Open Memory Box
Project in cooperation with Altofilm AB, Université de Montreal and the research association "The media heritage of the GDR" funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Project manager at ZZF: Olaf Berg
Project start: January 2019
The Open Memory Box is a collection of digitized home movies from the former GDR. The films capture special moments such as family celebrations, holidays or marriage and scenes from the everyday life of GDR citizens, but also document the private individuals' view of public events such as parades and holidays.
The collection comprises 2,283 rolls of 8mm film material with a total length of 415 hours from the period 1947 to 1990, taken from 149 families in 102 locations. The archive is accessible online without registration and searchable by 2,700 keywords. The Anti-Archive section provides associative access through thematic automatically generated film montages of two-second film sequences. The Stories section explores the story behind the images of selected film clips in conversation with private filmmakers or their family members.
The Open Memory Box and its innovative visual presentation was designed by Alberto Herskovits and Laurence McFalls and is operated by Altofilm AB. It is a project partner of the BMBF-funded joint project "The Media Heritage of the GDR" (2019 to 2022) and is located here at the ZZF sub-project. In this context, ten films for the Open Memory Box were and are being produced on behalf of the ZZF, in which participating contemporary witnesses comment on the home movies newly composed for this purpose.
Alberto Herskovits: alberto [at] open-memory-box.de
Laurence McFalls: laurence [at] open-memory-box.de
Within the framework of the joint project, another access to the archive of the Open Memory Box is being developed at ZZF, which will make the material accessible to historical scholarship via thematic essays.
Contact at ZZF: Olaf Berg, olaf.berg [at] zzf-potsdam.de