>> View CRB collections on EFG The Cinémathèque Royale is one of the most important archives in Europe and in the world, due to its collections, its activities in exhibiting and distributing archival films across Europe, its role in the International associations of Archives (FIAF, ACE), its technical staff who has a history of breakthrough research in film restoration, and its activity of research in a network of collaborations via many EU-funded projects in the past 20 years. Its collections (among the largest in Europe) are rich of films and videos (approx. 100.000 hrs), printed documents (3.000.000 items), posters, photos (2.000.000) spanning over the whole film history covering both European and International films, fiction and non-fiction films, documentaries, newsreels, animation.
The archive was also among the first to receive and process deposits of born-digital elements for long term preservation. The activities of the Archive include public access through its three theatres in Brussels (one of which is currently the only 2k D-Cinema installation in central Brussels and is also used for press events and previews), and other programs in other towns as well; an active program of film loans and film distribution serving a large number of theatres, archives, and universities in Belgium and in Europe. The Archive is also an extremely well-known for its prestigious preservation and restoration activity (often in collaboration with other archives and copyright owners in Europe and the US) mainly carried out by its own internal laboratory, which has been recently joined by an ongoing program of digitisation of its film and non-film collections. Two specific services are also active in the field of providing educational services to schools of different levels in Belgium.
By obtaining several special grants from the Federal Government, the CRB is engaged in the transition to digital archiving. CRB has started a program of digitisation of its paper collections (approx. 3.000.000 items are already digitised) and of its film and video collections (more than 5000 items).
The CRB is also actively engaged in a program of Digital Preservation that will handle Long Term Preservation of its digitised collections and of the growing deposits of born-digital elements; the latter are very important because they are all master elements (primary and unique conservation masters) of the most recent cinema and video production in Belgium.
The CRB is also present on social networks, to maintain a communication with the audience interested in its activities. The CRB is also at the centre of a vast network of collaborations with other Archives in Europe and in the rest of the world. Its director has served on several occasions as elected officer in the FIAF – International Federation of Film Archives and has been President of the ACE-Association of the European Archives.
The CRB coordinated European projects as “Archimedia” (in the context of the Programme Media) and the IST Project “FIRST”. It was a partner in other projects, most notably in the ICT project “EDCINE”.