Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Register
Site-wide Search
Archival News
Share |

Archival News 53.4 (Summer 2014)
Edited by Katherine Groo


1. ACQUISITIONS

LoC Acquires African American Oral History Video Collection

LoC Acquires African American Oral History Video Collection

The Library of Congress (LoC) announced the donation of The HistoryMakers archive, a video collection of 2,600 interviews with prominent African-Americans. The HistoryMakers was designed to promote and celebrate the successes of African-Americans and to document the movements, events, and organizations that are important to the African-American community and to American society. The collection includes 9,000 hours of content distributed across 14,000 analog tapes, 3,000 DVDs, and 6,000 born-digital files. The collection also includes 70,000 paper documents and more than 30,000 digital photographs.

The collection boasts a long list of notables, including (among others): Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Marion Wright Edelman, Ernie Banks, Harry Belafonte, Maya Angelou, Lerone Bennett, Edward Brooke, Reuben Cannon, John Hope Franklin, Earl Graves, Isaac Hayes, Eric Holder, B.B. King, Nikki Giovanni, Diahann Carroll, Ossie Davis, and Ruby Dee.

“The collection is one of the most well-documented and organized audiovisual collections that the Library of Congress has ever acquired,” said Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section. “It is also one of the first born-digital collections accepted into our nation’s repository.”

Julieanna Richardson founded The HistoryMakers in July 1999 as a nonprofit research and educational institution, with the goal of creating an archival collection of 5,000 video oral histories. She and her production team traveled to more than 380 U.S. cities and towns to record interviews. Developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, The HistoryMakers has produced educational programs, public events, and an annual celebrity interview series that is broadcast nationally on the Public Broadcasting System.

For more information on the acquisition, see the LoC press release..

Close

2. PRESERVATION

NFPF Announces Annual Preservation Grants

NFPF Announces Annual Preservation Grants

The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) recently announced grants to save sixty-five films, including Hoagy Carmichael’s home movies of his family’s first Hollywood years and Richard Beymer’s documentary short, A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer (1964), made in the midst of the Freedom Summer civil rights campaign. All told, awards went to thirty-five institutions across twenty-two states.

The NFPF preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, culturally important home movies, avant-garde films, and endangered independent productions that are often overlooked by commercial preservation programs. The awards provide support to create a film preservation master and two access copies of each work. Films saved through the NFPF programs are made available to the public for on-site research and are seen widely through screenings, exhibits, DVDs, television broadcasts, and the internet.

Other films selected for preservation include ornithological studies of New York’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge; I’ll Say He Forgot (1920), a long lost two-reel comedy about an absent-minded bridegroom; six films from the Youth Film Distribution Company, an organization that provided hands-on filmmaking experience for New York teens; films taken by the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory; anthropologist Leopold Pospisil’s 1950s documentary about a Papuan tribe in West New Guinea; early performance art films by Vito Acconci; the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s documentation of the construction of the U.S.S. Akron; and home movies of Pittsburgh’s African American community in the 1940s, Maryland’s Ocean City Hurricane of 1933, the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, and New Orleans Mardi Gras carnival balls.

Since its creation by Congress in 1996, the NFPF has provided preservation support to 272 institutions and saved more than 2,135 films through grants and collaborative projects.

For more information and a complete list of this year’s grant recipients, see here.

[Above: An image from Richard Beymer’s documentary, A Regular Bouquet: Mississippi Summer (1964)]

Close

3. LEGAL

US Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo

US Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo

In July, the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of television broadcasters and against Aereo, a technology company that allowed subscribers to view live and time-shifted streams of broadcast television on internet-connected mobile devices. The court determined that Aereo infringed upon the rights of copyright holders by publicly performing copyrighted work. The ruling reversed a previous decision from the lower courts.

For more detail on the decision, see here. The full opinion can be read here.

Close

US Holds Hearing on Copyright Remedies

US Holds Hearing on Copyright Remedies

On July 24, the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet heard testimony on Copyright Remedies. Witnesses included Mr. David Bitkower, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice; Mr. Matt Schruers, Vice-President for Law and Policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association; and Ms. Nancy Wolff, partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.

