SXSW Interactive 2014

WDR Digit - The Archive of Analog Every Day Life

WDR DIGIT encourages people to search for their self-made films and photos of the last 100 years and to digitize their findings. People upload their files on and share their memories with all users. Others send their paper photos or film rolls to the digit team and we digitize the material for free. WDR is public funded and DIGIT is a public value project. The aim is to prevent unique analogue documents from turning into dust and to preserve them for future generations.

We started in december 2012. In the first six months we digitized and published about 10,000 films and photos.

In order to reach a large number of people and to spread the idea of DIGIT we locally collect films and photos. At the moment we are planning to cooperate with broadcasters in the US in order to start a special project concerning the relationship between Germany and the USA, focusing on the development of the German-American friendship in the post war period since World War II.

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  1. What may be found in German basements and on German attics? Looking back on 18 months of collecting photographs and films we can present the highlights of our work. For example: a clip of a legendary “rocket train”, footage of everyday life during war and of course some touristic views on the US.
  2. What is WDR Digit?
  3. How do we animate the owners of historic photographs and films to dig and share?
  4. What is the benefit for the public and for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) as a German public broadcaster?
  5. How does crowdsourcing work with ‘offliners’? Much of our footage is rather old. Our aim is to collect as much information from contemporary witnesses as possible. Many of them are not familiar with digital equipment or online forms, so we need special solutions to involve them in our process of crowdsourcing.



David Ohrndorf, Online-Editor, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)

Meta Information:

  • Tags: crowdsourcing
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Non-Profit and Activism
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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