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The Australian National University

History, Cinema, Digital Archives Conference

Dates: 23-25 July, 2014

Venue: Sir Roland Wilson Building (#120), McCoy Circuit, ANU

Convenor:  Emeritus ProfessorJill Julius Matthews E:

Since the advent of cinema in the mid-1890s, a series of technological developments has reconfigured visual reproduction in terms of screens, projection methods, architectural spaces of exhibition, and the economics and sociability of viewing. There have been intense moments of rupture when new configurations have superseded old: corporate management overwhelming small-time entrepreneurs; synchronised talking pictures eradicating silent; multiplexes engulfing single-screen venues; intimate viewing displacing public; digital formats driving out celluloid. In the early decades of the 21st century, it is the last of these, still underway, which compels notice and focuses attention on the future of infinitely morphing platforms. But let us not forget the screen’s past and the effect of the digital revolution on research into its history. Cultural and film historians, archivists and visual creators are all exercised by the spectre of dead media and the enchantment of new insights and methodologies.

  • How is historical research on cinema and visual culture changing as it confronts the deluge of readily accessible digitised material that once were films, newspapers, magazines, ephemera? What are the new research agendas?
  • Has the digital revolution affected the history of the visual culture of modernity, analogically or substantively?
  • What are the consequences of researching virtual rather than original material?
  • What is at stake for film archives’ custodianship of visual heritage faced with increasing demands for (selective) digital access, copyright restrictions, and always limited finance?
  • What is the status for the historian of the non-digitised film/document/artefact? And what is the status for the archivist of the original after digitisation?

Revised Program


Registration and Payment now available

Full Registration $100.00

Student Registration $50.00

One day only Full Registration $50.00

One day only Student Registration $25.00



University House

A selection of standard twins and queen suites has been booked. The rate on a standard twin is $152 per night bed and breakfast and on a suite $167 per night bed and breakfast. Please call  6125 5275 or 6125 5276 Monday to Friday 8:30 – 5:30. Please quote 'History, Cinema, Digital Archives' when booking.


Breakfree Capital Tower


Diamant  Hotel New Acton


Canberra Restaurants

For further information, contact the Convenor:

Professor Jill Julius Matthews, ANU. E:

Administration: E:


Updated: 21 July 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration