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ARA Campus. The Audiovisual Research Archive Campus – a demonstrator for the production, description and publishing of digital audiovisual archives. Domain of expertise: Digital humanities – Campus AAR

Archiving, analyzing and sharing audiovisual resources in the humanities and social sciences

ARA Campus. The Audiovisual Research Archive Campus – a demonstrator for the production, description and publishing of digital audiovisual archives. Domain of expertise: Digital humanities

A deployable software infrastructure and a terminology resources center enabling holders of digital records to analyze , republish and make interoperable audiovisual resources .

Objective 1: Creation of a software platform (called in French “Studio Campus AAR”) providing opportunities for people working in the digital humanities to achieve and manage autonomously their personal archives of AV resources.<br /><br />Objective 2: Provision of all users of the Studio Campus AAR platform, of common ready to use conceptual resources for personal archive projects:<br />2.1) generic ontology in human and social sciences, thesaurus and common basic models for indexing AV resources;<br />2.2) customizable dynamic «forms« for the description and ( re) publication of AV corpora ;<br />2.3) possibility of using common standards such as OAI or DCMI and thesaurus (such as RAMEAU of the French National Library) through the implementation of SKOS.<br /><br />Objective 3 : Delivery of a rich library of templates for the ( re) publication of audiovisual corpora as portals, audiovisual records, mash ups , etc.<br /><br />Objective 4 : Implementation of the central Campus AAR portal which will offer:<br />4.1) a central access to all other portals of the same technology and a simplified cross-cutting research based on a common level of cataloging that integrates the OAI standard;<br />4.2) a sustainable access to the applications of the Studio Campus AAR platform.<br /><br />Goal 5 : Work experimentation in close cooperation with stakeholders in the digital humanities in France :<br />5.1) large institutional programs in higher education and research;<br />5.2) individual actors (teachers, researchers, PhD students, ...) and collective actors (research laboratories , ... ) engaged in digital audiovisual archive projects.<br />

The Campus AAR project is composed of four partners:

• ESCoM -AAR FMSH (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme ), which is the project coordinator,
• the company ARMADILLO ,
• the Research Department of the INA (Institut de l'Audiovisuel )
• CERIMES of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education with CHANNEL U
• CCSD and the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) with HAL .

The project consists of 6 tasks.

The first task is devoted to the dialogue between users and technology for defining use cases and their formalization into functional specifications.

The second task is entirely devoted to the modeling of data, both in terms of the development of ontologies, from the point of view of the integration of new taxonomies that will “fuel” the on line terminological resource center of Campus AAR .

The third task is dedicated to the development of the description and indexing tool of audiovisual corpora. The fourth task is devoted to the development of the desktop publishing tool of previously described and indexed audiovisual corpus.

The third and fourth task will see the development of two types of two Campus AAR clients:
1. a “heavy” stand-alone client incorporating all software tools of the Studio Campus AAR
2. a “light” client directly available within a web browser.

The fifth task returns to the user’s world and is devoted to the production of the projects pilots and their evaluation. The purpose of this task is to assess the work done in real conditions with the Studio Campus AAR.

Finally, the sixth task is dedicated to the scientific and technical coordination of the project CAMPUS AAR. The project is headed by a project coordination office (composed of the five project partners) and monitored by a a scientific board composed of 10 personalities working in the digital humanities and social sciences.

Three principal outcomes of the Campus AAR project:

1) Studio Campus AAR - a software solution including media management (upload / download mpg4, jpeg, pdf … files); the analysis (description - indexing) of a single audiovisual resource or corpora of audiovisual resources (video, audio, images, text); the technical and editorial management of audiovisual portals; and the publishing / republishing of audiovisual corpora on a portal ;

2) Campus AAR portal which will include all the resources (software , terminology , explanatory , ... ) necessary to complete a project of audiovisual archives in the humanities and social sciences;

3) A set of pilots in form of portals of audiovisual archives entirely realized with Studio Campus AAR.

The socio-economic and cultural context in which positions the CAMPUS AAR project is characterized as follows:

1) In the «academic world «, a growing number of actors are making more and more systematic use of digital audiovisual resources land either in order to document concrete field work and activities or to collect, process, analyze, publish and transmit scientific or more broadly cultural heritage.

2) This is a very recent evolution and part of the new culture of «digital humanities «. It also constitutes an important aspect for a dynamic and innovative knowledge economy where the «academic world « plays a central role as a “strategic market place” of knowledge “production and consumption”: indeed, the «academic world« is one of the main producers of knowledge and it is also one of its principal «consumers« (for its needs in research and development, education and training, …)

3) But without an appropriate working environment, this process is difficult to generalize and does not allow stakeholders to contribute effectively in the production, sharing , exploitation of existing and emerging knowledge.