More information and a complete list of witnesses can be found here.

Close

OurFairDeal Coalition Participates in TPP Negotiations

OurFairDeal Coalition Participates in TPP Negotiations

OurFairDeal.org Coalition traveled to Ottawa, Canada to participate in the most recent round of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which took place on July 3–11. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated by twelve countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam). Members of the OurFairDeal Coalition are concerned that rules proposed in the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the TPP would reduce the public’s ability to access information and would hinder innovation both on and offline.

Members of the OurFairDeal Coalition included Burcu Kilic of Public Citizen; Jeremy Malcolm and Maira Sutton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; and Reilly Yeo of OpenMedia International. This delegation provided testimony on the effects of the proposed provisions and briefed negotiators on the threat that the TPP poses to internet users, schools, universities, artists, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, the vision-impaired, information technology firms, and internet businesses.

For more information on the OurFairDeal campaign, see here. For further details on the TPP and its critics, see here, here, and here.

Close

4. INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS

Robert Gardner, Filmmaker and Founder of the Harvard Film Archive, Dies

Robert Gardner, Filmmaker and Founder of the Harvard Film Archive, Dies

Robert Gardner, a filmmaker who specialized in anthropological documentaries, died on June 21 in Boston. He was 88. Gardner founded the Film Study Center at Harvard in the 1960s and was one of the founders of the Harvard Film Archive, where his film collection now resides.

For more on his life and work, see the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Harvard Magazine.

[Above: Robert Gardner / Photo Credit: Ned Johnston]

Close

AMIA Introduces “Five Minutes on Film” Series

AMIA Introduces “Five Minutes on Film” Series

In June, the AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force released its first in a series of interviews on the current status of motion picture film within moving image culture. This inaugural installment [embedded above] features noted film critic, author, and historian Leonard Maltin.

The AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force explores ways to promote, encourage, and facilitate the use of motion picture film and to fortify the relationship between archives and film users. The Task Force was formed in late 2012 as an educational outreach project aimed at non-archive organizations and institutions.

Close

5. EXHIBITIONS AND FESTIVALS

Il Cinema Ritrovato

Il Cinema Ritrovato

The 28th annual Cinema Ritrovato film festival was held from June 28 to July 5 in Bologna, Italy. The program was organized into multiple thematic strands, including (among others):

  • One Hundred Years Ago: 1914
  • William Wellman: Between Silence and Sound
  • The Cinema of James Dean
  • The Golden 50s: India’s Endangered Classics
  • Germaine Dulac: A Cinema of Sensations
  • Views from the Ottoman Empire: 1896-1914
  • Japan Speaks Out! Shochiku’s Modern Times
  • The Polish New Wave
  • Chaplin 100 / The Chaplin Project

The festival also featured examples of restoration work completed over the last year, including: Fantômas(Louis Feuillade, 1913), Norrtullsligan (Per Lindberg, 1923), The Temptress (Fred Niblo, 1926), Why Be Good (William Seiter, 1929), La Chienne (Jean Renoir, 1931), My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946), La Paura (Roberto Rossellini, 1954), and Wutai Jiemei (Xien Jin, 1965). A restored print of the first film ever made in the Irish language, Oidhche Sheanchais (1935), directed by Robert Flaherty, premiered at the festival as well. Cited in nearly every history of Irish cinema, the film had been missing and believed lost since a fire destroyed the only known copies in 1943. A nitrate print of the film was discovered at Harvard’s Houghton Library in 2013.

The festival was preceded by a conference dedicated to Charlie Chaplin: The Birth of the Tramp Celebration. It also coincided with the FIAF Film Restoration Summer School.

For detailed accounts of the festival, see here and here. See also the Cineteca di Bologna.

