mw. prof. dr. J.J. (Julia) Noordegraaf

Digitaal erfgoed
  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Media & Cultuur
  • Bezoekadres
    BG 2
    Turfdraagsterpad 15  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 1.19
  • Postadres:
    Turfdraagsterpad  9
    1012 XT  Amsterdam
    T: 0205257279

General information

As of 1 September 2012 I have been appointed Professor of Digital Heritage at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Humanities. In this role, I focus on bringing together and promoting research about the reuse and meaning of digital heritage, as well as the impact of digitization on the perception and appreciation of cultural heritage. My own future research will focus on digital source criticism (oriented towards search engines and heritage databases) and the preservation of digital heritage.

This position brings together two of my previous areas of expertise: museum history and theory and media heritage. I obtained a PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam on the history of museum presentation in the visualculture of the 19th and 20th centuries in 2004, and have since then remained interested in the specific challenges and manifestations of exhibiting cultural heritage. After my appointment at UvA in 2003 as director of the international, professional MA programme Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image I shifted my research to the preservation and presentation of audiovisual and digital heritage. I have just edited a book on media art preservation and exhibition (Preserving and Exhibiting Media Art: Challenges and Perspectives , AUP, 2013) and am completing a second monograph (Performing the Archive : Tracing Audiovisual Heritage in the Digital Age, see under research) in which I study the impact of digitization on the epistemology of the audiovisual archive. I (co-)supervise(d) PhD projects on the the preservation and presentation of media and contemporary art, digitization and film historiography, the preservation and exhibition of film sound, the history of the computer in graphic design and the professionalisation of museum docents (with Carla van Boxtel at the Social Science Faculty and with Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum).

In 2010 I worked as a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar and currently serve as Secretary of the NIAS Fellows Association. I am affiliated with the European Association for Digital Humanities, the Netherlands Research School for Media Studies, the Huizinga Institute of Cultural History, the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, and the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies. At present I am member of the Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art Research (NeCCAR) and serve as Board member for CLARIAH, the NWO-funded Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities.

Fields of interest

  • Audiovisual heritage: archiving and exhibiting film, RTV, media art
  • Digitization and Cultural Heritage
  • Digital Humanities
  • Digital Source Criticism
  • Museum history and theory

Archiving Interactive Media

January 2015 marks the start of the NWO KIEM project Archiving Interactive Media (AIM). Within this project, the University of Amsterdam and the public partners LIMA and the Digital Heritage Netherlands Foundation (DEN) work together with private partner Data Matters to research the conservation of digital cultural objects with an interactive, networked, process-based and context dependent character.


These types of objects, like digital art, interactive media productions (interactive documentaries, second screen applications), games or websites are characterized by their dependency on quickly changing techniques, changing user groups and variable cultural-historic contexts. It is difficult to ‘capture’ the distinctive interactivity of these ‘objects’, for instance specific features of artworks that depend for their emergence on the actions of viewers, online games that take shape in a community of gamers, or the navigation of websites through hyperlinks. It is also difficult to conceptually define these ‘objects’ because of their performative character: their form and meaning is reliant on the interaction with the user and the physical and socio-cultural context in which they are made and used and may change over time.


The main objective of this research is to translate existing preservation strategies in a concrete, digital workflow that does justice to the complexity of this digital heritage. The research in this KIEM project serves as a preparation for an application for a Thematic Research project within the Creative Industry Program of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The case study I/EYE (1992), a computer-based, interactive media artwork by the Dutch artist Bill Spinhoven van Oosten, will be used to determine which conceptual description model and existing data-management application is suitable for the conservation of interactive media heritage.


The results will be discussed during two workshops, used for the development of the application for continuation of the research and documented in reports and a scientific publication.

CreAtive Nodes in Amsterdam’s Artefact-actor Networks

The aim of the proposed project is to mashup data from two (and eventually more) distributed cultural heritage resources in a single research tool. The resources in question are the digitalcollection catalog of the Amsterdam Museum (AM) and the ECARTICO database of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The AM hosts one of The Netherlands’ most thoroughly digitized collections, which spans cultural productivity from past to present and from ‘high’ to ‘low’ art. ECARTICO contains structured biographical data on cultural entrepreneurs from the 16 & 17th century Low Countries and their relatives and relations. Combining these resources would result in an artefact-actor-network with a proven research potential for exploring the structure and dynamics of Amsterdam as a creative city in the Dutch Golden Age.

UvA and AM partner with Islands of Meaning, a company specialized in developing innovative tools for e-humanities, to develop a demonstrator-tool to visualize and explore the generated artefact-actor-networks. Two workshops will be organized to discuss ideas, practices and applications, to get in touch with a broader group of stakeholders and to prepare a grant for European funding. The project will be evaluated in an article for a class A academic journal and/or a research paper for a leading conference in this field.

CANAAN is developed within the research project Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective (CREATE) at the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity at UvA. 

CREATE: Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective

The Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity aims to integrate research on culture, identity, and history. The research program ‘Creative Amsterdam: An E-Humanities Perspective’ (CREATE) exemplifies this ambition with digital methods and techniques. It investigates how cultural industries have shaped Amsterdam’s unique position in a European and global context, from the seventeenth century until the present day.

