neh-miap-03 - Howard Besser`s Site

Statement of Significance and Impact
1 page Abstract--General importance (and excerpt from Narrative—Significance &
Table of Contents
Start producing a nice Table of Contents
Basic NEH Narrative
We are requesting funds for a variety of start-up activities for our program. This includes
curriculum development for the program’s second year, stipends for students to gain
hands-on work experience in moving-image humanities collections, funding for student
group instructional visits to Library of Congress preservation facilities, an outside
speaker series to both increase student cohesion and to raise the profile of moving image
preservation in the outside community, and supplies for laboratory courses. Most of what
we are requesting are initial costs in establishing such a program; these will not be
ongoing costs.
Significance and Need
In this section we will discuss: the importance of moving images as historical and cultural
artifacts, the difficulty of preserving them, the need for educational programs to further
professionalize the field, the various educational and vocational programs that have
recently emerged, and the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program
that NYU has developed (and how it addresses all of the above).
Importance of moving images as historical and cultural artifacts
Discuss other programs, diffs btwn programs, cooperation btwn programs, us hosting
listserv for the programs, Lukow’s need for hiring 60 new archivists when Culpepper
opens (2006), NYPL’s needs, …
Over the past 150 years, technological innovation has resulted in the proliferation of
diverse analog and digital media that capture and create images and sound, and an
equally wide variety of mechanisms to record and play the media. These media are
fragile and the playback equipment they depend on all too quickly become obsolete,
presenting the moving image community with a complex preservation challenge.
Through neglect, chemical deterioration, fire, and other attrition, it is estimated that 80%
of all silent era film has now disappeared, as well as up to 50% of all film shot before
1950. For television programming and videos, the loss rates are even higher.
The arrival of computer technology and the development of digital processes provide new
options for the creation and preservation of sound and moving images. But digital
technology poses even higher risks of obsolescence than analog.
As the preservation and care of moving image material reaches a crisis point, there is also
evidence of a new appreciation of moving images and sound and an acknowledgement
that moving images are among the most crucial repositories of 20th century history. This
concern for the access to our own historical records has led to an increasing demand that
these materials be preserved. Hollywood studios now regularly employ archivists, many
of whom are attempting to retrieve materials that have been scattered and discarded over
the years. Television stations as well are revisiting their archival practices and taking
additional steps to safeguard their early broadcasts. In the non-profit sector, many
institutions such as museums, civil rights organizations, cultural groups, and historical
societies, whose primary focus is not moving images, find themselves in control of
unique and valuable video or film assets without an adequately staff to manage these
collections properly. As a recent report of the Council on Library and Information
Resources Task Force on the Artifact in Library Collections explains, not even large
libraries that have established programs in paper preservation have the expertise,
methods, and resources to address the preservation requirements of their film, video, and
audio holdings.
The difficulty of preserving moving image collections
What’s challenging about Moving Image Collections?
You can’t browse a collection
Many different purposes (documenting events, telling stories)
“Published” works have variant forms
Many physical formats (film gages, video sizes and encoding, digital encoding
and compressions)-
No format even approaches the stability of rag paper-
Some reasons why Moving Images are disappearing
Most pre-sound films weren’t saved at all
Nitrates hazard
Eastmancolor fading
Video--changing formats, magnetic particles not adhering to backing, little
recognition of importance of saving
Who should be responsible for saving works without lucrative financial value
General Issues for Electronic Media: Problems with Analog Preservation
Wide number of formats, many obsolete
Constant reformatting, and implications
Moving images are highly unstable, and an enormous number have already disappeared.
According to a 1993 report by the Librarian of Congress:1
50% of all titles produced before 1950 have vanished (approximate number as of
late 1970s)
This reflects full-length features; survival rates are much lower for other types
(studio newsreels, shorts, docs, independent, …), and these “orphans” are
particularly in peril
Fewer than 20% of features from 1920s survive in complete form; survival rates
of 1910s is under10% (and none of these are film negatives)
Moving Images are critical to understanding our cultural heritage:
Both fiction & documentaries shape any time period’s views of the past (Moses &
10 Commandments; Cleopatra; Caesar’s Rome; 1940s urban US; Hitler,
Holocaust, WWII; Vietnam War, …)
We are shaped by the cultural icons of our childhood (Leave it to Beaver, Lassie,
James Bond, police shows, Mickey Mouse, Road Runner, …)
We are also shaped by the advertisements, industrial, and educational films of our
childhood (Maytag repairman, How to be a good homemaker, …)
To understand our time period, people in the future will need to have access to the
cultural artifacts of our time (imagine trying to understand 1950s and 1960s
gender dynamics without pop cultural views of the family)
The need for preservation educational programs
Compounding all these problems is a shortage of formal training programs to provide
systematic education in the theories and skills of moving image archiving and
preservation. Recognizing this deficiency, the Librarian of Congress and the National
Film Preservation 1993: A Study of the Current State of American Film Preservation, Vol 1: Report, June 1993,
Report of the Librarian of Congress (
Film Preservation Board have recommended the establishment of formalized training
programs designed to educated archivists to meet this material and cultural challenge.
Their report, Redefining Film Preservation: A National Plan, particularly emphasizes the
growing complexity of the field and the inadequacy of the previously dominant mode of
training--learning on the job.
History of Moving Image preservation has been:
Learning through apprenticeships
Each institution does things their own way
“Professionalism” is a relatively recent idea
1990s studies recommending offering MAs to help standardize good practices and
professionalize the field
A 1994 report by the Librarian of Congress2 called Moving Image Preservation
Education critical:
Important to “Create a systematic graduate program for educating new film
preservation professionals and continuing education opportunities for those
already in the field”
“ad hoc instruction is no longer adequate”
“The National Film Preservation Board will work toward the creation of a
master's degree program in film preservation at an American university and invite
curriculum discussions with pertinent professional organizations.”
Current head (get his official title) of the Motion Picture and Recorded Sound division at
the Library of Congress, Gregory Lukow, further addressed the need for university level
training in his 2000 article “Education, Training, and Careers in Moving Image
Preservation.” Until the 1990s, all archival/preservation educational opportunities
available to the field were restricted to short-term workshops, seminars, or summer
programs. The time constraint of these sessions meant that only “selected practical
problems “ were addressed and there was little opportunity to explore larger themes. The
professionals who attended the workshops had most likely become managers and
custodians of moving image archives through apprenticeships. Lukow agrues that this
Redefining Film Preservation: A National Plan (Recommendations of the Librarian of Congress in consultation with
the National Film Preservation Board) Library of Congress Washington, D.C. August 1994
style of training was likely to give these professionals an insular, institution-specific
approach to archival practice. Most archvie professionals lacked the academic training
that would have assured they had a theoretical, sociological, cultural, and historical
context for their work.
Curators, academics, and collectors alike lament the deficiency of training available in
this area, as well as the tendency for archivists to be too distant from their clients and
scholars. All agree that archival and academic communities must work more closely with
one another, and that they should develop clearer mutual understandings.
