What is the CLARIAH Media Suite?

The CLARIAH Media Suite is an application for doing research with data collections . It is meant to be used exclusively by scholars and students at universities and higher education (e.g., film, television, and other media scholars, oral historians, and political historians). They can log into the Media Suite using their university credentials . Others may also find the Media Suite useful however, such as employees of institutes that provide data collections. They receive access rights for their own collections. Or citizen scientists that may be interested in the open access collections that are available.

The CLARIAH Media Suite is one of the applications of the Dutch infrastructure for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences developed in the CLARIAH project. It facilitates access to key Dutch media collections with advanced multimedia search and analysis tools.

The Media Suite is an innovative digital research environment, an experimental environment (LAB) , in which we are experimenting with new ways of working with multimedia data collections. It furthermore aims to cater to various levels of expertise and research interests: from providing access to many audiovisual collections for exploratory research to close reading; and from more complex modes of data analysis to distant reading strategies. The transparent search and analysis tools that the Media Suite offers, combined with its APIs that can be used with Jupyter notebooks, allow for many new possibilities for research and represents the middle ground between full algorithmic literacy and being a data novice. The Media Suite is in a constant process of co-development with its users and, in that sense, it is not a “finished” environment. We regularly publish about this process and other aspects of the CLARIAH infrastructure and its Media Suite.

Building blocks

Media Suite illustration

The Media Suite can be decomposed into three building blocks: data , tools to work with the data, and a workspace to store your work with the data.


Via the CLARIAH infrastructure, the Media Suite provides access to data collections in Dutch archives (among others: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, EYE Film Museum collections, DANS oral history interview collections, collections from the Open Images Project). Typically, data collections are registered in a registry that allows the infastructure to either access collections directly or use some form of data harvesting to enables access.

Read more on data here :


As a research environment, the CLARIAH Media Suite aims to support scholars in all the steps of their research process. At a general level, it provides tools for exploring the data and collections, creating personal selections (or corpora), adding annotations (such as tags, comments, links, and other metadata), and the possibility to export them. The Media Suite also facilitates working with data directly by using its APIs in combination with Jupyter Notebooks.


The CLARIAH Media Suite offers a “virtual work space” to its users. It allows researchers to store bookmarks, annotations, saved queries, personal collections, or automatic enrichments. The workspace thus provides researchers with novel ways for making transparent and managing their research process.