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Cinema Journal Archival News - 51.3
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Archival News 51:3

Edited by Jennifer Peterson


1. Acquisitions

2. Institutions and Organizations

3. Awards

4. On-Line Resources

5. Technology


• Library of Congress Acquires Lee Strasberg Collection

The Library of Congress has acquired the initial portion of the personal papers of the American director, producer, actor and acting teacher Lee Strasberg (1901-1982), internationally known for his development of method acting in the Stanislavsky tradition, which deeply influenced performance in American theater and film. The collection has come to the Library as a generous donation by Strasberg’s widow, Anna Strasberg of New York City, who noted that she joins son Adam Strasberg in making this gift to the Library of Congress.

"I am absolutely delighted that Lee’s collection is coming to the Library of Congress, where it will be preserved, made accessible, and join other great collections related to American theater,” said Anna Strasberg. "Our family is unanimous in the opinion that the Library of Congress is the ideal place,” she added.

Method acting, a technique which became popular in the United States in the 1940s and 1950s, is characterized by actors’ attempts to give their roles greater realism by making connections between those roles and their own emotions from the past.

Lee Strasberg co-founded the legendary Group Theatre, was artistic director of the Actors’ Studio in New York City, and founded the Lee Strasberg Institutes in New York City and Los Angeles.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "The Lee Strasberg Collection is of major significance because it documents a crucial chapter of the nation’s theatrical history. Often referred to as the father of method acting in America, Strasberg trained several generations of our most illustrious talents, including Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Julie Harris, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and the director Elia Kazan.”

The Library of Congress has received approximately 240 archival boxes containing a wide array of material amassed by Strasberg during his long career, including correspondence, rehearsal notes, drafts of publications and lectures, project files, photographs, theatrical drawings and posters, sketches of stage designs, appointment books, address books, press clippings, acting-class rosters, play scripts and playbills. The papers will be housed in the Library’s Manuscript Division.

The Lee Strasberg Collection is a rich addition to other outstanding theatrical holdings of the Library of Congress, such as the papers of Eva LeGallienne, Lillian Gish, Sid Caesar, Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, Rouben Mamoulian and Joshua Logan (all in the Manuscript Division), and the papers of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Martha Graham, Richard Rodgers, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, George and Ira Gershwin, Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine (in the Music Division).

Researchers, scholars, aspiring actors and other artists will be able to use the Strasberg Collection once it has been fully processed.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

• Westland Series of Rural British Columbia Films to Become Part of UBC Archive

One of the largest private film collections in Canada, which provides a fascinating document of rural B.C., will be housed and preserved by UBC Library thanks to a generous donation from the Halleran family and the support of community partners including Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). The Halleran Collection, valued at $750,000, consists of about 250 nature-oriented video programs produced in British Columbia over the decades – first by Mike Halleran and then by his son Terry.

These shows, known collectively as the Westland series, were broadcast by the Knowledge Network from 1984 to 2007. They examine a broad range of issues associated with forestry, fresh water fishing, endangered species and ecosystem restoration. The donation also includes an extensive library of 2,000 source tapes.

Terry Halleran donated the bulk of the collection to UBC Library, and the remainder was purchased. Halleran was introduced to the Library by Don Laishley, a UBC alumnus and member of the Library’s Advisory Board.

"We took a lot of pride in what we did. It wasn’t always easy, but we believed in environmental education,” says Halleran. "UBC Library was the obvious choice for us, considering the long-standing relationship between our series and the expertise UBC faculty and students brought to the table.” Halleran notes that the Westland programs have been used as teaching tools in classrooms at UBC and elsewhere since the 1980s. The programs also feature some former UBC faculty members. "We anticipate that with increasing interest in natural resource management, environmentalism and sustainability, this collection will be of considerable interest to a variety of researchers at the University and the broader community,” notes Chris Hives, University Archivist. University Archives staff have begun preparing an inventory to enable access to the Halleran Collection.

