Science in its audiovisual diversity – highlights from 30,000 videos in the TIB AV-Portal. Part 2

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We are celebrating the publication of over 30,000 videos in the TIB AV-Portal. In the first part of our trilogy of contributions, we got to know some (statistical) background to the milestone and kicked off the expedition. Let’s continue our little tour to the pearls of the AV-Portal.

Video recommendations from the TIB staff – IWF films from biology, portraits of scientists and more

It is obviously especially the films from the extensive legacy of the former IWF Wissen und Medien gGmbH (previously Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film),) which impress and remain in the memory. (In retrospect, we also recommend to read  the blog article Über 1000 IWF-Filme online im AV-Portal der TIB!) The following selected favourites from TIB colleagues, for example, still bear witness to this today:

Elke Stahl: The Planar Double Pendulum / Otto Hahn Speaks on the History of Uranium Fission, Göttingen, 1956

Peter H. Richter’s and Hans-Joachim Scholz’s experiment on the physical (real images) and mathematical (computer simulations) double pendulum:

Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and „father of nuclear chemistry“ Otto Hahn on uranium fission:

Elke Stahl from the Windows team of the IT department at TIB is very fancied by the visualised mathematics of the video on the plane double pendulum and also recommends the explanations of Otto Hahn, the pioneer of nuclear chemistry and Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 1944.

Julian Franken: Rudolf Hillebrecht, Hannover 1967/68

Architect and urban planner Rudolf Hillebrecht on the reconstruction of Hannover (1967/68):

Julian Franken, active as a research assistant in the ConfIDent project, is impressed and at the same time comments with disillusionment:

Among other things, Hillebrecht describes how the road network was planned for the reconstruction of Hannover. Although at that time there was one car for every 70 inhabitants, planning was already based on 10 inhabitants per car. The capacity of the road network was correspondingly generous by the standards of the time. Despite this, Hannover’s roads are as full as in most other large German cities. The ratio of cars to inhabitants is now closer to 2 inhabitants to one car. Hannover is not designed to have so many cars on its streets. Intuitively, I’ve always known that, but to have confirmation from the person who was instrumental in planning the city is something else again.

Andreas Lütjen: Percy Ernst Schramm, Göttingen 1964/65

Portrait of Percy Ernst Schramm (1964/65):

Andreas Lütjen, Head of Acquisitions and Cataloguing at the TIB,  offers a recommendation from the historical sciences:

The historian Percy Ernst Schramm (1894-1970) presents, among other things, his book Neun Generationen. Dreihundert Jahre deutscher „Kulturgeschichte“ im Lichte der Schicksale einer Hamburger Bürgerfamilie (1648 – 1948), published in 1963 and 1964 in two volumes. Three Hundred Years of German „Cultural History“ in the Light of the Fates of a Hamburg Bourgeois Family (1648 – 1948): „Here on the cover picture are nine head coverings: Hats, helmets and wigs that the last nine generations have had on their heads. I only used my family history as a hook and Hamburg is only the stage.“ Genealogy that goes beyond the mere collection of data and family history that is placed in general history and thus becomes interesting for the general public.

Elke Brehm: Marine Plankton – Gastropoda / Metamorphosis of Aberrant Forms in Sea Urchins (Psammechinus miliaris)

Dieter Fiege’s and Hans-Uwe Dahms‘ study of the snails (2005):

Karl Herrmann’s study of the sea urchin (1976):

Elke Brehm, subject librarian for law and responsible for legal affairs at TIB’s Competence Centre for Non-textual Materials, is enthusiastic about microbiological recordings:

The close-ups of cells and microorganisms professionally produced in the laboratory of the former IWF gGmbH are among the most successful professional film recordings. „Marine plankton – Gastropoda “ and „Metamorphosis of aberrant forms in sea urchin (Psammechinus miliaris)“ are wonderful examples.

Jens Kösters: Thalarctos maritimus (Ursidae) – Leading and Defending the Young

Heinz Sielmann’s study on the behaviour of a polar bear mother with her two cubs (1966):

Jens Kösters is responsible for the ConRec conference recording service at the TIB. He writes enthusiastically:

As a representative of his work, I have chosen Heinz Sielmann’s filmic observation of a polar bear family from 1966. The nature filmmaker Heinz Sielmann was a pioneer in his field, alongside Bernhard Grzimek and Horst Stern. I remember how enthusiastically I sat in front of the television as a child and immersed myself in unknown worlds. In a way, he helped shape my childhood and my awareness of nature. Even today, his films have not lost their fascination – on the contrary. He was not only interested in introducing us to exotic animals, but also in the local flora and fauna. That’s how I first got to know our animal neighbours, their habits and behaviour, through his films. Besides his film work, he was a passionate conservationist. In 1994, he and his wife founded the Heinz Sielmann Foundation based in Duderstadt. The foundation follows the guiding principle „Diversity is our nature“. Its goals include the protection of habitats, educational work and the preservation of cinematic heritage – to which the AV-Portal also makes an important contribution. Sielmann’s impact continues beyond his death in 2006. This heritage must be protected. And I am glad that the work from the former stock of the IWF continues to be available to the public. Species extinction continues apace, our world and the climate are changing. Many animals we know will be gone in 30 years and if only to be marvelled at in the zoo – like the majestic polar bear in this film.

Paul Feindt: X-Ray Sound Film of Speech

Robert Janker: X-ray sound recordings to illustrate the voice production apparatus (1937):

As a research assistant in the Competence Centre for Non-textual Materials, Paul Feindt plays a key role in preparing and making available the IWF’s media holdings and knows them better than anyone else at the TIB. His choice:

This short film, made in 1937 by the radiologist Robert Janker at his institute in Bonn, should not only interest medical professionals. Linguists, speech therapists, artists, historians of science and media also have their own view on these recordings. It is also gratifying that a whole series of Janker’s X-ray films have now been digitised and made available under a CC Commons licence in the AV-Portal. In addition to medical silent films, there are other films with sound on the language as well as a contribution made in the 1950s on the Development and State of X-Ray Cinematography.

That’s a nice conclusion of this second part of our „pearl diving“. Waiting until the third and last part of this series takes not too long …

Celebrate with us!

Of course, we invite you to go on an extensive journey in the AV-Portal. Have you found your favourite video(s)? Feel free to share your choice via the comment function, by email ( or via social media such as Twitter or Instagram by using the hashtag #AVPortal_30k. We look forward to adding your recommendation(s) to the watch list „30.000 Videos in the TIB AV-Portal – Recommendations“.

Continue with the third part of the little tour

... arbeitet seit Mai 2020 an der TIB mit Schwerpunkt Wissenschaftskommunikation besonders als Community Manager für das TIB AV-Portal. // ... has been working at the TIB since May 2020, specialising in science communication, especially as Community Manager for the TIB AV-Portal.