International level discussions among moving image organizations and the publication of
important documents such as UNESCO’s Curriculum Development Report (do you have
an exact title for the UNESCO report? The following title is for the LC report) (Report
(Redefining Film Preservation: A National Plan; Recommendations of the Librarian of Congress in
consultation with the National Film Preservation Board, 1994) . The East Anglia program in 1991
was the first one to offer a master’s degree in archiving and preservation, and the George
Eastman House’s Jeffrey L. Selznick school soon followed with its one year certificate
program in 1991. Up to the start of this NYU program, UCLA’s Moving Image Archives
program (currently entering its second year) was the only master’s degree program in the
United States.
Educational and vocational programs
As noted above, historically moving image preservation education has taken place in the
form of apprenticeships or training for working professionals. The film preservation
community has been in the forefront of continuing education efforts, with projects like
Archimedia (a set of seminars and workshops rotating between different European cities,
under the title of “European Training Network for the Promotion of Cinema Heritage”),
and preconference training workshops at the Association of Moving Image Archivists
Prior to the 1994 Librarian of Congress report recommending formal educational
programs in this area, the only such program that existed was at the University of East
Anglia in the UK. Since the 1994 report, 3 educational programs have emerged in the
US, one in Australia, and new programs are about to begin in Berlin and Amsterdam.
Here is a summary of the programs that have existed for at least one year, presented in
the order in which they were founded:
The University of East Anglia, Master’s Program. Founded about 15 years ago,
through an initiative between the National Film Archive of Great Britain and the
University of East Anglia’s School of English and American Studies, this is a one
year program, a specialty within the School’s MA in Film Studies. Students
combine Film Studies courseworkthe theory and history of filmwith basic, handson training. Students take seminars from within the Film Studies MA, and two
practical courses allied with the University’s East Anglian Film Archive, a
leading regional film archive in Great Britain. At the end of the year’s study,
students complete an internship at a selected archive. Enrollment has been at
about 6-8 students per year, and, according to one of the program’s founders, all
graduates have found employment in the field to date. This is the only Program,
worldwide, offering a graduate degree qualification.
L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. This Program, affiliated with the
George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, is one of two training program
currently available in the United States. This one-year program was begun in
1996. It offers extensive hands-on, practice-based training integrated within the
day-to-day activities of the Motion Picture Department. Certificates are awarded
to those who successfully complete the Program. Enrollment has been 10-15
students per year.
University of New South Wales Internet Classes. This Program began in 1997, as
a collaboration between UNSW and the National Film and Sound Archive of
Australia in Canberra (now “ScreenSound Australia”). It is an Australian-based,
one-year, distance-learning program, offered through the University’s School of
Information Systems, Technology and Management. The one-year curriculum
offers four courses: “Audiovisual Management,” “Preservation and Conservation
of Audiovisual Materials,” Advanced Audio-visual and Multimedia
Management,” and a course of the student’s own choosing. This Program
obviously cannot offer hands-on experience, but forms a firm foundation for
further practical training, if desired. Most applicants so far have been from Asia
and Australia.
The Moving Image Archives program, up to now the only master’s degree
program in the country, is a collaboration between three entities at the university:
the Department of Information Sciences, the Department of Film and Television,
and the University Film Archive. The program of study lasts two years, during
which time students take on commercial and industrial internships, readily
available, given UCLA’s geographical setting alongside Hollywood. UCLA will
enroll up to 10 students per year. As mentioned above, the most apparent
distinction between the UCLA and the NYU-GEH program promises lie in two
areas. Firstly, while at GEH, students will live the life of a curator (see “The
Degree Program”), and have more chance to become acquainted with the handson aspects of preservation. Secondly, the MIAP curriculum promises to offer a
tighter integration of the teaching of film history and the practical challenges of
making decisions about restoration and archiving. Having pointed to these
differences (which may be more apparent than realtime will tell, once both
programs are running), we would point out that there is a general spirit of
cooperation among all current and proposed archival education initiatives (US and
European). This was amply evident at the Fall 2000 AMIA conference, at which
the representatives of the UCLA program welcomed the potential addition of an
East Coast program. It is only possible to train very small numbers of students on
any of these Programs, given the constraints of space, the difficulty of grouping
more than 10 students around a viewing table, and so on. The experience of the
Selznick School and UEAboth institutions have readily placed every students that
has qualified through their Programs--suggests that there is more than enough
room, and, in fact, an urgent need, for a fully-accredited, East Coast-based
training program in this field.
Each program has own strengths (affiliation with one preservation facility vs many;
distance learning, etc.)
Vocational vs. degree-granting
Cooperation btwn programs (cite FIAF mtg)
NYU’s MIAP Program
The MIAP program will differ from the above programs in:
1) Focusing on the whole range of moving image media, so as to train students for
managing the heterogeneous collections of the future (with their digital collections and
magnetic media, as well as nitrate and acetate film prints). The Selznick and UEA
programs only focus on film preservation to date.
2) Offering a two-year curriculum, so as to have enough time, and room, to include
both the academic and theoretical context needed for learning of the professional
management and preservation of audio-visual archives, as well as immersing students in
the vocational experience of being a curator. MIAP is a training program that will equip
students in every aspect of working in a moving-image archive: cataloguing, collection
management, budgeting, print-preparation, inspection, image reconstruction, laboratory
work, vault and storage management and programming and exhibition.
The practical elements of the original program (laboratory work) have been replaced by a
set of three required internships in New York museums, labs, libraries, and archives, and
by an intensive summer internship outside New York City.
Remaining on the NYU campus full time will allow it to fulfill its goal of working more
closely with other departments at NYU such as the paper-based Archives program in the
history department, the Museum Studies Program, and Art Conservation division.
The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, home to an internationally
recognized program in the history (and theory) of film (the Department of Cinema
Studies), and a world-class training program for filmmakers (the Department of Film and
Television), is taking a leadership role in addressing the problem of archiving and
preserving moving image materials. To help ensure that moving image artifacts remain
available for future generations, the Tisch School is establishing a graduate program in
moving image archiving and preservation (MIAP). Led by Professor Howard Besser, the
program will train future professionals to manage preservation-level collections of film,
video, new media, and other types of digital works. The program will provide prospective
collections managers and archivists with an international, comprehensive education in the
theories, methods, and practices of moving image archiving and preservation.
3-member Administrative team: Program Director Howard Besser, Assistant Director
Mona Jimenez, and Administrative Coordinator Alicia Kubes.
Mention should also be made of a number of other graduate archival initiatives on NYU’s
campus. These include the Archival Studies Program, housed in the NYU Department of
History, directed by Peter Wosh; the Museum Studies Program (founded in 1978), now
headed by Professor Bruce J. Altschuler, its new Director; the Conservation Program at
the Institute of Fine Arts, which teaches the restoration of painting and sculpture; and
MIAP. We plan to inaugurate a series of lectures and workshops to bring the students on
these four programs into contact with one another, to further cultivate their education in
archiving and preservation.
Lastly, the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU has a well-established interest in new media.
It houses the internationally-known Interactive Telecommunications Program, and has
founded the Skirball Center for New Media and Film, within which the Department of
Cinema studies is housed. The problems of conserving new media, as well as digital
versions of old media, will be a central part of the MIAP training. This activity will
dovetail perfectly with the broader interests of the Tisch School of the Arts, and will also
help to strengthen and deepen an interest in new media within the Department of Cinema
Studies itself. In other words, we envisage that the founding of MIAP will bring wideranging, positive changes to its host Department in this area.
