Key Takeaways: Discussing the Impact of COVID-19 on Archive Researchers.

Archive Valley’s international panel of archive researchers

A month ago, at Archive Valley, we’ve run our first webinar that was fully dedicated to our international community of archive researchers. We organized this webinar to connect archive researchers across the globe and bring light on what the industry has been experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The panel brought together 5 archive researchers from different countries. And, as it is standard at Archive Valley, we used this discussion as an opportunity to shed an international perspective on current events bridging distance-gaps.

Discover our selection of take-aways, from 5 different perspectives.


Rich Remsberg (U.S.A.) tells us that production has completely changed; the focus is now on editing, scripting, and researching rather than film shooting. And as a consequence many archival dormant projects have suddenly awaken as they recently sold offering new opportunities for archive researchers and archival driven stories. 

That being said, both Stephanie Jenkins and Rich are concerned for the success of smaller archives during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stephanie, industry giants like ESPN or NBC are powering on, yet smaller archive libraries are finding ways to stay afloat


For Laura Tusi (Argentina), lockdown has proven to be an ideal moment for developing new projects in the documentary, and this, as a result, had brought her lots of new work.

On the other hand, Laura voices how difficult it has been during the lockdown to access the footage. She expressed concerns about closing deals. If nobody is in the office (as archivists work remotely) it is difficult to negotiate and secure a project.


Stephen Maier reported how creative collaboration in Germany has been maintained, even from a distance and through the chaos of lockdown. As a new freelancer, his personal experience of archive research during these difficult times has been full of networking (virtually) and building connections.

In Germany, archive research seems to be moving along as usual with minimal slowdowns. “Because [new] streamers [and broadcasters] need fresh content, filmmakers are selling their old programs…”. Personally, he says, he had lots of work in renegotiating right extensions of old programs for streamers. 


Alessia Petitto from Italy express both her excitement and concerns. She sees that currently in Italy, the demands for archival driven projects is rising. But  COVID-19 has financially affected Italy’s film industry since it is linked to a struggling national capital pool. Alessia points out how the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic might affect the film industry in Italy even well past lockdown.

Alessia strongly believes that home movies will play a major role in archival driven stories. Home movies will be out next week webinar topic.

While the pandemic has seriously impacted the documentary industry, the lockdown brings as well new opportunities for archival driven stories worldwide“.

Archive Valley - Access Archive Footage Worldwide
©Archive Valley 2020

Leave a Reply