Since its inauguration in 1975, de Appel presented 1131 events and exhibitions, made in collaborations with 29.682 people, 945 collectives, and 4.134 institutes from 436 cities and 68 countries. It had 6 directors, and 5 interim directors, and occupied 7 different addresses in Amsterdam and had at least one nomadic period. The Archive of de Appel today has around 13.188 books, 3.043 magazines, 469 videos and films, 266 audio recordings, 221 posters, 191 artworks, 113 articles and innumerable photographs.
De Appel Archive tells a multitude of stories about De Appel’s living past and lively present through books, ephemera, video, audio, manuscripts, correspondence, witness reports and art.
The documentation centre that the founder of De Appel, Wies Smals, started in 1975 is now known as De Appel Archive. The archive is constantly being expanded with records like books, ephemera, video, audio, manuscripts, correspondence, witness reports and art works of exhibitions and performances, but also of lectures, symposia, informal presentations, conversations and other events.
Biblio-graph is a web application for cultural libraries and archives that want to open their collections and make them more accessible and discoverable for a wider audience. It works as an interaction layer on top of existing databases.
Biblio-graph is part of an ongoing method to translate the collections of cultural libraries and archives into data, using the Mobile Archive Unit as a bridge between the physical and the digital archive. Once a reader places a publication on the Mobile Archive Unit, the system automatically recognizes it, captures an image, and saves it to the publication record in the database. It works like a copy machine, people make copies to read later, but in this case, pages become part of the metadata and become available online as an entry point to the collection.
There are two views available.
In the Timeline View, publications placed in the Mobile Archive Unit show up in real-time in chronological order. In addition, it offers a history of all pages added by the community. This view gives an idea of what people read in the library over time.
The Map View gives an overview of all the objects in layers and a browsing option. In both views, readers can build their graph view of the collection and explore the relations between titles, authors, artists, collectives, publishers, museums, and cultural institutes.
Publications become part of Biblio-graph page by page. The purpose is not to digitize complete publications nor to offer a reader of books. Instead, Biblio-graph is a way to map, browse, navigate, and read the entire archive as a network of relations. It is an ongoing process: the collection as data is constantly in the making.
In our following update, pages will become available for annotation to enrich the digital representation of a publication with data extracted from the content. Another functionality we are working on is the possibility of exporting datasets of the collection, which the institute wants to make accessible to the community.
Every archive has a story to tell. In the current version, the reader will find de Appel Archive Amsterdam. Soon it will be available for other collections.
Biblio-graph is a work-in-progress and an art project. It promotes digital literacy, research, and educational purposes without commercial interests. With a growing focus on digitization, it is crucial to consider digital collections' resilience. Can we measure the environmental cost of digital applications? Who pays the cost of the digital? Until when? We see biblio-graph as a transitory space in which we explore the possibilities of digital archives and a way out of it simultaneously. Our concept is that the collection as data is every day better than the day before, and we are always ready to export the data and turn it into books again.
Archival Consciousness was initiated by artist Mariana Lanari and graphic designer Remco van Bladel to collaborate with libraries and archives in cultural institutions. We work in close collaboration with archivists to implement methods and infrastructure to turn their collections into data. We are interested in the long term preservation and dissemination of physical archives, in connection with the digital archive. The digital component of archives, their databases, are the starting point of our work. We are developing a shared and community driven graph that acts as an interaction layer on top of the existing databases of libraries and archives. In this way, we bring linked-data aggregation to the application layer, to serve the user in the frontend, subverting its current use intended for search engines. This will facilitate browsing and navigation through explorative features of graph algorithms.
Data Architecture • Mariana Lanari
Design • Remco van Bladel
Design assistants • Julia Waraksa, Mathijs Affman
UI/UX and front-end development • Joes Koppers, USE.media
Back-end development • Paul Jongsma, Webtic
Curator de Appel Archive • Nell Donkers
Technical Support de Appel • Jan Jaap Spreij
Staff Archive de Appel: Mohamad Dib, Jacquine van Elsberg, Jan van Geem, Judith de Bruyn, Matt Hinkley, Artemis Christidi, Lynn Salentijn, Harald van Eck.
Curatorial Program: Monika Georgieva, Chala Westerman, Ka-Tjun Hau, Melissa Appleton.
RFID tagging: Lotte Donkers, Thomas van den Hoorn, Annepiet Nouwen, Elle Horsselenberg, Jade Poolen, Emma Vermeyerek, Edith van Kan, Danai Giannoglou, Liza Nijhuis, Lucie von Eugen, Clara Tibery.
Archival Consciousness is part of ACKnowledge, Art Routes from the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA), 2020 and supported by Creative Industries fund NL, Digital Culture program and MediaFutures. This project has received funding from the European Union’s framework Horizon 2020 for research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951962