This morning (September 14th) the Irish Film Institute (IFI) launched their new IFI Player, a virtual viewing room for giving global audiences instant access to the Irish Film Archive.

The IFI Irish Film Archive collects, preserves and shares  Ireland’s national moving image collection, a diverse resource that chronicles over one hundred years of Irish achievement and experience. The Archive collection spans 1897 to the present day, and the cameras of filmmakers have captured the development of modern Ireland in a uniquely accessible manner.  The most important social, political and historical events of the last century are represented, enabling Irish people to explore our cultural identity and connect with the past.

The IFI Player is a virtual viewing room for these remarkable collections, giving audiences across the globe instant access to this rich heritage. The material on the IFI Player has been selected to give audiences a taste of the breadth and depth of the collections preserved by the Archive. Home movies, newsreels, travelogues, animations, feature films, public information films and documentaries have been included as they have tried to reflect all aspects of indigenous amateur and professional production.

The project is the result of an extensive Digital Preservation and Access Strategy  developed over several years. When the IFI are choosing titles for inclusion on the IFI Player there are a number of technical and practical considerations. In addition to aiming to include a broad cross section of the material they preserve, they also have to clear each film with the relevant copyright holder and take into account any conservation issues.  The material in the collections goes through a long process of management, preservation and digitisation before they are able to share it with the public. The final clip of film that audiences can access on the player, is the result of months and even years of work by Archive staff.

The IFI Player is a significant step for the IFI and for fans of Irish film, as it truly democratises access to our collections. The IFI looks forward to building on the content over the coming months and years.

The IFI Player is accessible now via ifiplayer.ie.

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