Desmet Poster Collection

This is the Jean Desmet Poster collection of The EYE Film Institute in The Netherlands (EYE), one of the most important Dutch audiovisual archives, which preserves and presents both Dutch and foreign films screened in the Netherlands.

The Jean Desmet collection "consists mainly of an exceptional group of films, company documents, posters and film stills from the 1910s. The collection contains a large number of unique film prints including many masterpieces that were formerly presumed lost. It also exceeds the boundaries of film history and has great value for the socio-historical description and appreciation of one of the most important decades in modern history as it reflects cinematographic changes and many stories about the 1910s that still need to be unveiled" (UNESCO). It was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2011 because of its special historical value.

"The content of this [poster] subcollection is today acknowledged as extremely rich and unique in terms of understanding the period’s use of posters for the promotion of films as well as for reflecting contemporary ideas about modernity and sensational topics (Olesen, MIMEHIST project deliverable).

The following figures give answers to common questions about the composition of this collection:

What part of the collection is included in the Media Suite?

The Desmet Collection contains approximately 1100 posters donated to the Filmmuseum in 1957. All posters' metadata have been made accessible by EYE via the Media Suite.

What years does the archive cover?

The EYE Jean Desmet Poster collection includes posters between 1906 and 1919.


Figure 1: Distribution of Jean Desmet posters over time Note: for some reason, some posters that are not part of the Desmet collection came as part of the data dump which the Media Suite provides access to (in the graphic, from 1970 to 1999). The Media Suite team is working currently on fixing this issue.

How and how often is the data updated in the Media Suite?

The collection's metadata is made available via the Media Suite by EYE via an export (dump) from the EYE catalogue.

The latest update to the Media Suite's data from EYE Jean Desmet film collection has been done in July, 2018.

What portion of the collection is digital?

"916 of the posters in the Jean Desmet Collection have been digitised and made available through the European Film Gateway in high-resolution (HD). This does not comprise all of the posters in the collection. The reason for this is that there were specific requirements for the digitisation of the posters which excluded some. Posters that were too large could not be included in this project because of scanner capacity. For instance one poster of 2,3 metres x 4 metres could not be digitised within the project because it was too large. Approximately 1,2 metres x 1,6 metres was the maximum size. However, a second copy of this particular poster which was available in eight parts and still in need of repair could be included. In total, approximately 20-30 posters (“enkele tientallen”) were excluded because of these requirements. Of these posters, there are low-resolution photos available in the database, which we would be able to include in the Media Suite." (Olesen, MIMEHIST project deliverable).

Figure 3: Percentage of posters that is digital over time

Does the collection include enrichments?

This collection does not include any enrichments at this moment.

Where to find more information?

How to search in this collection?

To search the content of this collection, use the Media Suite’s Search tools.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated October 12, 2021, 10:03 (CEST)
Created November 10, 2017, 15:19 (CET)
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