This collection of amateur and home movies is a cultural treasure trove that, until recently, was a virtually unknown source for researching and teaching twentieth-century Lower Austrian history. The over 70,000 rolls of film in the collection provide a variety of analytical viewing opportunities beyond the study of history. Movies can also be examined from a sociological, film studies, artistic, or local history point of view. The wide variety of movies portray events and rituals as well as social and technological (cinematic) developments. Despite their similarities, they also express something uniquely personal and creative about the filmmakers.
In the first phase of the project to catalogue the collection, the project team from Forschungsnetzwerk Interdisziplinäre Regionalstudien (first) managed to establish an overview of the entire collection. Collaboration with local and international researchers and archivists who work with amateur, home and family movies played an important role in this phase. A two-day symposium with the title “Bewegte Landbilder” (Moving Pictures of the Country), which focused on this, was held in October 2019 in Haus der Geschichte at the Museum Niederösterreich in St. Pölten.
At the symposium, the project team presented the three following pilot studies, which reflect how the movie collection can be used to study the history and culture of Lower Austria.
Our Films Are Writing History.