Close

Mostly Lost at LoC

Mostly Lost at LoC

From July 17–19, the Library of Congress (LoC) hosted the third “Mostly Lost” film identification workshop. The event featured unidentified films from the Library’s collections as well as from other archives, including the George Eastman House, EYE Film Instituut, Royal Belgian Filmarchive, Museum of Modern Art, Lobster Film Archive, and the Newsfilm Library at the University of South Carolina.

Presentations addressed the early years of Technicolor, failed film formats, and the history and preservation of the LoC’s paper print collection. Evening screenings included the East Coast premiere of the newly-restored The Good Bad Man (Allan Dwan, 1916), the LoC’s new preservation of Linda (Dorothy Davenport, 1929), and an evening of silent film comedies accompanied by The Snark Ensemble.

Read more about the event here and here.

Close

NARA Premieres 4K Restoration of The True Glory

NARA Premieres 4K Restoration of The True Glory

On June 6, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) premiered their 4K restoration of The True Glory (Carol Reed and Garson Kanin, 1945) at the McGowan Theater in downtown Washington, DC. Reed and Kanin made the film after the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information assigned them the task of chronicling the events in Europe from the Normandy invasion to the fall of the Nazi Party. The True Glory went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1945.

The restored version of the film [embedded above] is available on NARA's YouTube channel to mark the seventieth anniversary of D-Day.

To learn about the restoration, click here.

Close

AMPAS Hosts Premiere of Restored It Happened One Night

AMPAS Hosts Premiere of Restored It Happened One Night

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) hosted the world premiere of the new 4K digital restoration of It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) on July 19 at the Bing Theater on the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum campus. The screening celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the film, which was the first of only three movies in history to win Academy Awards for Best Picture, Directing, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay.

Close

“Archival Camera Exhibition” at the Hong Kong Film Archive

“Archival Camera Exhibition” at the Hong Kong Film Archive

From July 11–November 2, the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) will host an exhibition of twentieth-century camera technology. HKFA has acquired over 200 pieces of film camera equipment since its establishment more than a decade ago. The collection includes cameras from a wide range of eras, countries, and formats. Alongside the exhibition, the HKFA will be co-organizing a series of seminars with the Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers, inviting numerous experimental film artists and award-winning cinematographers to share their experiences in film and cinematography.

Close

6. CONFERENCES, SYMPOSIA, AND WORKSHOPS

Mono No Aware Leads Field Trip to Edison’s Black Maria

Mono No Aware Leads Field Trip to Edison’s Black Maria

In July, Mono No Aware, a Brooklyn-based organization dedicated to celluloid projection and “live altered light projection,” led a field trip to the historical Black Maria replica at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey. The workshop included a guided tour of Edison’s laboratory complex and the Black Maria facility, a kinetoscope workshop inside the Black Maria, a screening at the Edison Museum, and a digital scan of participants’ kinetoscopes.

For more information on the organization and upcoming events, see here.

Close

Wunderkino 4: Visions of House and Home

Wunderkino 4: Visions of House and Home

The 14th Annual Northeast Historic Film (NHF) Summer Symposium, Wunderkino, took place July 24–26. For more than a decade, this event has brought together archivists, scholars, artists, and interested members of the public in an intimate setting for three days of viewing and discussing lesser-known, amateur, and found films. The program for this year’s event concentrated on the house, home, and domesticity. Presentations explored, in particular, the contributions that amateur and non-theatrical films offer to our understanding of daily life.

A complete program is available from NHF.

Close

7. AWARDS

George Eastman House Receives Highest National Recognition

George Eastman House Receives Highest National Recognition

George Eastman House has achieved reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The highest national recognition for a museum, accreditation signifies an institution’s excellence to the museum community, governments, funders, outside agencies, and the public. Out of the more than 35,000 museums in the country, only three percent are accredited.

George Eastman House was initially accredited in 2004 by AAM. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every ten years to maintain accredited status. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for thirty-five years, AAM’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability.

For more information on the George Eastman House’s accreditation, see here.

