Share in our discoveries across three projects as we work to provide the first intellectual access to our hidden treasures relating to work and labor in early 20th Century New England, the 1939-1940 New York World's Fair and its period, and Boston local TV news.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Beginning-

Welcome! And thank you for joining us as we begin work on our CLIR Hidden Collections Project, "Intellectual Access to Moving Images of Work Life, 1916-1960."

Throughout 2010, we will be working to process and catalog 50 film collections (16mm, 8mm, 35mm) believed to be related to work life in early 20th Century New England. The 50 selected collections document work by men and women in northern New England agricultural environments, traditional and modernizing industries, and early twentieth century urban situations. The reels hold hidden research materials with a range of cataloging requirements from among 800 collections gathered at Northeast Historic Film over 23 years. Many relate to non-moving image documents in other repositories, as moving images are a demanding medium, often times separated from related materials. With the help of funding and awareness, it is the eventual hope that media archives can be reunited, included, and properly utilized as the phenomenal historic and cultural resources they truly are.

Over the past few weeks, we have been working to lay a proper foundation for the project. Among other tasks, I have been working on further development of NHF's subject terms - expanding the list to include our scope and usage notes. We are ironing out details of our CollectiveAccess database system, and working on proper EAD (Encoded Archival Description) mapping for our data. The Assistant Cataloger, Rita Monica Nicola (Monica) is diligently working to clean, process, and transfer the first five collections (all related to camps!) in preparation for cataloging. Karan Sheldon, Co-Founder of Northeast Historic Film, and CLIR Project Manager, has been getting two interns from Simmons College, Tim Rohe and Betsy Sherman, started on research for the eventual creation of four collection-level finding aids. I plan on letting Monica, Tim, and Betsy update you on their work and findings.

Last night, Northeast Historic Film, in collaboration with Maine Boats Homes and Harbors Magazine, held a free screening here at the Alamo Theater. Each screening provides the opportunity for the community to view snippets of their history, allowing audience members to help solve the mysteries of who might be starring in each film, what kind of boat they are in, and helping enhance the overall context of what they are watching. The recent announcement to close a sardine cannery in Prospect Harbor hit particularly close to home upon seeing a 1930s clip from the Ernest G. Stillman Collection. The clip depicts two men filling their boat from the weir (fixed trap) until they were up to their knees in fish, and the eventual manual layering of fish and salt into the hold. The audience shared in this invaluable, poignant record of the seining process juxtaposed by knowing that an era ends when the last can of sardines is sealed in April. Each film in our collection is a captured piece of history we cannot afford to lose.

I look forward to sharing in this process with you all. I invite you to share your thoughts, stories, suggestions, and even your nightmares -- every bit of your own processes, as we reveal our hidden treasures.


Post a Comment