Review: Marianne Englert, Eckhard Lange, Heiner Schmitt & Hans-Gerhard Stülb (Eds.) (2002). Vernetzungen. Archivdienstleistungen in Presse, Rundfunk und Online-Medien [Cross-Linkings. Archive Services in Press, Broadcast and Online Media]

Martin Welker


The book "Cross-Linkings"—edited by ENGLERT, LANGE, SCHMITT and STÜLB—is a compilation of 30 papers which were presented by their authors at three successive annual meetings of the German speaking media librarians: 1997 (Berlin), 1998 (Würzburg) and 1999 (Salzburg, Austria). The main focus of the compilation is on the Internet revolution and changing ways of dealing with information and data, especially text-articles, photos, sound and films. These documents are stored extensively by private and public media companies in press archives as well as in picture and TV libraries. In the past archive administration used to be centralized—unique staff was responsible for key-wording, storing and searching the material. Journalists had to rely mainly on librarians to carry out in-house searches. Then, the development of the Internet gave more power to the user: the search and the use of media documents were decentralized and became much easier. Now journalists (and ordinary users as well) are able to do the job for themselves. The book "Cross-linkings" discusses the transition to an Internet and user-driven information society from the viewpoint of the librarians. It is made clear that during the years 1995-2000 that traditionally self-reliant archives had to become open to the world. The following trends are identified as vital: digitalization, integration (multimedia), internationalization, and user-empowerment. What is to become of the people working in archives and libraries and what about technical requirements and new cost-saving strategies for media companies? The reorganization of archives (because of digital integration), regulation and laws on reproduction (because of digital dematerialization) and the need for archives for working together (because of globalization) were examined and discussed at the above mentioned meetings. Unfortunately the compilation is not very systematic. The book has some deficiencies: a) the papers were obviously not very well prepared for publication, b) there is no bibliography, c) there is no index, d) some articles indulge in lengthy discussions about the society of media librarians (Verein zur Fortbildung der Medienarchivare und -dokumentare), and e) the contents of many articles is now out of date. In the end, this book may be a "document" in itself (in a time of fast transition), but not a good source for students or lectures.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0403161


archive; content; journalism; digitalization; Internet