Columbia Basin Trust is providing $100,000 to support the acquisition and digitization of the Westland series tapes. Other community partners that provided funds to support the purchase of the collection include the Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Regional District of Central Kootenay. Halleran would like to recognize the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund and the British Columbia Conservation Foundation for their support with the preservation and management of the Westland series in advance of its transfer to UBC.

UBC Library is a high-ranking member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). It has 21 branches and divisions, and is the largest library in British Columbia. Its collections include more than 6.3 million volumes, more than 875,000 e-books, more than 883,000 maps, audio, video and graphic materials, and more than 165,000 serial titles. The Library provides access to expanding digital resources and houses an on-site Digitization Centre. For more information, visit

• British Film Institute Secures Central Office of Information Films

The BFI National Archive acquired the entire moving image archive of the Central Office of Information (COI) when the agency closed on 31 March 2012. The COI, which was established in 1946, commissions public information films and government advertising campaigns in the UK. They have produced over 45,000 films, which form an irreplaceable picture of British life and manners interpreted through creative filmmaking. Many of the UK’s most distinguished filmmakers, including Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach and Humphrey Jennings, have worked for the COI.

Originally shown in cinemas and later on television, the films reflect many of the important social issues of their day. Many early COI films dealt with the consequences of post-war reconstruction. The 1970s saw classic characters like Charley the Cat, Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code Man (Dave Prowse) promote personal and road safety, and more recent films have covered important subjects such as climate change and internet safety.

Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI said, "The COI films are wonderful and important examples of British filmmaking. Often quirky and eccentric, these films tell rich and diverse stories about British life. The fact that they were used so effectively by Government departments really demonstrates the power that film has in capturing the nation’s attention and influencing Britain. We are very proud that the BFI National Archive is the new guardian of these films.”

The COI collection will be preserved in the BFI’s Master Film Store and will continue to be made widely available on multiple platforms, including DVD and the BFI’s YouTube channel.

• Library of Congress and French Archive INA Exchange Cinema and TV Treasures

The Library of Congress and the French Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), in an unprecedented collaboration, will exchange up to 500 hours of digitized film and television content over the next three years, reflecting how the United States and France have been portrayed in each other’s media.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and INA Chairman and CEO Mathieu Gallet officially presented each other with the first set of programs in a special ceremony today in the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building. Also in attendance at the presentation were INA’s International Affairs Officer Mathieu Fournet and Mike Mashon, head of the Moving Image Section at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation.

"The Library’s collaboration with INA will allow researchers to gain valuable insights from the depiction of the American experience over the past 110 years through the lens of another culture,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The outcome of our efforts to preserve our nation’s audiovisual heritage will be the opportunity to share our collective creative memory with the world, reflecting our common humanity and celebrating our uniqueness.”

"For INA, this arrangement with the Library of Congress, after several years of necessary discussions, is a major step to realize this objective of having a world library where citizens may access, study and understand our history, evolution and thoughts through one of the greatest mirrors of humanity which is audiovisual production,” said INA Chairman and CEO Mathieu Gallet. "Our collaboration constitutes the starting point to build a wider perception of the world and to propose to all who desire, a vision based on what our countries have slowly built to reflect its life.”

The initial titles selected for the cultural exchange are mainly news programming, documentaries, educational films, travelogues and home movies. Offerings include:

  • Films from the Library’s Paper Print and George Kleine collections, including Scene from the Elevator Ascending Eiffel Tower (1900), Battle of Flowers from Nice Carnival (1903), and A Trip on the Riviera (1914);
  • U.S. government-produced films such as the Department of Defense’s This is France (1958);
  • Travelogues and home movies such as Prowling Around France with Will Rogers (1927);
  • Education films including French Influences in North America (1951) and Modern France (1965);
  • Among the French titles are A New York: 2ème partie: Etres de nuit (ORTF-1962), Norman Mailer (A2-1980), Washington cité impériale: 2e partie: Quand la ville parle (A2-1981), Arthur Miller (A2-1988) and Prix Nobel: Toni Morrison (A2-1998).

