In recent years, traditional moving-image archives have faced challenges
from the dramatic shift towards digital production and distribution, the
effective end of photochemical preservation technology, the marginalization
of the theatrical viewing experience, and the public demand for universal,
instant and free access to media. In this public talk, Rick Prelinger,
Founder of the Prelinger Archives and Associate Professor of Film & Digital
Media at UC Santa Cruz, sets out a number of possible visions for the
future of archives, and discusses some of the innovations that many
cultural heritage institutions have already begun to experiment with today.
Rick Prelinger founded Prelinger Archives in 1982. This collection of
60,000 advertising, educational, industrial and amateur films is now held
by Library of Congress. In 2000 he collaborated with Internet Archive to
build an open-access, freely downloadable digital moving-image collection
that now contains over 6,500 titles. He has made seventeen urban history
compilation films and two experimental feature films that have played at
venues around the world. He currently is a professor of film and digital
media at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
*Attend in-person:* Tickets are free and are available two hours before the
event’s start time at the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at TIFF Bell
Lightbox, located at Reitman Square, 350 King Street West.
This event is part of TIFF’s Reel Heritage initiative, an on-going series
of educational sessions dedicated to the access to and management of moving
image collections in Ontario and beyond. Through panel discussions,
workshops, film screenings and networking sessions, Reel Heritage will
bring together scholars, archivists, filmmakers, curators, and
postsecondary students to examine the opportunities and challenges faced by
both large moving image collections and smaller repositories, such as those
found in regional archives and small libraries.
Unfortunately, it’s only open to AMIA members. But it’s a good resource to know, especially if you plan to work with media (and especially if you don’t have an AMIA student chapter anywhere near you).
AMIA-Student-L is a listserv sponsored by the AMIA Education Committee for AMIA student members. AMIA-Student-L is intended as a forum to discuss AMIA activities, academic work, student chapter activities, projects/internships, professional development, to promote networking, and provide advice and support for students entering the workforce.
Only current AMIA members registered as students may be subscribed to the listserv. Once that person registers as an individual AMIA (no longer a student) member they will be removed from AMIA-Student-L. If the student wishes to be removed from the listserv before that time, he/she will have to request the removal from the AMIA office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are a current AMIA Student member and would like to be registered to the listserv please visit http://www.amianet.org/node/1528 and follow the registration link. We hope this will be a valuable resource for our student members moving forward.
Note: This listserv is currently sponsored for one year. A survey will be distributed to student members toward the end the 2016 summer to determine if the listserv should become a permanent feature of the AMIA Student membership.
This is a one-year fellowship, 20-25 hours per week, paid but with no specific salary information.
The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) is accepting applications for its Preservation Educational Resources Fellowship. The Fellow will work for a period of one year within the Preservation Department, assisting with the development of a suite of educational resources designed to assist individuals and organizations alike in taking initial steps to assess and establish a preservation plan for their audiovisual materials….
We wish to work with a library, archives, film production or history student/recent graduate who aspires to learn about preservation planning and archival audiovisual formats and who demonstrates the strong desire to help us advance the field of moving image preservation.
Duties will include:
Researching existing audiovisual preservation tools and educational resources
Assisting with the research and acquisition of various samples of audiovisual formats
Assisting with the identification and documentation of conditions that can impact the well-being of audiovisual materials (during both storage and also playback)
Participating in, and providing support for, the production of educational resources (including print materials, instructional videos, and web content).
Skills acquired will include:
Knowledge of audiovisual preservation best practices and familiarity with the field of media preservation. A thorough understanding of the preservation of audiovisual materials (including equipment, format identification, proper care and handling and cleaning techniques, and playback and storage best practices).
Video or audio production or post-production
Training in preservation or archives (particularly video or audio preservation), library education/ experience or current training in audiovisual archives or museum studies.
If interested, please send a resumé and cover letter to the BAVC Preservation Department at email@example.com
We’ve talked before about the value of having professional-association student chapters on campus, whether it’s just general awareness of career options and extracurriculars or the impact on your resume of helping to manage and plan events, fundraisers, field trips, etc. There are no ARLIS/NA student chapters (yet), but that doesn’t mean you can’t start one! (I guess ArLiSNAP is sort of your virtual student chapter.)
During my MLIS these past two years, I watched some fellow McGill students start up a student chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists. As media preservation is a pretty important topic to arts-librarianship students, I thought I would ask a few questions about the process, the need, and the benefits of bringing special-interest representation to your school. Justin Mckinney kindly agreed to answer my questions about his work founding the chapter.
(Photos by Fiona Mak.)
ArLiSNAP: Let’s start with student chapters generally – were you members of other student chapters to start?
Justin Mckinney: During my first year of library school, I was a member of the Association of Canadian Archivists student chapter at McGill. I started out keen and not knowing what I was doing and imagining all the great things we would accomplish, but nothing really happened all year and I wasn’t exactly as active as I could have been.
ArLiSNAP: What’s the value of having local representation of professional associations?
