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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Map of Projects

A bit of context of our work may be seen in the interactive map of other projects funded by the CLIR/Mellon program here, Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Building a New Research Environment. And fellow archives' resources are linked from Resources Related to the Hidden Collections Program.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Game On

Finding Aids Incorporated in Newly Designed Website
Moving Images of Work Life, 1916-1960

Brass 9, a California-based Web design company (Geir Gaseidnes, Ian Smithdahl, Chris Moschini) flipped the switch: Northeast Historic Film's old Website is no more. We are now in a newly-designed Drupal site at with tons of new functionality: Integrated blog on the front page, video spotlights, home page search for site, collections, and store.

CollectiveAccess, the database for Moving Images of Work Life and our collections overall, is not yet presented with a Drupal front end but thanks to happy coordination between the teams all our finding aids are seamlessly integrated with the new site. Browse Northeast Historic Film's collections and search the finding aids here. You can leave a comment on an individual collection, click to "like," and download XML.

Start your day with pushups, joining the Camp Katahdin boys.
Douglas Crate, Sr. Legacy Collection video excerpt, 1956.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thanks to Students

Summer is coming to a close; Boafoa Offei-Darko, Wellesley College intern, has left the project. Our warm thanks to Boafoa for her help with the massive Charles B. Hinds Collection and with the Camp Runoia Collection. She viewed and entered PBCore records for 22 Camp Runioia reels. Yesterday we had a discussion about the remaining reels from that collection, which are outside our project scope being either post-1960 or purchased reels (or both). We will enter minimal records for each of these 54 reels to ensure that researchers have access to the entire audiovisual fonds of this institution. At some point in the future further description may be warranted.

Karen Wyatt will return in September. Meanwhile, Tim Rohe, Simmons GSLIS student, has been creating original descriptive records for Great Cranberry Library Collection and the David Almus Gregg II Collection, among others.

Caitlin McGrath, University of Chicago Cinema and Media Studies, is at Northeast Historic Film pursuing research this month. She is the first recipient of the William S. O'Farrell Fellowship. The fellowship supports research toward a publication, production, or presentation based on moving image history and culture, particularly amateur and nontheatrical film. The award honors the legacy of Canadian film archivist William S. O’Farrell, an advocate for amateur and nontheatrical film collections.

Ken Middleton, on behalf of the blog Women's History Sources, contacted us about summer camp film--a traditional business for women and families in northern New England as noted in earlier blog posts. Middleton, who is the editor of Microform & Imaging Review, is at Middle Tennessee State University. Our moving images are an outstanding women's history source. The blog post highlights three films benefiting from National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) preservation support. A 1919 Wohelo-Luther Gulick Camp Collection clip, streamed as Flash video on the NFPF Website, made it to the finish line before Northeast Historic Film's new Website launch. Enjoy!

By next week we expect to announce our newly designed Phew.

Roger Lincoln Collection, Enfield (1915/1916)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Half Year Report

July's work includes completion of a half-year report summarizing accomplishments to date and work still ahead. For a copy of the report, email It comes with an optional 26 pages of attachments, details of the cataloging system documented in screen shots (and so forth).

Intellectual Access Progress
We have created original finding aids for film collections in CollectiveAccess open source Web-enabled software, using the DACS content standard to complete 25 of 50 collections. These 25+ collection descriptions are on Northeast Historic Film’s server here.

Collaboration on a shared Web-enabled system allows for easy review of works in progress. The ability to upload and download images using CollectiveAccess is a pleasure and enhances the appeal of the finding aid. We look forward to adding digital video clips in the future. The user interface with live Genre, Subject, and Place links is useful and reviewers have said they appreciate the “i” information rollover explanation for each field.

Our goal by the end of the project (Dec. 31, 2010) is to complete the remaining 25 finding aids and publish them all to Northeast Historic Film’s Website, Public search and browse functionality will begin with that integration. We will export the records in Encoded Archival Description to other utilities as appropriate.

What's Next
In the second half of the year we will complete the item level cataloging in the PBCore data structure for moving images, describing individual works (reels of film) and their instantiations. The 50 collections comprise approximately 1,200 reels, with collection size ranging from one reel to 123 reels. We are cataloging at the rate of approximately 60 items per week to finish the remaining items. Visit the PBCore records as they are being written here. Raymond Cotton home movies, Hiram Historical Society Collection.