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Sound & Vision (Beeld en Geluid), The Netherlands


The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid) is one of the largest audio-visual archives in Europe.


Co-ordinators: Lotte Belice Baltussen, Johan Oomen

About Sound and Vision
The Institute preserves a major part of the Dutch audio-visual heritage and makes it accessible to potential users. The collection totals over 700,000 hours of television, radio, music and film. But the Institute is more than just a collection. Apart from functioning as an audio-visual archive for the national broadcasting corporations and others, it also offers a unique media experience for its visitors.
Sound and Vision focuses on collecting and preserving most of the audio-visual heritage of the Netherlands and making it available to as many users as possible.
The Institute’s collection forms an important part of the Dutch cultural heritage. Programme makers use parts of the collection for new programmes and the archive is a unique source of information for research, not only for students and academics, but also for journalists, international production companies and broadcasting organisations.
New material is added to the Sound and Vision collection on a daily basis. The Institute is responsible for keeping the collection in optimal condition, for both present and future use. Digitalisation is an essential part of this preservation, both for efficient long-term management and for making the collection accessible.

ECLAP content

Sound and Vision will contribute videos and images to ECLAP from various collections. The videos are mainly taken from a collection of newsreels and date from from the 1920s to the 1960s. The photos come from a wide variety of Dutch television programmes and showcase performers, puppet shows, dance programmes, television decors and music shows.

Sound and Vision has a unique archive of newsreels. They were made by the production company Polygoon-Profilti from the early 1920s until the 1980s. The newsreels were shown in cinemas every week and contained news items on all sorts of subjects from the Netherlands and abroad. The news items in the so-called ‘Dutch News’ ranged from politics and the Dutch royal family to sports and floods. They contain large historic events like the crowning of Queen Beatrix, the German occupation in WWII and the North Sea flood of 1953, but also items on smaller subjects like folklore, hobbies and pets. Thus, the collection gives a broad overview of life in the Netherlands in the 20th century.

Theatre performers from the Netherlands and from abroad were among the many people who starred in these newsreels. One of the people who appeared in the newsreels was the Austrian operetta star Marga Graf. Besides touring Switzerland, Germany and other European countries, Graf found her second home in the Netherlands in the 1910s and 1920s. In 1922 she gave a performance in front of the camera:


International stars also frequented the Netherlands during the Holland Festival. This international festival of theatre, music, dance, opera and film has taken place every year since 1947. In 1951, for instance, the ballet dancer Tamara Toumanova and the English opera singer Kathleen Ferrier performed during the festival. The Polygoon cameraman was there when they arrived at Schiphol Airport:

Dutch artists were also held in high regard. So when the famous Dutch actor Johan Kaart celebrated his 40 years on stage jubilee, the cameras from Polygoon were there. Kaart starred in a range of productions during his career, such as De Jantjes, Ciske de Rat and the Dutch version of My Fair Lady. Since 1975 an award carrying his name is awarded every year to the someone who has made an outstanding achievement in the field of comedy theatre.   


The photograph collection of Sound and Vision contains over two million photographs of programs which have been made through fifty years of Dutch broadcasting. These images contain a lot of important information about broadcasting history, especially since sometimes the pictures are the only remnant in cases when the recordings themselves have been lost. They also depict behind-the-scenes events and rehearsals of famous Dutch performers. An example of the importance of the photo collection are the ones from the comedy show Yes nurse, no nurse, one of the most famous Dutch television shows of the 20th century. The show was broadcast from 1966 to 1968 and centers around the residents of the retirement home of nurse Klivia.

Most of the episodes have been lost or were never recorded. However, the archive of Sound and Vision contains photos of most of the episodes of this popular television comedy.

The first twenty years of Dutch television (1951- 1970) a lot of theatre productions were adapted for the small screen. With slight changes, these productions were played live in front of a camera. A nice example is the program called Ballet-intermezzo, in which three dancers perform a pas de trois on music from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.

Photographs of performances in pop programs are also a big part of the collection. Toppop was a very popular pop program between 1970 and 1988. It was the fist weekly programmed show about pop music on the Dutch television. A lot of national en international stars have performed on the Toppop stage. In 1974 the internationally known Dutch rock band Golden Earring performed in Toppop.

That same year singer David Bowie played in front of the Toppop cameras.

Licenses and permissions
All pictures and videos contributed by Sound and Vision to the ECLAP portal are available under a Creative Commons - Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Netherlands ported license.
This means you are free:
- to copy, distribute and transmit the work
- to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:
- Attribution: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
- Share alike: If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

If you would like to re-use the images or videos under other conditions than as described above, or if you would like to obtain a higher resolution copy, please contact our Sales department:

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