The digital files will be available for research in the Library’s Motion Picture Reading Room and INA’s consultation center at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris. A wide selection of public-domain titles will be made available for global online access via the World Digital Library (

Within the next six months, the Library and INA will independently organize their own committees of scholars and researchers to study and report on the progress of the agreement. These committees will advise on future content selection and programming.

INA, founded in 1974, gathers and preserves the images and sounds, which form the basis of our collective memory. It authenticates them, gives them meaning, and shares them as widely as possible through its collections and its expertise. The world's number one audiovisual centre for digital archiving and archive enhancement, INA has become the watchword for technical innovation in both these fields ( ).

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. The Library also preserves the nation’s largest collections of television, radio and sound recordings and related materials. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Home to more than 6 million collection items, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility in Culpeper, Va. where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (


Re-Launch of BFI Library

The BFI has announced plans to modernize its library, the world’s largest collection of books, periodicals and other moving image knowledge resources, with a move to a new purpose-built space at BFI Southbank. The new library will be more user-friendly with a redesigned look and feel, free access, longer regular opening hours on weekdays plus a new Saturday service and

more digitized content that will be easier and quicker to view. This significant refurbishment, undertaken by a team of designers led by award winning Coffey Architects, will make the Library more accessible, attract new users, and integrate its considerable resources into its public and cultural programmes.

The new design cleverly combines hanging metal mesh, timber bookcases and subtle new lighting to create a rich, vibrant yet welcoming and calm space. The new library will serve casual visitors as well as serious researchers and be used for other activities such as group visits, events, lectures and workshops. By bringing together the whole BFI offer in one place, from the Mediatheque and Programming, to Education and Collections, the BFI will for the first time ever have a single, coherent offer across the venue.

The BFI Library is committed to increasing digital access to its collections. At launch, the new library will have a suite of state of the art equipment for self-service scanning of paper and microform material available to its users. In addition, the BFI’s unique and heavily-used collection of press cuttings (covering film and television from the 1930s up to 2010) is in the process of being digitized, with a significant number available at launch in the new space.

The new Library can be accessed from June 2012 with a formal launch in September 2012, as London’s Southbank, already the Capital’s cultural epicenter, enjoys its for its busiest summer yet with the Cultural Olympiad and Olympics celebrations creating an unprecedented focus on London. Heather Stewart, Creative Director BFI said "The BFI’s Library is a much loved and vital part of our offer and modernization will enhance the Library using experience for everyone. With so many public and specialist libraries sadly in difficulties the BFI’s investment in its

Library demonstrates our commitment to knowledge and our ambition to transform it into the leading centre for film knowledge in the UK, ultimately supporting our mission to make film central to people’s lives.”

A library and information service was part of the BFI from its inception in 1933 and housed in the various homes of the BFI since then. Since 1987 the Library has been situated on the ground floor of the BFI’s Stephen Street office. The new space will be housed in BFI Southbank’s former Gallery space. Building work starts in March 2012 and is expected to continue, with minimum disruption to BFI Southbank’s programme and activity, until the launch in June. The decision was given the green light after extensive consultation with library users and months of investigation into the design, costs, feasibility and business case, including a tender process for architects and contractors.

The BFI Library provides information on film, television and, increasingly, new media. Its priority is comprehensive coverage of the moving image in Britain from pre-cinema to the present, but the scope of the collection is international with material held in more than 15 languages. From 1 April 2012 access to the BFI Library is free of charge and all membership categories have been abolished.


• Two New Academy Film Scholars Announced

The history of documentary filmmaking in Cambridge, Mass., and the growth of "orphan” films will be the topics explored by Scott MacDonald and Dan Streible, respectively, who have been named Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy’s Institutional Grants Committee selected the pair for the honor on the basis of their manuscript proposals. Each scholar will receive $25,000 from the Academy to aid in the research and writing of his project.

MacDonald, professor of critical studies at Hamilton College, will examine the history and analyze of two particular forms of nonfiction filmmaking that have developed in Cambridge: ethnographic filmmaking and personal documentary. The Cambridge Turn in Documentary Filmmaking will investigate why these developments occurred specifically in Cambridge and discuss the careers of such filmmakers as John Marshall, Robert Gardner, Timothy Asch, Ross McElwee, Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti, Nina Davenport, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. The book will also explore how the accomplishments of these filmmakers have helped transform the understanding of "documentary” films.