Close

8. ONLINE RESOURCES

Deutsches Filminstitut Launches “Importing Asta Nielsen” Database 2.0

Deutsches Filminstitut Launches “Importing Asta Nielsen” Database 2.0

In June, the Deutsches Filminstitut, in collaboration with the Universät Trier, Freundeskreis Trierer Universität, and KINtop Studies in Early Cinema, launched the second version of the “Importing Asta Nielsen” database. The database is a tool for international research into the distribution and exhibition of Asta Nielsen films around the world before the First World War.

The content of the database includes texts and advertisements that were published worldwide in the trade and local press for all of Nielsen’s films released before the First World War as well as her live performances. The database also includes advertising campaigns for Nielsen films in the British and the French trade press. The bibliography on worldwide distribution and exhibition is continually updated.

Individuals or organizations interested in contributing documents to the database are invited to contact Martin Loiperdinger.

Close

US National Archive Uploads 1967 NASA Satellite Film

US National Archive Uploads 1967 NASA Satellite Film

A recent post from the blog of Wired Magazine explains the efforts of “techno-archaeologists” to recover images from the data tapes of NASA’s 1966–1967 Lunar Orbiter missions. Since 2007, the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project has brought some 2,000 pictures back from 1,500 analog data tapes. They contain the first high-resolution photographs ever taken from behind the lunar horizon, including the first photo of an earthrise.

In response to renewed public interest in these images, as well as the lunar missions themselves, the Motion Picture Preservation Lab at the National Archives and Records Administration has scanned and uploaded to YouTube the 1967 film Close-Up of the Moon: A Look at Lunar Orbiter, which details how the original data on the analog data tapes was created. NASA sent five satellites to orbit the moon, each containing cameras, 70mm film, and an onboard film processor. The processed images were scanned line by line and the data was transmitted back to Earth. The images were used to help select landing sites for the moon missions.

The film can be viewed here.

[Above: Image taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 19 February 1967. The prominent feature is Tsiolkovskiy, a large impact crater located on the far side of the Moon.]

Close

NFB Introduces Two New Interactive Documentaries

NFB Introduces Two New Interactive Documentaries

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) recently introduced two new interactive documentaries. The first, Making Movie History, invites viewers to explore the history of the NFB through sixty-one portraits of its “artists, rebels, and dreamers.”

The second, Seven Digital Deadly Sins, was produced in partnership with The Guardian. Seven public figures discuss the ways in which they have “sinned” online. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the discussion, absolving or condemning anonymous confessions from digital sinners (e.g., a secret Twitter star, a hacker, a couple whose wedding invite went viral).

Close

Indiana University Unveils Digital Repository of WWII Films

Indiana University Unveils Digital Repository of WWII Films

Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive has launched an online exhibition of propaganda films from World War II entitled “WWII Propaganda Films and IU: Audiovisual Production, Circulation, and Education in the 1940s.” The exhibition focuses on the university’s use of mass media to inform and instruct Americans about how to help their country during the conflict. Its opening was timed to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.

The exhibition is drawn from original 16mm prints and is organized by film title and subject. IU originally distributed the films during and after the war years as part of the IU Bureau of Audio-Visual Aids. They form part of the Archive’s core collection of educational films, which is one of the largest of its kind.

For further reading, see here.

[Above: A chart presenting the functions of the Educational Division, Office of War Information Bureau of Motion Pictures, from The Educational Screen. See the full issue here.]

Close

LoC Announces New Audio-Visual Conservation Blog

LoC Announces New Audio-Visual Conservation Blog

The Library of Congress (LoC) recently introduced a new blog, Now See Hear!, devoted to sharing information about and content from the collections of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. The blog showcases collections from both the National Film and Recording Registries, announces new acquisitions and projects, and publicizes public programs. It also features posts that focus on collections and resources of potential interest to K-12 educators and students, as well as information related to archival reference, acquisition, storage, cataloging, preservation, and technology.

Close

Metropolitan Museum Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

Metropolitan Museum Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announced that more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use without permission from the Museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis.

