Autobiographical footage of great thinkers and creators

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



(2004), "Autobiographical footage of great thinkers and creators", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Autobiographical footage of great thinkers and creators

Autobiographical footage of great thinkers and

Peoples Archive has launched the first international archive celebrating the lives and achievements of the world’s greatest thinkers and creators. Preserving great stories for present and future generations online, Peoples Archive is dedicated to recording for posterity the life stories of the world’s leading biologists, physicists, mathematicians, filmmakers and craftsmen.

The constantly growing Archive currently features in-depth conversations with such contributors as physicist Edward Teller, who helped create the first atomic bomb, mathematician Michael Atiyah, who created the K-theory, evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith and animator Jules Engel, famous for his contribution to Disney’s Fantasia. All contributors are given an unlimited amount of time to tell their life story in their own words.

As Peoples Archive develops it will not only be adding the life stories of new scientists and artists, but broadening the scope of the project to record the stories of all those who have made a truly significant contribution to their field.

Peoples Archive is a resource for universities, libraries and researchers allowing teachers and lecturers to bring science and film to life. Students can view great thinkers speaking about the events and experiences that shaped their lives and led to crucial discoveries.

Speaking about the launch, Vitek Tracz, the founder of Peoples Archive, says: “There are few things more wonderful than people telling stories. The stories of the lives of great people make great stories. And no one can tell these stories better than the people themselves. We have the feeling that we are saving for the future the ability to sense that you have met and known some of the most interesting people in the world.”

Peoples Archive is an online video-on-demand service. High-quality footage is shot on location in digital video format with subsequent editing being kept to a minimum. The interviews are broken down into individual stories, which are indexed and placed on the Peoples Archive site for viewing via the Internet, enabled by Apple QuickTime. Access to the site is to be sold on a subscription-only basis with annual cost of £60 for institutions and £20 for individual subscribers. Collections of interviews are also to be sold in DVD-ROM format.

Subscribers will have access to all footage on the site. They can choose to watch interviews in video format, listen to them as audio tracks or simply read transcripts of the interviews. It also allows users to conduct detailed searches and bookmark stories for future reference. Stories that complement each other are linked, and Peoples Archive also offers regularly updated links to relevant books, Web sites and other resources.

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