Streible, associate professor of cinema studies at New York University, will offer a detailed account of the growth of the "orphan film” phenomenon in the U.S. since the early 1990s and analyze the dynamic that the movement has established among film archivists, preservationists, scholars, curators and filmmakers. This book will be the first to analyze orphaned work (defined as films that have been abandoned or have suffered physical, historical or cultural neglect), including newsreels, silent movies, shorts, independent and studio features, documentaries, outtakes and animation. Streible’s book will be titled Orphan Films: Saving, Studying, and Screening Neglected Cinema.

MacDonald and Streible will receive the first half of their $25,000 grants at a luncheon on March 19. The remaining half will be presented upon completion of the manuscripts, when the scholars will present their projects in lecture form at a public Academy event.

Established in 1999, the Academy Film Scholars program is designed to "stimulate and support the creation of new and significant works of film scholarship about aesthetic, cultural, educational, historical, theoretical or scientific aspects of theatrical motion pictures.”

MacDonald and Streible will join 13 other Academy Film Scholars who are currently working on projects: Cari Beauchamp; John Belton, Rutgers University; Donald Crafton, University of Notre Dame; Jane Gaines, Duke University; Jan-Christopher Horak, University of California, Los Angeles; David E. James, University of Southern California; Patrick Keating, Trinity University; Peter Lev, Towson University; Stuart Liebman, Queens College of the City University of New York; Charles Musser, Yale University; Harlow Robinson, Northeastern University; Shelley Stamp, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Emily Thompson, Princeton University. Anne Friedberg of the University of Southern California passed away before significant progress could be made on her project.

Academy Film Scholars who have completed projects are Tino Balio, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Beauchamp; Peter Decherney, University of Pennsylvania; Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University; Richard B. Jewell, University of Southern California; Dana Polan, New York University; David Rodowick, Harvard University; and Steven J. Ross, University of Southern California.

The Academy’s cultural and educational wing – the Academy Foundation – annually grants more than $1 million to film scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. It is also through the Foundation that the Academy presents a rich assortment of screenings and other public programs each year. For grant guidelines and information about the Academy Film Scholars program, visit


• National Archives Releases 1940 U.S. Census Data Online

The National Archives and Records Administration has released the 1940 United States census online.By law the information on individuals in the decennial censuses, which is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, is locked away for 72 years. This is the first time that the National Archives has released an official decennial census online. The 3.9 million images constitute the largest collection of digital information ever released by the National Archives.The free official website, hosted by, includes a database of Americans living within the existing 48 states and 6 territories on April 2, 1940.

In a ceremony in the William G. McGowan Theater, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero declared the 1940 census officially open on April 2, 2012. This is the 16th decennial census, marking the 150th anniversary of the census. Performing the first search, Mr. Ferriero said, "It is very exciting for families across America to have access to this wealth of material about the 1930s. Many of us will be discovering relatives and older family members that we didn’t know we had, picking up threads of information that we thought were lost, and opening a window into the past that until now has been obscured We now have access to a street-level view of a country in the grips of a depression and on the brink of global war.”

Dr. Robert Groves, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau added: "Releasing census records is an odd event for us; we spend all our lives keeping the data we collect confidential. However, once every 10 years, we work with the National Archives and Records Administration to release 72-year old census records that illuminate our past. We know how valuable these records are to genealogists and think of their release as another way to serve the American public.”

The census database includes an index searchable at the enumeration district level.An enumeration district is an area that a census taker could cover in two weeks in an urban area and one month in a rural area. To make the search for information easier, the National Archives has joined a consortium of groups to create a name-based index.Leading this effort, FamilySearch is recruiting as many as 300,000 volunteers to enter names into a central database.