The Metropolitan Museum’s initiative—called Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC)—provides access to images of art in its collection that the Museum believes to be in the public domain and free of other known restrictions; these images are now available for scholarly use in any media. Works that are covered by the new policy are identified on the Museum’s website with the acronym OASC.

OASC was developed as a resource for students, educators, researchers, curators, academic publishers, non-commercial documentary filmmakers, and others involved in scholarly or cultural work. Prior to the establishment of OASC, the Metropolitan Museum provided images upon request, for a fee, and authorization was subject to terms and conditions.

More information is available here.

[Above: William Henry Fox Talbot, The Oriel Window, South Gallery, Lacock Abbey, c. 1835]

Close

NSFA Celebrates Priscilla with First Online Exhibition

NSFA Celebrates Priscilla with First Online Exhibition

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia NFSA has launched its first online exhibition, “Priscilla: 20 Years Young,” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic Australian road movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliot, 1994). The exhibition showcases a selection of documents and artifacts preserved in the NFSA national audiovisual collection. In addition, visitors can explore 360-degree views of costumes from the film; view a selection of international posters for the film, including a rare minimalist artwork created for its release in Poland; and read production documents, including pages from the earliest drafts of the script and daily production progress reports.

Read more about the exhibition here.

Close

More NFPF Treats from New Zealand

More NFPF Treats from New Zealand

The National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) uploaded three more films from its ongoing repatriation project with the New Zealand Film Archive: two comedies, Moonlight Nights (1925) and Rips and Rushes (1917), and the conservation plea Hunting Wild Geese for Market (1914). Watch them here.

Close

9. TECHNOLOGY

University of Brighton Receives Funding for Big Data Research

University of Brighton Receives Funding for Big Data Research

Researchers at the University of Brighton have received funding from the “Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities: Big Data Research” initiative, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council, to develop tools for the management of digital film production assets.

Dr. Sarah Atkinson and Dr. Roger Evans will be leading the DEEP FILM project (DFAP) along with several partner organizations, including the National Media Museum, BBC, Screen Archive South East, Adventure Pictures, and the University of Southern California's Large Scale Video Analytics project.

For more information on the project, see here and here.

Close

Warhol Images Recovered from Obsolete Home Computer

Warhol Images Recovered from Obsolete Home Computer

The Andy Warhol Museum has recovered a set of images, doodles, and photos created by Andy Warhol on a Commodore Amiga home computer. The artworks, made by Warhol as part of a collaboration with Commodore Amiga, had been stranded on floppy disks for almost twenty years after the artist saved them in the mid-1980s. They were only discovered and rescued from their obsolete format thanks to the chance viewing of a YouTube clip [embedded above] in which Warhol “paints” Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry on an early Amiga computer.

When Brooklyn-based artist Cory Arcangel watched the video, he wondered: What became of the files? In 2011, Arcangel contacted Tina Kukielski, a curator at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Together, they asked Matt Wrbican, the Warhol Museum’s chief archivist, if they could search for files on the artist’s disks. They were also connected to the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club, a group known for its collection of obsolete computer hardware and retro-computing software development.

As John Wenz, of Popular Mechanics, points out, the recovery operation raises important questions about the obsolescence of new media technologies and the future of visual preservation.

For more information and images, see here and here.

Close


"Archival News” reports recent news highlights from the media archive community for the Cinema Journal readership. Some information in this column comes courtesy of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) listserv, along with institutional newsletters, websites, and press releases. This column is updated quarterly. Contributions to this column are welcomed. Information should be sent to Katherine Groo, Lecturer, Film and Visual Culture, School of Language and Literature, University of Aberdeen, Taylor Bldg. A, Aberdeen AB24 3UB, Scotland; phone +44 (0)1224-701590; email: k.groo@abdn.ac.uk.

Past issues of Archival News are located here.

Sign In


Forgot your password?

Haven't registered yet?

Latest News

 
Society for Cinema and Media Studies | 640 Parrington Oval | Wallace Old Science Hall, Room 300 | Norman, OK 73019 | 405-325-8075 | office@cmstudies.org