Interdisciplinary; students need to
learn the context in which each of these cultural artifacts were made
know the history of changing formats
need to be scientists and technologists who understand:
the process of color changes
how certain stocks become too brittle to provide a flat focus for copying
how magnetic particles are laid on videotape and what causes the various types of
how different computer files link and interact, (and how certain compression
algorithms cause various types of loss) so that they can anticipate preservation
problems of compressed and hyper-linked digital works
strong organizational and classification skills so that they can manage these
collections and help others find things they want in them.
administrative skills to manage these large preservation repositories (whether they
be film, video, digital, or others).
understand that preservation does not exist in a vacuum, and that they may have
to become activists to prevent outside political forces from inadvertently
trampling on our ability to preserve
NYU’s MIAP: A curriculum for studying Moving Image Archiving & Preservation
Film History/Historiography and Film Style
Conservation, Preservation, Storage, and Management
Legal Issues and Copyright
Laboratory Techniques
Moving Image Cataloging
Curatorial Work and Museum Studies
New Media and other Digital Technologies
Access to Archival Holdings
Our Graduates
We are training a new generation of custodians of our cultural heritage
This training has to involve more than the kind of apprenticeship that has
traditionally characterized this field
To be an effective Moving Image Archivist in the future will require a
combination of the professional and the theoretical, and the ability to apply
important traditions and concepts to communications technology of the future that
we’ve never even dreamed of today
We want our graduates to act as “change agents” in the organizations they go into
We want to instill in them a commitment to preserve the future as well as the past
many of us will need to work together to make sure that the moving image
artifacts of the 20th century and beyond are available to our grandchildrens’
grandchildrens’ grandchildren.
Institutional Profile
Founded in 1965, the Department of Cinema Studies was one of the first university
departments devoted to the history, theory, and aesthetics of film and the moving image.
Today, with 11 full-time faculty members, it is the largest department of its type in the
United States. The specialties of its faculty include the cinemas of Brazil, China,
Sweden, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Spain, Mexico, France, Italy,
Russia and the former Soviet Union, and the United States, among others; film theory and
philosophy; cinema and modernism; gay and lesbian screen studies; social policy and the
moving image; television history and culture; African American screen studies; and silent
cinema. The Department is arguably the best location in the world for an education in
film history. Over the last ten years, the Department has widened its purview, hiring
faculty experts in video art, the history of broadcast television, and international
television policy. Throughout its career, the Department has endeavored to educate
students in the physical characteristics of moving image media and to illuminate how
these qualities shape both the making and the reception of film. This focus, along with
the Department’s tradition of teaching silent film history, has enabled the Department to
play a central role in the recent revision of the study of silent cinema. [Most of the key
players in the recent revolution of our understanding of cinema’s emergence were trained
in the Department. (Noel Burch, Tom Gunning, Richard Koszarski, Charles Musser,
Roberta Pearson, Giuliana Bruno, and many others.) The Department’s strengths in
silent film, as well as its longstanding commitment in its teaching to emphasizing the
material qualities of moving image media, make it an ideal home for what will be one of
the country’s first two master’s programs in moving image archiving and preservation.]
Over its thirty year history, the Department of Cinema Studies has built up a library of
published materials, including approximately 10,000 books and 18,000 periodicals. The
Department also holds a specialized collection of 4000 16mm film prints, as well as
approximately 23,000 titles on videotape, DVD, and laser. The Department’s resources
have been significantly expanded by the purchase of the William K. Everson Collection
of 5000 16mm film prints, with its particular strengths in Hollywood films through 1950
and British films. About 350 of these films are on site, in the Department’s Film Study
Center; the remainder are stored at the George Eastman House. As already mentioned,
this holding will form an excellent base through which to train students in the
preservation and management of moving image collections. Along with the films, the
Department of Cinema Studies acquired a large collection of William K. Everson’s
personal papers, manuscripts, books, and periodicals. This archival collection joins
previously acquired archival collections, including the George Amberg/Robert Gessner
Collectionand the Paulette Goddard Collection. The Department’s Film Study Center
includes a small viewing facility with rooms and equipment for the individual study of
film, video, and DVD. There are plans for major plant renovations, within the next three
years, which provide new office space and archival space for the new degree program.
The Department of Cinema Studies received an NYU Curricular Development Challenge
Fund Award in 1999-2000 ($7000), for purchasing a laptop computer and other
equipment to allow students to study archival data bases, and the internet, in the
classroom setting.
The Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University already subscribes to
most of the journals needed for teaching this Program, and has world-class holdings in
the fields of the visual and performing arts. Serving a highly “media-literate” community,
the NYU Division of Libraries supports a large and active media center, the Avery Fisher
Center for Music and Media, that holds a collection of over 45,000 items , including films
on video tape, as well as television programs, CD-Roms, and video art, and provides 77
carrels for listening and viewing. Last year, the Avery Fisher Center recorded more than
60,000 visits by students and faculty members using audio and video materials in fields
ranging from performance studies to nursing.
More on NYC and why it’s a good place; more on video and new media. Why did the
relationship w/Eastman fail?
Add: “description of the institution’s mission, organizational structure, annual budget, and sources of
income, and staff”. Is this for NYU in general, or for Tisch, or for Cinema Studies? Call and ask Laura
Curriculum and Plan of Work
In this section we include a discussion of the entire MIAP program as a whole, followed
by a discussion of the program elements we’re asking NEH to fund.
Discussion of Entire Program
This two-year Masters Degree Program trains future professionals to manage
preservation-level collections of film, video, new media, and other types of digital works.
The program will provide prospective collection managers and archivists with an
international, comprehensive education in the theories, methods, and practices of moving
image archiving and preservation. The curriculum covers all aspects of moving image
archiving, including: Film History/Historiography and Film Style; Conservation,
Preservation, Storage, and Management; Legal Issues and Copyright; Laboratory
Techniques; Moving Image Cataloging; Curatorial Work and Museum Studies;
Programming; New Media and other Digital Technologies; and Access to Archival
This program takes full advantage of the New York City area. Students will work with
archives, museums, libraries, and laboratories, and will undertake projects with
organizations such as New York Public Library, The American Museum of the Moving
Image, WNET, The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, and the Flaherty Seminar. They will do
internships and practica with New York City organizations during the school year and
with repositories either in New York or elsewhere during the summer. And they will
have the opportunity to engage with NYU’s Art Conservation program, Museum Studies
Program, and paper-based Archives Program.
Although the program will train students to deal with all types of moving image material
in all settings, it will also pay attention to problems posed by works that have no
institutional stewardship (orphan, independent, avant-garde, documentary, noninstitutional websites, etc.). The program will also deal with the ties between the
practices of moving image archiving and the practices of scholarly research.
Students will engage in a rigorous course of study, completing 64 units of coursework
over a two year period. And during their second year, they will complete and defend
either a final thesis project, or a Portfolio synthesizing the work they’ve done throughout
their degree program.