Questions asked in the 1940 census, which reflect the dislocation of the Great Depression of the 1930s, will yield important information not only for family historians and genealogists, but also for demographers and social and economic historians.We learn not only if a family owned or rented their home, but the value of their home or their monthly rent.We can find lists of persons living in the home at the time of the census, their names, ages and relationship to the head of household.For the first time the census asked where a family was living five years earlier: on April 1, 1935.This information might offer clues to migration patterns caused by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.For the first time in the census, a question relating to wages and salary was asked. Persons 14 years old and over were asked questions regarding their employment status:Were they working for pay or profit in private or nonemergency government work during the week of March 24–March 30, 1940?Were they seeking work? How many hours did they work during the last week of March? How many weeks did they work in 1939?What was their occupation and in what industry?

This online resource proved immediately popular; within a few hours of posting the census online, the website had so many hits that its server temporarily crashed. To access the census data, see

• NEH Launches Redesigned Website With New Preservation and Access Page

The National Endowment for the Humanities has launched a completely redesigned NEH website ( As
part of this redesign, the NEH’s new Preservation and Access Division page (
highlights news and activity from all of this Division’s grant programs: Humanities Collections and Reference
Resources, Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections,
Preservation and Access Research and Development, Education and Training, Documenting Endangered Languages,
and the National Digital Newspaper Program, as well as Chronicling America (, a site jointly sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

For the launch, the new Preservation and Access Division page features stories about four awarded projects: the online
Encyclopedia Virginia, the Frick Collection's Digital Image Archive, The Southern Courier digital archive, and the Walters
Art Museum's digitization of medieval manuscripts. There is also a history of the NEH’s home, the Old Post Office Building, as documented through Chronicling America content. Updates about upcoming NEH grant deadlines
(Preservation Assistance Grants and Research and Development) can also be found on the page.

More than just a catalog of recent news and events, the Preservation and Access page will explore trends and
developments in the preservation community, from the latest tools and best practices, advances in digital preservation,
innovative sustainable solutions to complex preservation problems, new training programs, preserving audiovisual and
born-digital collections, and creative collaborations from small historical societies and museums to research university
archives and libraries. See


• National Geographic Moves its Digital Media Archive to the Cloud

The National Geographic Society has announced that it will now back up and archive its large unstructured multimedia files on Nirvanix’s Cloud Storage Network. Physical storage upgrades, along with the data migration process, have become too expensive and unwieldy, the organization said; it expects to save money in the six-figure range by not having to invest in any further upgrades. The 124-year-old society said its archive is on the order of 100 terabytes today but will reach the petabyte level in the near future.

An advantage of using a cloud service is that it will improve National Geographic’s ability to collaborate with video editors around the globe. "There’s no question that it’s the kind of thing we'd look to leverage in the future,” said Dan Backer, director of infrastructure systems. "You want to hire the best possible video producer you can find. If that video producer is in New York City and the data is in Washington, D.C., there’s going to be a transfer problem.” Backer said benchmark tests showed upload performance in the cloud is about the same as it is on-site. Another benefit, Backer said, will come from new opportunities to sell the society's cloud-based information by making different "buckets” of content available online.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, books, television programs, website and other digital products, films, music and radio, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, live events, expeditions and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy., the award-winning website of the National Geographic Society, attracts 19 million unique visitors a month.

• Associated Press to Digitize Video Archive

The Associated Press is working with Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) to digitize its unique video archive, making it available to a new audience across digital platforms. AP’s film and tape archive contains around 70,000 hours’ worth of footage, including more than 1.3 million global news and entertainment stories, in 16mm film and videotape, dating back to the beginning of the 20th Century.

The project is part of AP’s multimillion-dollar upgrade to its video business, which will see AP switch its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD to continue to meet the technical, editorial and business needs of its customers in the digital age. The newly digitized content will appear on AP Archive’s website:


"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. Readers seeking more frequent news updates are encouraged to visit the AMIA news blog at Contributions to this column are welcomed. Information should be sent to Jennifer Peterson, Assistant Professor, Film Studies Program, 316 UCB, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, 80309-0316; phone 303-735-2694; email:

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