Swiss Weekly Newsreel can now be searched for visual content

Bern, 08.02.2024 - The Swiss Federal Archives have launched the online research tool Archipanion for the Swiss Weekly Newsreel. News reports can now be searched for visual content using artificial intelligence.

The new Archipanion platform can be used to search for visual content in the 1,651 editions of the Swiss Weekly Newsreel, with a total running time of more than 200 hours. It uses vitrivr, an open-source multimedia search engine developed by the Databases and Information Systems research group at the University of Basel.
Machine learning enables Archipanion to locate images from within the film footage. Users enter search terms such as “colour film of a classroom” or “animals in the snow” to find relevant images when they occur in the news reports. Archipanion can also be used to locate text content displayed in news reports, by means of automatic text recognition. This additional search function allows users to explore previously undiscovered content.
The Swiss Weekly Newsreel were shown before the main feature in Swiss cinemas between 1940 and 1975. Reports commissioned by the Federal Council contained news from the worlds of politics, culture, technology, sport and entertainment. In 2018, as part of a joint project, Cinémathèque suisse, Memoriav and the Swiss Federal Archives made the Weekly Newsreels available online in German, French and Italian.

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Swiss Federal Archives