Directed internships (and bi-weekly meetings) Over the course of the first 3 semesters,
each student will engage in 3 different 15 hour/week internships, each lasting
approximately 15 weeks. These internships will provide hands-on experience with
moving image material, as well as deep exposure to the various types of institutions that
handle this material. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Students will meet as a group
bi-weekly with instructor to contextualize the internship experience. (At least one
internship must be involved with daily management of a moving image collection, and
another must be involved with restoration.) (Professor Howard Besser and Mona
Jimenez, semesters 1-3, 4 points)
2-year masters and why. add tuition cost. : $31,270
The MIAP program has proved quite popular. For the opening year (starting Fall 2003),
26 people applied for the 8 student slots.
More discussion of hands-on laboratory work at Cineric and VidiPax
Emphasis on Orphan films, non-hollywood, etc.
“The recognition that the world's archives need to protect "orphan films" has become one
of the most challenging aspects of film preservation. How can orphan films be saved,
screened, studied and creatively used? The beauty of the orphan metaphor is that it
embraces a wide array of neglected genres: newsreels, outtakes, home movies,
kinescopes, trailers, silent film, stock footage, industrials, the avant garde, independent
documentary and many other types of ephemeral film. All of these are part of our social
and cinematic history.” (Martin Scorsese
Discussion of Portion of Program we’re asking for NEH to help support
We are requesting funds for a particular set of start-up activities for our program. These
activities (outlined below) include: curriculum development for the program’s second
year, stipends for students to gain hands-on work experience in moving-image humanities
collections, funding for student group instructional visits to Library of Congress
preservation facilities, an outside speaker series to both increase student cohesion and to
raise the profile of moving image preservation in the outside community, transportation
for all students to the 2006 Orphans Film Symposium, and supplies for laboratory
courses. Most of what we are requesting are initial costs in establishing such a program;
these will not be ongoing costs.
We will be guided by a 4-member Advisory Board including leading experts in film
preservation, video preservation, and conventional archival practices. All 4 Board
members are leading educators, and well-connected in the field (see section on Advisory
Board membership). The primary role of the Board will be to advise us on who to hire as
external curriculum consultants, and to guide the Evaluator in performing an evaluation
of the Project. In addition, the Board will advise on other matters that emerge.
Most of the Board’s business will be conducted by email and conference call. We have
budgeted for one in-person Board meeting in conjunction with our intensive evaluation
meeting at the Nov 2005 AMIA conference (see section on Evaluation).
Approximate Cost: $3,000 conference call services; $2,000 travel and housing for our
Board Member who does not attend AMIA; $1500 for our other Board members and
program administrators to stay an extra day at AMIA=$6,500 total
curriculum development for the program’s second year
We are requesting funds to hire outside consultants to help our instructors develop
curriculum for the 2nd year of our program.3 The department has already committed
funds for ongoing instruction, and we have selected a set of instructors with extensive
pedagogical experience as well as significant subject matter expertise. But we are
requesting NEH funding for the start-up costs of bringing in consultants to help our
instructors develop and revise curriculum for each of our eight 2nd year courses.
No textbooks and very little literature exists for the type of material we seek to cover.
Many of our 2nd year courses are highly technical (Handling New Media; Film
Restoration; Video Restoration; Digital Preservation and Restoration), and much of the
(sparse) literature in that area assumes that the reader is an advanced professional already
working in the field. These technical courses will require both the development of
introductory instructional material, and sets of practical laboratory exercises. They will
see Appendix A1 for a full list of courses and brief descriptions, and Appendix A2 for initial syllabi for these courses
also require amassing numerous concrete examples (such as showing before-and-after
examples of various restoration attempts and processes).
For most of our 2nd year courses that are less technical (Access to Moving Image
Collections; Copyright, Legal Issues, and Policy; The Archive, the Collection, the
Museum; Curating, Programming, Exhibiting, and Repurposing/Recontextualizing
Moving Image Material), even less teaching/training material exists. As the 1994 report
by the Librarian of Congress noted, this field has been primarily an apprenticeship one,
and little formal education has taken place. The other US educational and training
programs treat most of these subjects in a very light way (either as small modules within
a broader class, or through guest lectures). Our program seeks to make these more
fundamental parts of the educational experience, but that will require significant work in:
building curriculum, developing instructional models, gathering examples from highly
ephemeral literature (such as leaflets handed out in the course of archival screening
series), recording interviews with key individuals discussing what they do and how they
do it, etc.
Our Advisory Board will help us select the most appropriate consultants. Because this is
such a crucial part of our Project, we have selected an Advisory Board that is ideally
suited for this. Three of the Advisory Board members are highly active in the primary
professional organization for this field – The Association of Moving Image Archivists
(AMIA), and the 4th member is highly active within the Society of American Archivists.
All have been active in these organizations for a long time, and between them are well
acquainted with most individuals active in the field. In addition, all 4 are experienced at
teaching and training (the 3 AMIA members are instructors in the official AMIA
preconference workshops, and the 4th directs a masters degree program in Archival
Management), making them ideally suited to understanding details of our curriculum
needs and how modules can be best arranged for instruction. All this makes our
Advisory Board well suited to select the most appropriate consultants for curriculum
In early 2004 (before the start of the grant period), the Advisory Board will help us select
and negotiate with one or two consultants for each of the 8 courses. In May 2004 (at the
start of the grant period) the course instructor will begin discussions with the
consultant(s) over the overall curriculum. Over the course of summer 2004 they will
together revise the course syllabus and identify instructional material that needs to be
developed. The consultant(s) will spend approximately 7 consulting days both working
with the instructor and creating course materials on their own (or in consultation with
their colleagues). The first time the course is actually taught, the consultant will make a
three-day site visit to NYU. During this visit they will spend one consulting day giving a
guest lecture in that class and meeting with students, 1.5 days meeting with the class
instructor and MIAP Director to assess the curriculum they have developed and plan for
further curriculum development, and an additional half-day either working on further
curriculum development or giving a public lecture as part of our Moving Image
Preservation series (see “Public Lecture Series” below). Based both on their onsite
discussion over curriculum and on course evaluations, the consultant(s) will do an
additional 4 days of offsite curriculum development over the next year. The second time
the course is taught, they will come for one additional 3-day onsite visit similar to the
first, but in this visit they will finalize their contribution to the course.
Consultant(s) for each course will work a total of 17 consulting days. Each consultant
will provide deliverables in the form of: a public lecture (which we will videotape and
make widely available), an additional course lecture (which we will also videotape,
primarily for internal use), interim curriculum modules which will be tested in the
classroom by the instructor, and a final set of course modules at the end of the project.
The instructor and Program Director will negotiate timetables and interim deliverables
with each consultant, based on the needs of that particular course and the Consultant’s
availability. We will also hire a total of 2 research assistants to work with the
Consultants and instructors in building and revising the curriculum.
