; Elsaesser 2016).

This issue tries to consider and reflect on the field’s status today and yield critical insights into its histories and current ramifications. It aims to historicize and investigate the material, intellectual, and institutional history of archival training within and beyond university settings, while also offering an overview of new directions. Ultimately, the aim of this issue is to develop a better understanding of the social, political, and cultural forces that have shaped and defined archival training in the past and present and nourish continued critical reflection.

More than the institutionalization of established “best practices”, archival training’s different departmental homes within the humanities, social sciences, and sciences indicate differences in ontological and epistemological conceptualization of moving images and their role in culture. As such, this issue asks how archival training theoretically and practically impacts archives as sites of study as well as central spaces where moving image culture is collected, preserved, and displayed. Prominent practitioners and theorists provide answers to these questions
by offering insights into the multifarious turns and directions that the field has taken in the past few decades, and where it may go in the future.


To the online issue

Table of Contents :


Christian Gosvig Olesen, Philipp Dominik Keidl

Is Film Archiving a Profession Yet? Reflections 20 years on

Is film archiving a profession yet? A reflection – 20 years on
Ray Edmondson
What Price Professionalism?
Caroline Frick
Interdisciplinarity, Specialization, Conceptualization
Eef Masson, Giovanna Fossati
What Do We Profess To?
Benedict Salazar Olgado
The History of The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation: Changing the Field
Caroline Yeager


Multiplying Perspectives
Alejandro Bachmann
Learn then Preserve
Simone Venturini
The Current Landscape of Film Archiving and How Study Programs Can Contribute
Adelheid Heftberger

Forum Section

A Look Back: The Professional Master’s Programme in Preservation and Presentation
Thomas Elsaesser
Minding the Materiality of Film: The Frankfurt Master Program
Sonia Campanini, Vinzenz Hediger, Ines Bayer
The Materiality of Heritage: Moving Image Preservation Training at HTW Berlin
Ulrich Ruedel, Martin Koerber
Upholding Tradition: The MA Program at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Oliver Hanley
Education Through International Collaboration: The Audiovisual Preservation Exchange (APEX) program
Pamela Vizner, Juana Suarez
Learning From the Keepers: Archival Training in Italian Cinematheques
Rossella Catanese

Book Reviews

Review of Film History as Media Archaeology
Giuseppe Fidotta
Review of Hollywood and the Great Depression
Andrée Lafontaine

Notes on Contributors

Notes on Contributors
Synoptique Editorial Board

Call for Papers

Call for Papers
Synoptique Editorial Board