posted September 25, 2017
The major earthquake that struck Mexico City and surrounding areas on September 19 caused loss of at least 319 lives, and destroyed many buildings including thousands of homes. Among structures seriously damaged by the tremor was Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive, the only independent film archive in Mexico specializing in the collection and preservation of popular films. It is located in Tepoztlán, the epicenter of the quake, an hour from the capital.
posted September 18, 2017
The VHS tape was such a clunky medium that it almost invited disdainful treatment. Never the archivist’s or librarian’s first choice of format, it nonetheless won out in the “videotape format wars” of the late 1970s and 1980s, and became the medium of choice. Now, in the era of digital recording and online streaming, those VHS tapes are slowly but surely deteriorating. Will Section 108 of the US Copyright Act save the day?
posted August 29, 2017
The days of college students poring over books in library stacks, seeking inspiration in leaps within and among Dewey Decimal System categories, are virtually gone. That’s not how students now access information. The new media of choice are all digital, and that includes in the audiovisual realm. There streaming video has come rapidly to dominate.
posted August 2, 2017
How do people dance, and how do cultural factors affect how they do? The Association for Cultural Equity in New York, which musicologist Alan Lomax founded to explore and preserve expressive traditions such as music and dance, will help to answer such questions by using a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to restore and care for a set of “choreometric” films that Lomax and two colleagues made.
posted July 28, 2017
The Center for Home Movies has received a Society of American Archivists 2017 annual award for increasing public awareness of films that many individuals make, but until recently few institutions made a project of collecting. The award recognizes archiving of "compilation, transcription, exhibition, or public presentation of archives or manuscript materials for educational, instructional, or other public purpose.”
posted June 29, 2017
The Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive will preserve Code Blue, a 1972 recruitment film aimed at bringing minorities into the medical profession, thanks to a grant in this year’s round of Basic Preservation Grants from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The Archive was among 36 institutions selected for one of the grants, earlier this month.
posted June 19, 2017
With a 2017 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, in Wisconsin, will preserve a promotional film from the heyday of recruitment of nuns to Catholic convents. In the 1950s and 1960s, young women entered Catholic convents in cohorts large enough that their process of formation could be as richly social as it was spiritual.
posted June 15, 2017
The Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive has completed the preservation and digitization of The Streets of Greenwood, a rare civil-rights documentary film from 1963, and has made it freely available, online. The Archive completed the work with a Basic Preservation Grant it received in last year’s round of funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation. One purpose of the grants is to allow archives to make noteworthy films publicly available.
posted June 13, 2017
The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced (13 June 2017) grants to save 57 films, including Code Blue (1972), a recruitment film aimed at bringing minorities into the medical field made by Henry Hampton’s Blackside Inc., the Emmy-winning producer of Eyes on the Prize, and Broken Barriers (1919), the first motion-picture adaptation of the Sholem Aleichem story that inspired Fiddler on the Roof.
posted May 19, 2017
The advent of mass, filmed surveillance of public spaces might look like an unalloyed great idea to fans of police “reality” television shows. But it’s problematic in various ways. Among key challenges is to design and manage large, expensive, and vast archives of video footage — including, now, more and more of it from the body-worn cameras that police forces are adopting.