We have thusfar selected one potential curriculum consultant to show that there are
highly qualified professionals with instructional experience who would be interested in
serving as consultants for this project. Nancy Goldman (Head of the Pacific Film
Archive’s Library & Film Study Center) is one of the most prominent professionals in
North America in terms of providing reference-type access to researchers interested in
moving image materials. She has conducted dozens of workshops, training sessions, and
lectures on the topic. She is very active in collaborative national and international
projects. And she has developed innovative reference/access projects. (see section on
Project Consultants for her bio and vitae)
Though the cost of this portion of the project is significant, it is a one-time cost whose
benefits extend for a very long time period and well beyond our MIAP Program. These
are upfront costs for establishing an initial curriculum that will only need minor annual
revisions for many years into the future (and those revisions can easily be covered by
regular NYU operating costs). The 10 public lectures given by the Consultants will
become important instructional tools for all programs in moving image preservation, as
well as for other preservation programs that wish to teach one or more modules on
moving image preservation. In this area we are trying to be as cost-effective as possible:
tying consultant onsite visits to both public lectures and guest lectures in classes,
handling as much of the work as possible by email and phone, tying related Advisory
Board and Evaluation meetings to the AMIA conference, etc. NYU will contribute costshare to this in terms of 20% of the instructor’s time for each course and much larger
amounts of time from the Program’s administrative team (Howard Besser, Mona
Jimenez, and Alicia Kubes).
Approximate Cost: 8 Consulting slots, each involving: 17 consulting days [10 year-one,
7 year-two] @ $700/day, 2 3-day trips to NYC [air fare—4 west coast+3 east coast,+ 1
local, ground transport, 4 nites lodging per person per trip, meals]=$xxx*8
Consultants=$yyy; 2 RAs @$xxx/year each*2 years=$YYY=$zzz total 2-year cost
stipends for student work in moving-image humanities collections
We are requesting stipends to support student hands-on work experience in nonprofit
moving-image humanities collections. This activity will serve double-duty: both giving
students valuable experience in these types of collections, and helping these collections to
move forward with moving image preservation and conservation.
As noted above, a key element that differentiates NYU’s program is giving the students
hands-on work experience in a variety of different collections. And because of the rigor
of NYU’s program, students will be unable to hold outside jobs during the 21 month
period of their Masters program. Stipends tied to actual work experience in nonprofit
humanities collections will: encourage students to pursue internship-type opportunities in
humanities collections (rather than in sites like the Museum of Natural History), act as
financial aid to help the students through our program, and provide important assistance
to these nonprofit collections.
This type of work experience will only take place in institutions where we are sure that a
working professional will be available to mentor the student. We have had discussions
with a number of different institutions, and thusfar have established relationships to place
our students in the following institutions (see Appendix for support letters):
The Henry Hampton Collection at the University of Washington in St. Louis is
the premiere collection of audio and audiovisual materials relating to the
American Civil Rights Movement. The materials were collected in connection
with the various documentary films made by the late Henry Hampton, and his
production company Blackside, Inc. Included in the archive is the original (preediting) film and video used to make most of Blackside’s productions, including
their award winning series "Eyes on the Prize." The 35,000-plus items in the
collection include more than 570 hours of original footage, 730 hours of stock
footage, photographs, scripts, storyboards, producer’s notes, interviews, music,
narration, posters, study guides, and other materials.
New York Public Library is (add stuff here, based on what Heike says)
The American Museum of the Moving Image is dedicated to educating the
public about the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and
digital media, and to examining their impact on culture and society. It achieves
these goals by maintaining the nation's largest permanent collection of moving
image artifacts, and by offering the public exhibitions, film screenings, lectures,
seminars, and other education programs.
We are in discussion with other nonprofit humanities organizations, and will add those to
our list of work experience opportunities based on prioritization set by our Advisory
Students will rotate between work experience opportunities in order to give them each a
chance to experience multiple institutional environments. And every two weeks the
students will meet as a group with the MIAP Program Director to share their work
experiences with each other, and have the Program Director help contextualize that
We will pay stipends of $5,000 per semester and expect the student to put in
approximately 15 hours of work/week for 15 weeks (which works out to approximately
$20/hour). We will also provide stipends of $13,000 for fulltime summer work (which
again works out to around $20/hour plus a very small amount of funding for relocating
outside the NYC area for the summer). We want to use stipends for 2 students per
semester and 2 students per summer for each of the 2 years of the grant period.
In the long run, we expect to replace these stipends with a more regular form of funding
for student work experience. We have already engaged in discussions with our Dean
over raising an endowment to fund this activity. And we have proposed to several
nonprofits the idea of building work experience for our students into future funding
proposals they develop (or we jointly develop together). But it will be several years
before we can become completely self-sufficient in this important area.
Approximate Cost: each year 2 student stipends for each of 2 semesters ($5,000*4) + 2
summer stipends ($13,000*2)=$46,000 (2 year total $92,000)
instructional visits to Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center
The Library of Congress Motion Picture Conservation Center in Dayton Ohio is one of
the most important sites for film preservation and restoration in the world. With its
world-class collection and savvy personnel, it is the center of the most important film
preservation work in the US. We are seeking travel funds to bring our students to the
Conservation Center for an intensive week-long set of apprenticeships in the Spring of
their first year.
Groups of 2-3 students will be assigned to Conservation Center staff for both formal
instruction (such as operating equipment) and as apprentices. The student groups will
rotate several times during the week, so that each student gets to work with the different
staff and activities.
This highly hands-on intensive week with Conservation Center staff has been used for
several years by Eastman House’s Selznick Program, and graduates of the program
appear to feel that it was a highly productive experience. For NYU’s program, this
experience will offer an important supplement to the internships in repositories and
commercial laboratories in the New York City area. While critical restoration work goes
on in commercial laboratories like Cineric, spending time at LC will expose students to
the large-scale collection-based side of film preservation that is not visible in work at a
private lab.
In addition, this experience will familiarize our students with LC’s operations. This will
both help set them up for more productive summer internships at LC, and will prepare
them for the large number of jobs that will become available when LC opens its new
moving image conservation center in Culpepper Virginia. Finally, this arrangement will
help build ongoing collaborative relationships between LC and NYU, which we hope will
lead to a myriad of joint projects in the future.
Approximate Cost: lodging $4,000; transportation $3,000=$7,000/year*2 years=$14,000
Public lecture series
We propose a monthly public lecture series to both increase student cohesion and to raise
the profile of moving image preservation in the outside community. And we will create
videotapes of these lectures so that other educational programs in preservation can use
Bringing in outside lecturers will exposing our students to the movers and shakers in the
field, and will provide them with significant role models. We will publicize these
lectures widely both in the professional community and amongst the related NYU
academic programs (paper archives, art conservation, and museum studies), and expect a
high degree of attendance from among these other groups. We hope that such a series
will raise the profile of moving image preservation amongst working professionals (and
students) who specialize in conservation and preservation of other types of formats. And
receptions immediately following the lectures will encourage our students to find
commonality with preservationists of other type of media. We expect that this will also
provide the added benefit of cross-fertilization between our students and those of the
other NYU preservation-related academic programs.
The speakers will be chosen by our Advisory Board. We will be seeking speakers
involved in moving image preservation who can give dynamic lectures that also exert
some appeal to those outside the moving image preservation field. To minimize costs,
half our speakers will come from our set of outside curriculum Consultants (and
effectively the cost of their lectures is built into their consulting cost as outlined under
“curriculum development” above).
We will videotape all the public lectures. We will request that each outside speaker sign a
Creative Commons copyright agreement allowing us to make a video of their Talk
available to other non-profit educational institutions. Videos of Talks by high-quality
speaker will also benefit all other moving image preservation programs, as well as more
general preservation programs that wish to include short moving image components.