Given this context, the interest is twofold of CAMPUS AAR project goals:

1) it will provide the academic stakeholders with the necessary tools for producing and disseminating scientific heritage and to transform it in a sui generis intellectual resource tailored for uses in circumscribed social contexts;

2) it will contribute to a better understanding of the knowledge economy for the «academic world« in facilitating the:
• identification of new sectors of the knowledge and intellectual creativity industry;
• definition of new skills related to the analysis and the expertise of (scientific and cultural) AV content and distribution;
• identification of new forms of use and exploitation of AV resources.

The CAMPUS AAR consortium has the intention:
a) to organize an international conference on audiovisual archives in the digital humanities in Paris in the first half of 2016 ;
b ) to publish a collective technical and didactic manual for future users of the Studio Campus AAR.

In addition, training courses will be organized in the second half of 2015.

Anyone interested in the activities of the Campus AAR project is invited to visit the blog of the project ( It is dedicated to the dissemination of reports and technical documents, the presentation of the progress of the project’s R & D activities and the ongoing pilot projects. It also disseminates all ongoing training and cooperation activities based on concrete projects of audiovisual archives in digital humanities.

The ARA CAMPUS project takes place in the context of the digital humanities. It is devoted to the central problem of the constitution and use of the scientific heritage of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in form of digital audiovisual archives (AV). By adopting a cognitive and semiotic approach of AV archives (popularized through the slogan of the "linguistic turn" of archives), the ARA Campus project gives a full priority to the analysis of the specific structural (thematic, narrative, discursive, pragmatic, visual and acoustic , ...) characteristics of any AV media. The basic assumption here is that this approach is able to satisfy the multiple needs and expectations of each actor (teacher, researcher, student, doctoral, professional expert, ...) who wants to actively intervene on audiovisual media in order to “transform” it into an intellectual resource properly speaking - in an appropriate resource for specific contexts of use: teaching, research, development of a scientific heritage.
With reference to this general framework, the partners of the consortium of the ARA Campus project intend to coordinate their efforts for 30 months of research and development around five major themes as follows:

Priority 1: Development of a demonstrator of a software platform (called ARA Campus Studio) providing opportunities for (individual or collective) actors in the fields of SSH to achieve and maintain autonomously their personal archives of AV resources.

Priority 2: Provision to any user of the ARA Campus platform with common meta-linguistic (terminological) resources ready for use for a personal archive project:
2.1) a core (“generic”) ontology for the SSH, a common thesaurus and basic models of description/indexing of AV resources;
2.2) work interface composed of interactive "forms" customizable to the specificities in the constitution, description and (re-)publishing of AV corpuses;
2.3) possibility of using common standards such as OAI, DC or LOM, languages and common thesauri (eg LCSH) to improve the usability of an archive based on an interoperable organization of knowledge through the implementation of SKOS.

Priority 3: Provision to any user of the platform ARA Campus platform of a rich library of templates for the (automatic and / or "author") publication of audiovisual corpuses: customized templates for the publishing of AV portals, (semi- automatic) templates for the publishing of video-files, templates for different kinds of access to AV corpus, ...

Priority 4: Implementation of (meta-) AAR Campus portal with:
4.1) a central access to all other portals based on the same technology and a research motor based on a simplified shared catalogue integrating OAI standard;
4.2) (for any identified and authorized user) a sustainable access to all applications of the ARA Campus platform and to all shareable resources.

Priority 5: Close cooperation with main stakeholders in the field of digital humanities in France:
6.1) first category of stakeholders: the major French institutional programs: education, including the UNT UOH, the CERIMES and Canal-U; research including the CCSD (CNRS) and its Open Archives (MédiHal, Hal-Video), ISIDORE, the program IR Corpus and the TGE Adonis; governance: Athena Alliance, Campus Condorcet, PRS Hesam, UNPIDF, network of MSH, ...);
6.2) second category of stakeholders: individual actors (teachers, researchers, PhD students, ...) and collective actors (research laboratories, ...) involved in projects aiming at the constitution and exploitation of - personal - AV archives.

Project coordination

Peter STOCKINGER (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme) –

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


FMSH Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
INA Institut National de l'Audiovisuel
CERIMES Centre de ressources et d'information sur les multimédias pour l'enseignement surpérieur
CCSD-CNRS Centre pour la Communication Scientifique et Directe

Help of the ANR 1,008,416 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2014 - 36 Months

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