JM: I think it has the potential to help raise awareness about the organization. Also, it can educate student members about issues in the field and maybe even lead to practical opportunities to do stuff. I think it probably varies from year to year and association to association, and is really dependent on the group of people involved at any given time.
ArLiSNAP: Why the Association of Moving Image Archivists specifically?
JM: I became really interested in film history and film preservation after my undergrad, which led me down the path to library school. I was already an AMIA member before starting library school, and my main interest in the archivy/LIS world was and is film preservation. After a sort of underwhelming experience of my first year at library school (which included a complete absence of film archiving content), I was determined to take more of an active role in my own learning. Fortunately, I had a couple of great friends in the program who had similar interests and were very supportive, and it snowballed from there.
ArLiSNAP: What was the process for starting a student chapter?
JM: I started emailing (and harassing) the fine people at AMIA about how to start a student chapter and they explained what was needed, which was mainly a constitution and that the executive members all be members of AMIA. They put me in touch with the folks at the NYU AMIA student chapter, and they were kind enough to send me their constitution, which I basically amended to change any mention of NYU to McGill — from there, we were off and running.
As for McGill, I just emailed people at the School of Information Studies (SIS) and let them know what I was doing and they got us a table at the student chapter fair at the start of the school year. Throughout the year they were generally helpful about any questions I had and they also helped us get connected with the Masters of Library and Information Science Student Association (MLISSA), and the Post-Graduate Student Society (PGSS), which both provide funding for SIS student groups.
In general, though, it was mostly a lot of me emailing and badgering people and then getting information as needed. It’s not really a clear process to setting up a chapter, and I think it would be beneficial if there were more guidance or upfront information given about the process of starting one.
In regards to gauging student interest, we really had no idea what would happen. To start it was just the executive (myself, Mark Haydn as vice-president, and Nicholas Avedisian-Cohen as secretary and treasurer). My main goal was to make the student chapter viable enough for someone to take over for a second year, once we all graduated. At the aforementioned student chapter fair, we were pleasantly surprised to get over 20 students to sign up for our email list, and we held our first meeting, which had over ten people, including first- and second-year students. This was a pleasant surprise and I think demonstrated that many people are interested in the field and also frustrated with the lack of film/media archiving content in library school.
The main paperwork was getting the constitution ratified. We also had to apply for funding for various events through PGSS and MLISSA. A lot it was just learning on the fly, as none of us had ever done anything like this before. So it involved a lot of asking questions of people at McGill and AMIA, and remaining persistent.
Probably the biggest challenge was forging a relationship with the Moving Image Research Laboratory (MIRL) at McGill, a research project which houses a wonderful cinema space and collection of 16mm films. Pretty much all of the Fall 2013 semester was spent sending emails, stalking professors, and showing up unannounced, just trying to get our foot in the door. Finally in January, we got access and that proved to be our greatest success, as it allowed us to start handling film, cataloguing the collection, and providing real hands-on experience in the field.
ArLiSNAP: You also organized a one-day symposium, which brought in guest speakers and gave students a chance to present their research. Why did you choose a symposium as your first event? How did that organizational process work?
JM: Technically, our first event was a field trip to the National Preservation Centre at Library and Archives Canada in Gatineau. We had 20 people come along and we got a great tour of the facilities there, and met a bunch of professionals in the field. Mark Haydn and I also attended the AMIA Conference in 2013 and met a bunch of the students at the Eastman House in Rochester, NY. Thanks to these friendships, we were able to organize a trip down there as well, where we got to tour their facilities and participate in a film-handling workshop.
As for the symposium, I heard that all the other groups were doing one, so we just copied them. The process of organizing it wasn’t that difficult. We booked the space at SIS and just sent out a call for papers and presentations to members of our email list. I also contacted David Stevenson, the conservator at the Canadian Centre of Architecture, whom I met on a class field trip, about presenting. I also contacted Phil Spurrell, the proprietor of CineClub Film Society, who I’ve known for several years and volunteered with. He is very knowledgeable about the medium of film and had a lot of interesting experiences working with film.
ArLiSNAP: Have you found someone to hand off the reins to? Do you have any thoughts on the sustainability of the group, long-term?
JM: One of the really encouraging things about our membership was that we had a lot of first-year students who were incredibly eager and motivated. So by the time we started cataloguing the MIRL collection, we were regularly getting 15 to 20 people out to volunteer. So we knew we had a solid base of people who might be able to take over next year. From there, we asked for nominations and were able to come up with a four-person executive committee for another year.
My hope is that some of the connections we made with the folks at LAC, and the folks at Eastman House, will continue and allow for more educational opportunities and networking. Also, the MIRL collection is really outstanding and needs a lot of work to catalogue, plus the cinema space allows for screenings and projections of the collection. This hands-on practical experience is invaluable and I think should be a major factor in the success of the group long-term.
ArLiSNAP: Do you have any ideas or recommendations about how to improve LIS curricula to contain more of the useful things your AMIA chapter is trying to do? Or do you think it’s better off as extracurricular activity?