Approximate Annual cost for each of 2 years: Publicity and refreshments $1,000;
honoraria for 5 speakers $2,500; travel/lodging for 2 speakers $3,200 (Howard raised the
travel cost here); student salary to videotape and add titles to 10 lectures $xxx; master
videotape and 3 circulating copies $xxxx
(include cost of making one master and 3 copies of each of the 20 Talks, plus the cost of a videotape
operator, plus the cost of adding titles to the video – ask Ann to help figure costs. ANN’S ON
VACATION, BUT MAI HELPED. service with editing is 450 per talk= 9,000, materials is $355 per
talk=7,100 for a total of 16,100!! expensive!)
transportation to Orphans Film Symposium
According to Film Foundation President Martin Scorsese, the Orphans Film Symposium
at the University of South Carolina “has become an important gathering place for people
engaged in the preservation, study and use of motion pictures. … These unique symposia
bring together an eclectic mix of professionals and enthusiasts who share a common
concern but who have no other regular meeting ground. "Orphans of the Storm"
assembles an international group of archivists, scholars, curators, collectors,
programmers, and filmmakers who work with orphaned material. Rare moving images
from the past are screened alongside new films by artists and documentarians.
Participants discuss their latest research and discoveries. As cinema enters a new digital
era, the millions of feet of film that represent our record of the 20th century stand in need
of rescue and rediscovery. The majority of this footage consists of a diverse group of
orphan films. Only the collaboration of an equally diverse set of critical minds working in
film and video will allow us to realize the value of these amazing images and sounds.”
We intend to bring our entire group of students to the 2006 Orphans Film Symposium.
This Symposium offers a unique educational experience for future moving image
archivists. Our students will: see discussions of a wide variety of restoration and
preservation techniques; be exposed to a number of unusual film formats and methods for
handling them; and see vivid examples of the relationship between preservation,
scholarship, and exhibition. But most of all, we expect our students to be inspired by the
enthusiasm exhibited by the professionals and collectors who come to this conference.
As an experiment, in the Fall of 2003 our students will be doing research on preservation
of several items from the University of South Carolina Archive, and one of them will be
selected to present their work at the April 2004 Orphans Symposium. If this works out as
well as we expect, the Orphans organizers will likely provide a more active role for
student research at their 2006 Symposium.
Approximate Cost: Hotel $2,000; Registration $3,000; Transportation $2,000=$7,000
supplies for laboratory courses
We are requesting funding for supplies for a film inspection station and a video
reformatting station. Though students will have access to both of these at commercial
labs and while working in the Bobst Library, it is important that they have hands-on
practice on such stations within the department. Students will have instruction on these
as part of classroom laboratory work, and will engage in numerous projects and exercises
using these facilities.
Supplies for the film inspection station include: rewinds, splicers, split reels, gloves,
cement, film cleaner, leader, and cans. Supplies for the video reformatting station
include both 124 minute and 40 minute digital betacam tapes.
Approximate Cost: film inspection station supplies $3,478; video reformatting station
supplies $2,220=$5,698 total
Expendables for doing short documentaries of the various collections (and of
preservation processes)????
NYU will both engage in its conventional course and program evaluation methods, and
additionally will hire a PhD Education student to provide more extensive curriculum
evaluation for this program.
The Department of Cinema Studies has always included student course evaluations as a
regular part of its pedagogical procedures, and will continue to do so with the new
courses for this program. We will require students to complete course evaluations at the
end of each course, and encourage faculty to respond to criticisms and suggestions for
improvement made in these evaluations. The recurrence of complaints will be reported to
the Head of Department for review.
For this program, we will track student grades and completion rates. Once a year we will
solicit feedback from internship mentors as to the preparedness of the students we send
them, and their feeling about the relevance of that internship experience. After students
graduate, we will track job placement, publications, projects, awards, and other
accomplishments. We will interview a selection of employers, who have recruited MIAP
graduates, to assess the effectiveness of the program, and to determine how we might
better shape the curriculum in the future.
We will also institute a more rigorous review of the entire program. We plan to hire a
PhD student in Education (specializing in curriculum evaluation) to work 25% time from
May 2005-April 2006 leading a project to evaluate our program. From May-August 2005
the Evaluator will develop internal instruments which will be used for all classes during
the 2005-2006 academic year.
During the summer and Fall, the Evaluator will be consulting with our Advisory Board
and other experts in the field, and putting together a one-day meeting in conjunction with
the AMIA conference in Nov 2005 (leveraging costs, as most of the experts will already
be attending this meeting). At this meeting, under the direction of the Evaluator, 8
experts in the field will examine the MIAP curriculum and program in general, and make
recommendations for improvement. After the meeting, the Evaluator will write up the
results in the form of an evaluation, and s/he will also begin working on ways to improve
the program (following the suggestions that come out of that meeting, as well as out of
other evaluation instruments). The Spring 2006 semester will be used to test out some of
the changes that emerge from the evaluation process.
Approximate Cost: Evaluator salary (1 year @ 25% time) $xxx; Evaluation instruments
and data analysis $500; 1-day meeting for 8 people: 1 extra nite hotel $1600; room rental
$800; food $500; Evaluator transportation $1,000
meeting at AMIA 4,000*25%=1,000 (Is this monthly? Too small to be annual)
Staff, Faculty, and Consultants
Project Budget
Full project budget
Appendix A1—4-page handout summary of all our courses
Appendix A2—Syllabi for all courses (including prior core courses)-to come
Appendix B—2-page resumes for Howard, Mona, Alicia, and all 2nd year instructors-to
Appendix C—Job Description for PhD Education student
Appendix D—Support letters-on way
History of Grants
Project Consultants and Advisory Board Members
Advisory Board discussion
We have established a 4-member Advisory Board of experienced educators. Three of our
Advisory Board members have been repeat instructors at the Association of Moving
Image Archivists’ annual preconference workshops on preservation training. Two of
these are experts in film preservation, and the third is an expert in video preservation.
Two hold prominent positions in the 2 largest federal government moving image archives
(NARA and LC). All three are well-connected in the moving image preservation field,
and will be very helpful in identifying curriculum consultants and outside speakers. The
4th member of the Advisory Board is extremely active in the general world of archives,
serving on the Society of American Archivists Council, and directing NYU’s Archival
Studies Program (housed within the History Department). Below are the biographies of
Advisory Board members.
Dr. Peter J. Wosh has served as director of the Program in Archival Management and
Historical Editing at New York University since 1994. Prior to assuming this
responsibility, he held positions as Director of Archives and Library Services at the
American Bible Society (1989-1994); Archivist and Records Manager at the American
Bible Society (1984-1989); and University Archivist at Seton Hall University and
Archivist for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark (1978-1984). He received a
Ph.D. in American History from New York University in 1988; an M.A. in History with a
Certificate in Archival Management, Historical Editing and Historical Society
Administration from New York University in 1979; and a B.A. with Highest Distinction
in History from Rutgers University in 1976.
