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Life in a Wisconsin Convent in 1958

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.

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Washington University Preserves Rare Civil Rights Documentary

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.

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National Film Preservation Foundation Awards 36 Preservation Grants

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.

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Smile, You’re on a Police Body-Worn Camera

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.

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Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films launches

posted May 10, 2017

Few film fans would think to seek out films that corporations, schools, and religious and political organizations made to pitch their various causes and campaigns. And yet, as film collector and historian Rick Prelinger demonstrated in 2006 with his The Field Guide to Sponsored Films, such works can be of considerable historical, cultural, or artistic interest. Now an online companion to the Guide has been launched, the Online Field Guide to Sponsored Films.

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Fixing Transcripts with the Crowd

posted April 24, 2017

A crowdsourcing project promises to demonstrate that when it comes to providing access to audiovisual archives, not only users with visual or hearing disabilities benefit. All users may.

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The Curious Case of the Disappearing Video Archive

posted April 6, 2017

Nothing brings civic attitudes into sharper relief than a civil-rights test case. It doesn’t have to be about race — a case about the rights of people with disabilities serves just as well. Take the curious matter of the “disappearing” University of California at Berkeley videos.

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Has the Video Essay Arrived?

posted March 15, 2017

Publications in both film criticism and academic film studies have historically been in writing, but as affordable lightweight cameras and digital film-editing tools increasingly have put video production into the hands of anyone, that has been changing.

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The Soviet View: A Major Archive Comes Online

posted March 9, 2017

Through a communist lens, the 20th Century looked quite different than it did through the eyes of the West. The British Film Institute is collaborating with an imprint of SAGE Publishing to issue a three-“module” set of rare film footage, Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda.

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How to Tweak Copyright Law?

posted February 24, 2017

Australian copyright law produces some curious outcomes. A national report says it also forces up the cost of access to information and cultural products, hobbles artistic creation and educational innovation, and hinders transition to a knowledge-based economy. It recommends adjustments, but lawmakers are under copyright-industry pressure to maintain a grudging status quo.

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