Unique Collection of Censorship Material

More than 6.500 digitised film-censorship related documents from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s are now available in a specially created online repository. This unique collection, featuring protocols of the national censorship boards, censorship cards, contemporary press articles, title and dialogue lists as well as film stills, provides significant insights into the production and reception of films at that time. The documents do not only illustrate well-known cases of censorship from this period, such as "Battleship Potemkin" or "All Quiet on the Western Front". They also provide information about less famous films or film works that are now considered lost. In some cases, these censorship documents are the only remaining contemporary reference to these lost films. Apart from their significance as source for (film)historical research, the censorship certificates often represent an invaluable resource for film archivists who are working on the restoration or reconstruction of a film work.

The collection had been assembled from various film and state archives by Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF, Filmarchiv Austria and Národní filmový archiv in the framework of the EU-funded project "COLLATE: Collaboratory for Annotation, Indexing and Retrieval of Digitized Historical Archive Material". COLLATE, running from 2000-2003, created a collaborative online working environment for cataloguing, indexing and annotating those documents. However, after the end of the project, the assembled material had only been available within a closed system. In order to bring the material back online for the project EFG – The European Film Gateway, Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF joined forces with experts from the Department of Multimedia and Internet Applications at the FernUniversität in Hagen, who migrated the stock to a new public online system. Full-scale search and access of the collection are now possible again.