CREATE researchers collect and enrich digital data on the various cultural sectors of Amsterdam, from book publishing to theatre and cinema, link existing datasets, and develop novel search and analysis tools. By doing so, they will develop a central infrastructure for combining, analyzing, and visualizing existing datasets in a network that exposes their relations and interdependencies. This will provide unprecedented means to investigate the role of cultural industries in the emergence, development, and success of creative cities in general, and Amsterdam in particular. 

The research program is carried out in collaboration with the Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH) and the Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam at UvA’s Informatics Institute (ISLA).

Modeling Crowdsourcing for Cultural Heritage

In the past decade, cultural heritage institutions around the world have begun to explore the potential of crowdsourcing: using online platforms to employ the help of audiences in core tasks such as collecting, describing, or curating heritage collections. However, while numerous experiments have taken place, we still lack a comprehensive model for determining which types and methods of crowdsourcing are relevant for which specific purposes. MOCCA aims to develop such a model. Based on the analysis of two current crowdsourcing projects, the project will balance the various methods of crowdsourcing against the purposes of the heritage institutions, and define a set of conditions and requirements. Such a model is much needed: crowdsourcing will most likely become a permanent feature of the workflow of heritage institutions, creating a need for an efficient employment of these forms of user participation and the further development of the technical and organizational infrastructure it requires.

Performing the Archive

(Book project 2010-2011, partly written at NIAS) The proliferation of digital technologies has changed the way we perceive of and use audiovisual archives and their holdings. As Rick Prelinger, founder of the online collection recently pointed out, YouTube has become the standard of what people expect audiovisual archives to be - unlimited online access and activeuser participation have become crucial for an archive's visibility and public existence. Although the institutions still function as the principal gatekeepers - if only because of copyright restrictions -the emergence ofvirtualarchives and online portals is changing the relation between the keepers and users of audiovisual heritage. Every presentation adds new layers of meaning to the material and users are becoming experts, challenging the role of the archivist as principal expert on the knowledge the collection represents.

In this book I investigate the implicationsof this reframing of audiovisualheritageforthe epistemology of the archive. The aim is twofold: first, to provide insight into the consequences of reframing audiovisual heritage for the knowledge the objects represent and second, to propose a re-conceptualization of the audiovisual archive as a space that acknowledges the dynamic, changing meaning of its holdings. I will study a number of cases that demonstrate the various shifts in power and knowledge related to the displacement of audiovisual heritage, from virtual portals of film and television archives to the reuse of archival holdings by artists and filmmakers. The approach is archaeological in that the exploration of virtual portals and archives serves as a starting point for exploring earlier examples that had a similar effect, such as the reuse of colonial film in compilation films and multimedia installations. The theoretical framework comprises ideas from Film and New Media Studies on the meaning of audiovisual heritage, debates from Archival Studies on the power of the archive and studies from the field of Epistemology on the shifts in knowledge that the displacement of audiovisual heritage entails.



  • J. Noordegraaf (2014). Digitization. In M. Kelly (Ed.), Encyclopedia of aesthetics. - 2nd ed. - Vol. 2 (pp. 401-404). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.


  • J. Noordegraaf & A. Noël de Tilly (2013). Epilogue. In J. Noordegraaf, C.G. Saba, B. Le Maître & V. Hediger (Eds.), Preserving and exhibiting media art: challenges and perspectives (Framing film) (pp. 407-413). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • J. Noordegraaf (2013). Part II: Analysis, documentation, archiving: introduction. In J. Noordegraaf, C.G. Saba, B. Le Maître & V. Hediger (Eds.), Preserving and exhibiting media art: challenges and perspectives (Framing film) (pp. 123-125). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • J. Noordegraaf (2013). Introduction. In J. Noordegraaf, C.G. Saba, B. Le Maître & V. Hediger (Eds.), Preserving and exhibiting media art: challenges and perspectives (Framing film) (pp. 11-20). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  • J. Noordegraaf (2013). Case study: The conservation of media art at Tate: an interview with Pip Laurenson (Head of Time-based Media at Tate). In J. Noordegraaf, C.G. Saba, B. Le Maître & V. Hediger (Eds.), Preserving and exhibiting media art: challenges and perspectives (Framing film) (pp. 282-303). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.








  • J. Noordegraaf (2013). De cultuur van het beeld. In J. Tollebeek, J.C. Verstraete & E. van de Perre (Eds.), Onweerstaanbaar veranderlijk: over de cultuur van de wetenschap (pp. 19-24). Leuven: Lipsius Leuven.





  • M. Schep, C. van Boxtel & J. Noordegraaf (2015). Wat je kunt leren van een educatieve museumrondleiding. Cultuur + Educatie, 15 (42), 33-54.




  • J. Noordegraaf (2007). [Review of the book Privat-Vorstellung: Heimkino in Deutschland vor 1945]. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 10(2), 135-137.


  • J.J. Noordegraaf (2006). [Review of the book La Vérité par l'image: De Nuremberg au procès Milosevic]. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 9(2), 112-114.
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