posted September 26, 2018
Rare glimpses of George and Ira Gershwin working and socializing… Mid-20th century newsreels made for African-American audiences… Paper prints of D.W. Griffith shorts… Footage of the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, William McKinley, and Frank Sinatra… Those are among hundreds of hours of motion pictures that The Library of Congress has digitized and made freely available on its newly launched National Screening Room website.
posted September 3, 2018
When Hernando Colón dreamed in the early 16th century of collecting all the world’s knowledge in one place, he could not have imagined that one day it might all fit within a space the size of a sailor’s trunk. But thanks to stunning advances in storage science, perhaps it could.
posted August 5, 2018
WELCOME TO THE INTEGRATRON Just a degree or two off the narrow path of rationally agreed reality lies a squirrelly track that heads out into deep space, into a la-la land where much is conceivable and pretty much anything is plausible. One stop along that way is located in the Yucca Valley of California, 120
posted July 16, 2018
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission has announced 31 grants to archives to preserve moving-image collections. The awards, announced by David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, totaled over $4-million. Grants relating to moving-image collections went to Washington University’s William Miles collection, Bethel Broadcasting in Alaska, Indiana State Library, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and Rutgers University of New Jersey’s Papers of Thomas A. Edison project.
posted June 25, 2018
In 2011 Jennifer Jenkins brought the American Indian Film Gallery, a digital archive of almost 500 films about Native peoples of the Americas, to the University of Arizona. The films in the Gallery, most of them nonfiction “educational” titles, came with one tricky issue.
posted May 25, 2018
After working with many media formats that disappeared from use, Jason Curtis decided to start collecting examples of those dodos of audiovisual and computer technology. Inevitably, collecting introduced him to more and more formats that he had never used, nor in many cases ever heard of, and he began gathering examples of those, too. Now he has examples of hundreds of media formats.
posted May 2, 2018
Hollywood and other branches of the American entertainment industry have frequently disparaged and abused Arabs, Muslims, and Americans of those ethnicities. Adverse depictions have long been so common as to be almost automatic. Those stereotypes are the study of a project at New York University based on an unusual collection: the archive donated by Jack G. Shaheen.
posted April 24, 2018
When three insurance agents founded the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1925 in Los Angeles, they aimed to provide insurance protection for fellow African Americans, who were consistently denied coverage in the segregated United States, and to be able to offer “dignified employment” to African American colleagues. The University of California at Los Angeles Library is working to preserve a trove of materials from throughout the company’s history, including films, and its efforts are benefiting from goodwill towards the company that remains evident in Los Angeles.
posted March 24, 2018
Expo 67, the World’s Fair held in Montreal in 1967, was rather an hallucinogenic affair. Among its memorable features were its wildly innovative audiovisual projections. They were large, bold, and spectacular. In purpose-built pavilions, the Expo’s films boasted dazzling arrays of often-huge screens and novel, captivating forms of viewership. Pavilions immersed viewers within enormous audiovisual environments.
posted February 28, 2018
Old houses’ wall cavities can be a delightful kind of repository. Ten year olds might imagine they’d contain treasure maps, or at least rolls of twenties in crumbled rubber bands. But the structures are rather more likely to conceal wads of newspaper. Odd troves of news. On occasion, a kind of moving-image archive, too.