Dr. Wosh was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists in 2001, and
currently serves as a member of the Council of the Society of American Archivists. He
has also been the recipient of the Posner Award for the best article appearing in the
American Archivist journal (2000); the Sr. M. Claude Lane Award for distinguished
contributions to religious archives (1993); and served as reviews editor for the American
Archivist journal from 1991-1994. His books include: Spreading the Word: The Bible
Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Cornell University Press, 1994); with Joseph
Mahoney, The Diocesan Journal of Michael Augustine Corrigan, Bishop of Newark, New
Jersey, 1872-1880 (New Jersey Historical Society, 1987); and Guide to Northern New
Jersey Catholic Parish and Institutional Records (New Jersey Catholic Historical
Records Commission, 1984). He currently is completing two book projects: a history of
Covenant House in New York City and a privacy and confidentiality reader for archivists
that will be published by SAA. Dr. Wosh has written and spoken widely on a variety of
archival and historical topics, and is a past chair of the Archival Educators Round Table
of SAA.
Ken Weissman has worked in film production and preservation for the past 23 years.
Since 1981 he has been employed at the Library of Congress Motion Picture Preservation
Laboratory, first as a Film Preservation Specialist, then as Lab Supervisor. In 1995 he
was named head of the Library’s newly formed Motion Picture Conservation Center.
Ken has directed the Library’s restoration of such films as MR. SMITH GOES TO
BLUE EAGLE, BIG FELLA, and most recently a restoration of Paul Robeson's THE
EMPEROR JONES under a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
For the past 8 years, Ken has been an active member of the Association of Moving Image
Archivists. He is both co-developer and an instructor for the Association’s “Intermediate
Preservation Training Workshop”, which has been presented at the last 4 annual
conferences. He has served AMIA as a Director of the Board, and is a past Chair of the
AMIA Preservation Committee. He is currently AMIA’s respresentative to the Joint
Technical Symposium – 2004 Conference Committee, a technical conference organized
every 3 to 4 years, which gathers archive representatives from all over the world to
discuss technical issues of mutual concern.
Jim Lindner, is the Managing Member of Media Matters – a consulting company whose
clients include The Library of Congress and The Dance Heritage Coallition. He was
Founder of the videotape restoration company VidiPax, and is a well-known authority on
the preservation of electronic media. Jim pioneered techniques to treat old, decayed
videotape, and is the recipient of the 1995 Film Preservation Award -- the first such
award given for electronic media preservation. He is the moderator for a list-serv on
audio/visual technical issues (AV-Media-Matters).
Jim was twice a member of the board of the Association of Moving Image Archivists
(AMIA) as well as the International Federation of Television Archives (FIAT) and is
currently on the Executive Board of SEAPAVAA. He has been a participant in SMPTE
and ANSI standards committees, and a frequent lecturer and writer on electronic media
preservation internationally. In addition, Jim also served as Chairman of the Board of
Anthology Film Archives (one of the largest archives of Independent and Experimental
Film and Video), and serves on a variety of other media-associated boards and
organizations. As a specialist in Forensic Video, he has been an expert witness in several
court cases and trials. Jim is also an inventor, and his latest innovation called “SAMMA”
or the “System for the Automated Migration of Media Archives is currently under
Lewis to come
Consultant discussion
Nancy Goldman is Head of the Pacific Film Archive Library & Film Study Center at the
University of California at Berkeley. She directs all aspects of the Library & Film Study
Center, including providing reference and access to collections of books, periodicals,
stills, posters, documentation files, and films and videos. She also coordinates future
planning for the unity, supervises technical services, and manages CineFiles, PFA’s film
document digital image database. Ms. Goldman received her M.L.I.S. from UC Berkeley
in 1980. She is the Head of the Cataloguing and Documentation Commission of the
International Federation of Film Archives, and is an active professional writer and
speaker in the field of moving image archiving.
Support letter discussion
1-2 sentences about the author of each support letter
List of suggested evaluators (submit separately)
Appendix A1
MIAP Courses
Semester 1
Introduction to Moving Image Archiving and Preservation: This course introduces all
aspects of the field, contextualizes them, and shows how they fit together. It will
discuss the media themselves (including the technology, history, and contextualization
within culture, politics, and economics) Topics include: conservation and preservation
principles, organization and access, daily practice with physical artifacts, restoration,
curatorship and programming, legal issues and copyright, and new media issues.
Students will learn the importance of other types of materials (manuscripts,
correspondence, stills, posters, scripts, etc.). Theories of collecting and organizing (as
well as their social meanings) will be introduced. (Professor Howard Besser, semester
1, 4 points)
Film History/Historiography: This course examines the constitution of the codes and
institutions of cinema and the ways in which the history of film has been, and has been
understood to be, embedded in, shaped by, and constrained by material and social
practices. Various historiographical methods and historical contexts are explored. A
required course in NYU's existing MA Degree in Cinema Studies. (Professor Zhen
Zhang, semester 1, 4 points.)
Film Form and Film Sense: A class outlining film form in a wide variety of film types,
to help the student develop a vocabulary for writing about film, and an awareness of the
length and breadth of the aesthetic study of film. The purpose of this course is to
introduce students to central concepts in film form and style as well as film narrative.
The course is structured to suggest a constantly expanding series of models for textual
analysis of audio-visual works, with emphasis on the “cinematic signifier.” The course
will also deal with issues of the interpretation of audio-visual works, with an emphasis
on the centrality of textual analysis to such interpretation. Part one of the course will
have a strong formal emphasis, introducing concepts such as shot structure, editing,
mise-en-scene, camera movement, and sound in relation to their function in the
structuring of film narrative. Part Two will formulate these concepts more thoroughly
in terms of parameters of film narration (e.g. focalization and its implications for the
representation of gender and race). Parts Three and Four will further expand the
conceptualization of these issues by dealing with the relationship of film narrative to:
(1) genre, understood in terms of its social and ideological implications; and (2) cultural
history, understood in terms of the dialogical relations between cultural discourses and
the specificity of film narrative. A required course in NYU's existing MA Degree in
Cinema Studies. (Professor William Simon, semester 1, 4 points.)
Directed Internships: Over the course of the first 3 semesters, each student will engage
in 3 different 15 hour/week internships, each lasting approximately 15 weeks. These
internships will provide hands-on experience with moving image material, as well as
deep exposure to the various types of institutions that handle this material. Internships
may be paid or unpaid. Students will meet as a group bi-weekly with instructor to
contextualize the internship experience. (At least one internship must be involved with
daily management of a moving image collection, and another must be involved with
restoration.) (Professor Howard Besser and Mona Jimenez, semesters 1-3, 4 points)
Semester 2
Television: History and Culture: Examines the background, context, and history of
radio, television, video, and sound. Topics include: politics and economics of media
institutions, audiences and reception, cultural and broadcast policy, aesthetic modes and
movements. A required course in NYU's existing MA Degree in Cinema Studies.
(Professor Anna McCarthy, semester 2, 4 points.)