JM: I feel like the major deficit of the MLIS program is the lack of hands-on experience of working with materials regardless of type. Particularly in the archival end of things, where the theoretical felt very abstract and weird to me. I found my understanding only started to come together through some of the volunteering I was doing at the Jewish Public Library Archives, where I was handling documents, creating finding aids, and writing accession numbers on folders.
Obviously, because of the broad focus of the program, it would be hard to have a dedicated film archiving course, but it is certainly something that could be touched on. Maybe a course dealing directly with the preservation of objects, rather than the theoretical preservation of objects would be useful.
Unfortunately, I think everything is becoming so focused on digital objects and becoming “information specialists” to the detriment of acquiring actual tangible physical skills, which I fear is leaving a lot of graduates ill-equipped to manage the physical aspects of library and archive work. Maybe it’s for the better, as having a broader and more transferable set of skills could help grads deal with the job market, but I can’t help thinking something valuable is being lost in the transition.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with professional associations, and if you’re thinking about starting a student chapter at your school (ARLIS/NA or otherwise). It’s not too late to plan something for the coming school year. Let us know in the comments!
Digital Media Librarian Academic Services/ Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art
Division: Academic Affairs FLSA Status: Exempt Reports to (Position Title): Director, Decker Library Work Schedule: 8:30 am -4:30 pm (M-F), one day a week 11am -7 pm Job Code & Description: S7200, Librarian The Digital Media Librarian is responsible for the operation of the Media Resources Collection (MRC), including digital images, the slide collection, material collection, videos and films; and for providing leadership with the on-going integration of analog and digital media technology and services. This includes establishing departmental polices and procedures, budget management, database administration and implementing collection initiatives in collaboration with the Director of the Decker Library.
Summary of Essential Functions:
• Manage the daily operations of the Media Resources Collection and services
• Plan and allocate budget in collaboration with the Director of the Decker Library
• Manage the digital asset portion of the Integrated Library System (SirsiDynix Portfolio)
Supervise digital image and collections cataloging • Participate in collection development and outreach for still and moving image collections
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
• Manage MRC staff and oversees daily departmental operations, including hiring and evaluating staff.
• Develop collection of still and moving images for instruction, research and preservation purposes.
• Select, acquire and maintain collections.
• Explore new technologies and provide innovative ways to offer digital materials in support of teaching and learning.
• Oversee processing and cataloging for the image collection. • Establish polices and ensure best practices are followed for cataloging, creation and storage of analog and digital media, in coordination with the Catalog Librarian as necessary.
• Manage and oversee the organization and appearance of the digital asset management system. Coordinate with the Systems Specialist to manage the related portion of the ILS system.
• Work with librarians and staff responsible for online resource collection development, acquisition, maintenance and user discovery.
• Provides reference, instruction and one-to-one research appointments, including participation in the Personal Librarian program.
• Coordinate the acquisition and inclusion of institutional archive materials in the MRC collection.
• Provide reference and circulation services to patrons.
• Participate in local and national professional organizations as well as library related projects and institution-wide committees as needed.
• Perform other related duties as assigned. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: • Demonstrated knowledge of current and emerging metadata and cataloging standards including MARC, METS, MODS, VRA core, Dublin core, XML, TEI, and best practices for digital collections. • Familiarity with integrated library systems and relational database management. • Knowledge of, and interest in relevant analog and digital media formats and experience with computer
technologies, digitization protocols and digital copyright.
• Familiar with proper handling of archival materials, photographic media and fragile special collections.
• Excellent technical and interpersonal skills, including the ability to foster a collegial work environment that encourages change and innovation.
• Ability to interact effectively and work productively, cooperatively, and collaboratively with a variety of individuals and groups in a complex and rapidly changing environment.
• Demonstrated ability to plan, coordinate, and implement complex projects and services.
• Ability to solve problems and prioritize work effectively.
• Masters degree in Library or Information Science
• Budget management and collection development experience with still and moving images
• Knowledge of art and the use of visual resources in an academic context
• 3-4 years visual resources experience in an academic or museum setting
• 1-2 years supervisory experience
• Bachelors, or Masters degree or strong educational background in Studio Art, Art History or related field
• Experience supervising digital projects
• Experience managing a visual resource center including supervision of student workers
Reporting to this position: 2.5 FTE (Media Coordinator, Patron Services Assistant, Media Resources Collection Assistant)
Conditions of Employment:
• Conditions: Background Check
• Must work at least one evening a week
Physical demands and work environment:
The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• Physical Demands: While performing the duties of job, the employee is occasionally required to stand, walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; balance; stoop; talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift up to 40 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. • Work environment: While performing the duties of the job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the work environment is usually minimal to moderate.
• Required training: Handbook orientation, Anti-Harassment, Hazard Communication, Emergency Plans & Fire Prevention, Personal Protection Equipment. (additional training may be added, SEE: EHS Manager training schedule)
“The new National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC) of the Library of Congress will be the first centralized facility in America especially planned and designed for the acquisition, cataloging, storage and preservation of the nation’s heritage collections of moving images and recorded sounds.”