Taking Notes on a Film or Youtube Video? "Vertov" Just Made it Easier...

Colin Dingler
May 17, 2010
Image of the Vertov logo.

The new, open-source research tool Zotero just got a little better.  Now there is a free Zotero plugin called "Vertov" that allows you to annotate film clips and store your annotations with your other records in Zotero.   According to the Vertov website, "Vertov allows you to cut video and audio files into clips, annotate the clips, and integrate your annotations with other research sources and notes stored in Zotero."  Read about the tool and download it here.

Essentially what Vertov allows you to do is to load any Quicktime-compatable video into your browser, and then tag clips or still frames from the video with your own notes.  If you are doing analysis of film clips online, this will be a powerful tool for your research.  Are you primarily working with YouTube videos? --No problem: the Vertov website has a tutorial that shows how to store and annotate YouTube clips.  On the Vertov website you can watch some excellent screencasts of Vertov in action (and the film being annotated is none other than Vertov's classic "Man with a Movie Camera").

We're very impressed with the work that has gone into this tool.  Projects such as Vertov illustrate how Zotero's powerful, open-source platform is being expanded to answer the specific needs of researchers in many humanities disciplines.  The tool was developed by the Concordia Digital History Lab, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, at Concordia University, Montreal.  Zotero and Vertov are both Firefox extensions.  If you haven't already heard of Zotero, and think it might be a helpful research tool, you can read about it here.