Desmet paper collection

Desmet’s business archive is a meticulous documentation of all Jean Desmet’s business activities as well as personal correspondence and documents beginning in 1875 with Desmet’s birth certificate and ending with files related to his passing in 1956. Desmet’s business archive was acquired stepwise by the Filmmuseum in 1957, 1962, 1968 and 1970. It contains approximately 120.000 documents. The content of the business documents is described in Piet Dirkx’ film archival aid (available here), an inventory completed in 2011 which allows for navigating between personal and film-related documents.

The EYE film museum makes available the EYE Jean Desmet paper collection in its entirety via the CLARIAH Media Suite. Moreover, thanks to research done at the CREATE project (University of Amsterdam), experimental OCR has been added. For more detailed information about these experiments see:

Kisjes, I., & Olesen, C. (2018). OCR’ing and classifying Jean Desmet’s business archive: methodological implications and new directions for media historical research – DH2018. Presented at the Digital Humanities 2018. Retrieved from

This collection can be accessed via the Media Suite thanks to a collaborative effort between the researchers of the MIMEHIST research pilot project, the development team of the Media Suite, the curators at EYE, and CREATE at the University of Amsterdam.

For more information on the Jean Desmet collection visit the EYE website:

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Maintainer Willem Melder
Last Updated June 26, 2018, 10:04 (Etc/UTC)
Created June 19, 2018, 12:21 (Etc/UTC)
Data disclaimer This dataset has undergone processing before it was uploaded to this register. Examples of possible processing operations are: filter, transform, enrich, clean, interpret, combine or reconciliate.
Data operations applied filter, merge, OCR
Data processing details 1. An Excel file provided by EYE (containing the same data as the archival finding aid, i.e., folder-level metadata) was cleaned up. 2) The folder-level metadata was assigned to the individual images in each folder. 3) The digital images were made available in a IIIF server. 4) The folder-level metadata was assigned to each image according to the folder it corresponded to. 5) The OCR enrichments were added to each image.
es_index eye-desmet-papers2