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, May 11, 2011

Instantiations: Formatted Data and Narrative


 [1938 Kodachrome of NYC + Jones Beach] 1999:0078:0001, George Eastman House
A drive by the New York World's Fair site under construction

Students at the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, George Eastman House, are trained in film handling and inspection. What information gathered during film inspection will we pass on to researchers in our catalog records, and what do researchers want to know? First, a reminder about the PBCore structure. Each reel has one Intellectual Content record, a set of elements describing what the reel is about, independent of its physical or digital existence. Each reel also has one or more Instantiation records, consisting of technical metadata describing the asset’s physical attributes (format, condition, location).

As skilled film handlers, the Selznick School students identified and captured information that tells us not only its present condition, but about its creation: often there are date codes indicating what year the film stock was created, and sometimes camera codes that reveal the type of camera used. Splices can tell how the creator edited the film, and whether a reel may come from one or more sources. Assessing condition, in particular shrinkage or vinegar syndrome, guides the custodians as to care of the artifact. The Instantiation record for the original material is important from a conservation point of view, and potentially holds information of interest to researchers, for example, was the reel shot on 8 mm. or 16 mm. film?