Introductory and farewell lectures digitised

Introductory and farewell lectures: Digitisation of historic content completed.

After more than five years, Multimedia Services have recently completed the project for digitising the analogue and “semi-digital” (digital data on analogue tape) recordings of inaugural and farewell lectures for the ETH library: The project, which started with the establishment of a “digitisation station” for VHS, DV and DAT tapes had to struggle with synchronisation problems initially and the lack of labor ressources at the later stages, which had to be put on ice for the migration of the video management system, and which also had to overcome hurdles due to licensing law, can now finally be viewed at A complete collection of introductory and farewell lectures recorded at ETH Zurich.

The collection goes back to the year 1970 and initially comprised only audio recordings until the first (blurred) video was published in 1986. The collection is especially interesting where introductory and farewell lectures can be seen or heard, for example for Carl August Zehnder 1972 and 2003, Jürg Gutknecht 1986 and 2015 as well as Bernhard Plattner 1986 and 2015.

The fact that not all records could actually be published is due to the difficult legal situation: this did not of course cover publication on the Internet to a large extent, and therefore had to be updated afterwards. This was not possible with approx. 350 of around 900 lectures recorded up to 2009, which are therefore only available “in the reading room“: The library has purchased an iPad for this purpose, which can be borrowed to view the videos locally.


Olaf A. Schulte, Multimedia Production and Distribution Group, IT Services​ (ITS MMS)


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