History and Culture of Museums, Archives, and other Repositories: On a macro level,
this course examines the different types of institutions that collect moving image
material. It explains how cultural institutions differ from one another, and from other
institutions that collect and manage moving image collections (including corporate
institutions). It also examines why certain types of material are not collected by any
institutions. On a micro level, the course examines what the various departments
within a collecting institution do. Students will learn about missions and ethics, as well
as about accessioning, budgeting, and fundraising. Aspects of project management and
handling competing interests within the organization will also be covered. The course
also looks at the history of moving image archives and related organizations. (Cinema
Studies Faculty with Museum Studies Faculty?, semester 2, 4 points)
Conservation & Preservation of Moving Image Material--Principles: This course will
explain the principles of conservation and preservation, and place moving image
preservation within the larger context of cultural heritage preservation. Questions of
originals vs. surrogates will be raised, and the wide variety of variant forms will be
covered. The course also addresses tensions between conservation and access.
Students will learn principles of collection assessment, and how to write a preservation
plan. They will also learn about dealing with laboratories, writing contracts, etc. On a
more pragmatic level, they will learn about optimal storage conditions and handling.
(Preservation Librarian Paula deSteffano, semester 2, 2 points)
Collection Management: This course will examine the daily practice of managing a
moving image collection, as well as collections of ancillary materials (posters, stills,
pressbooks, scripts, manuscripts, ephemera, etc.). Students will learn about
inventorying, cataloging, physical storage, and registration activities, as well as about
print inspection, cleaning, and other forms of handling moving image material.
(Adjunct Working Professional?, semester 2, 2 points)
Directed Internship see Semester 1 (4 points)
Semester 3
Access to Moving Image Collections: This course addresses reference, user services,
research, and other practices to make moving image material available. Topics include:
where to go to find particular moving image material or ancillary support material
(such as stills, pressbooks, festival programs, posters, scripts, manuscripts, memos,
correspondence, etc). How to work with scholars visiting your collection, and make
this material available to your clients. Principles of reference and of user services will
be taught. (Adjunct Working Professional, semester 3, 2 points)
Copyright, Legal Issues, and Policy: What type of legal restrictions encumber moving
image material? What kind of complex layers of rights does one have to clear before
attempting to preserve or restore a work? And how do these rights affect downstream
exhibition and distribution of a preserved work? This course will help students make
intelligent decisions and develop appropriate policies for their institution. (Professor
Howard Besser, semester 3, 2 points)
Handling New Media: This seminar focuses on the intellectual, technical, and aesthetic
challenges facing moving image archivists of today, as media proliferate, as multimedia collections mushroom, and as information takes predominantly digital form.
After studying the history and context of new media, we will study some of the special
issues and circumstances arising in the archiving and conservation of television, video,
and new media. We will address such questions as: Is it film? Or is it digital? Will we
have ‘hard” copies? Should video art be preserved on tape or DVD? Can museums
collect Web sites? How do you preserve early television, which was registered largely
on film? What can you preserve of early, live television broadcasts?
We will study definitions of analog vs. digital media, considering the archaeology of
the new media. The class will visit relevant laboratories and collections in the New
York area, and will benefit from presentations by experts in the profession. (Dr. Ann
Harris, semester 3, 4 points)
The Archive, the Collection, the Museum: This seminar encourages a very broad
perspective on the phenomenon of collecting. It surveys psychological,
psychoanalytical, anthropological, and cultural theories of collecting, in relation to the
history of art and the collecting of moving images. It studies specific historical
instances of moving image collecting in the light of these theories. Students pursue
individual research projects on these themes for presentation to the seminar. The course
allows time for individual archival research. (Professors Antonia Lant and Annette
Michelson, semester 4, 4 points)
Directed Internship see Semester 1 (4 points)
Semester 4
Curating, Programming, Exhibiting, and Repurposing/Recontextualizing Moving
Image Material: This course focuses on the practice of film exhibition and
programming in museums, archives, and independent exhibition venues. It examines
the goals of public programming, the constituencies such programs attempt to reach,
and the cultural ramifications of presenting archival materials to audiences. Students
will study how archives can encourage increasing quantities and different forms of
access through their own publications, events, and productions, as well as through the
role of new technologies (DVD, CD-ROM, the Internet). They will study how these
methods of circulation provoke interest, study and appreciation of archive and museum
moving image collections. The seminar will also treat such themes as: individual vs.
collective access; film programming design, budget, documentation, and print control;
legal issues; projection, and theater management; archival loans, the "Archive Film";
stock footage services; and film stills archive services.
The course includes visits to a number of New York institutions that program moving
images. These may include: the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art; the
Museum of the Moving Image; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the
Guggenheim Museum; Anthology Film Archives; the American Museum of Natural
History, Margaret Mead Festival; and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. (Professors
Antonia Lant or Bill Simon or Bob Sklar?, semester 3, 4 points)
Film Restoration: Formats and speeds, types of releases, etc. Types of decay and
restoration methods (with both an understanding of the chemistry and of the
history/style). Lab work. (Bill Brand, semester 4, 2 points)
Video Restoration: Formats and speeds, types of releases, etc. Types of decay and
restoration methods (with both an understanding of the chemistry and of the
history/style). Lab work. (Mona Jimenez, semester 4, 2 points)
Digital Preservation and Restoration: Digital file formats. Architectures for persistent
digital repositories. How metadata formats such as METS, SMIL, and various MPEGs
can help with digital persistence. OAIS models, and sample submission,
administration, and dissemination agreements. Students will get hands-on experience
with attempts to restore older multimedia works. (Mona Jimenez, semester 4, 2 points)
Elective or Independent Study: All students are required to take an Elective or
Independent Study in order to explore more fully a topic of choice. Additional
Electives or Independent studies will be substituted if students are waived out of other
courses. The Elective may be a media course, a course in cultural institutions and
practices, or a course in preservation. The media Elective might be taken either inside
the Department of Cinema Studies, or in various other departments (such as History,
French, Italian, and German, American Studies, Africana Studies, etc.). The Elective
also might be a course in Museum Studies, the History Department's Archiving
Program, or the Institute of Fine Arts' Conservation Program. (semester 4, 4 points)
Advanced Preservation Studies Workshop: This individual and small-group study will
be used to cover advanced topics. It will also help students finalize their capstone
thesis or portfolio requirement. (Professor Howard Besser and Mona Jimenez,
semester 4, 2 points)
Other Requirements
Summer Internships: Students must undertake a 3-4 month intensive summer internship
(20-40 hours/week) in a moving image repository. Though the student may specialize
in one particular department/task within the institution, over the course of the summer
they will be expected to obtain a broad knowledge of how the various departments of
that institution work together. Work done during the internship experience may serve
as the core research and preparation for the final thesis project. Students will be
encouraged to engage in this internship outside the United States in order to view how
repositories operate differently in different countries. (0 points)
Thesis or Portfolio: Each student will be required to complete a capstone project in the
form of either a thesis or a Portfolio. The student is expected to work with their Advisor
beginning their second semester to make sure that their capstone project will reflect
their learning experience in the program. The Portfolio must include a written essay
synthesizing the wide variety of topics learned during the program, as well as good
examples of projects that the student has completed. (The Portfolio may serve as an
example of what the student might present a potential employer.) The Portfolio must
be turned in by the 10th week of the student's final Spring semester, and at the end of
that semester the student must orally present this Portfolio to a Committee of faculty
and working professionals who will evaluate whether or not the student is ready to be
granted the degree.