Hands on Film

Bradley Hall C/D

Wednesday July 11, 2012

1:30-3:00 PM

Led by Snowden Becker and Jessie Lymn

Many archives are going digital these days, but the emphasis on two-dimensional images or text-based representations of archival materials online often obscures essential values–the way these holdings look, feel, smell, and sound. Familiarity with information-rich material aspects of collections, and mastery of the craft knowledge required for their preservation and effective representation to audiences, is a critical tool in the archivists’ skill set. All the same, many graduate students don’t ever get intensive, hands-on instruction to complement their readings and theoretical grounding, and leave school feeling unprepared and tentative about the “real” records they encounter in the workplace. In this workshop, participants will be invited to engage directly with historic motion picture film materials, learning the basic skills required to wind through, inspect, splice and rehouse a reel of film, and contrasting this embodied knowledge with what can be learned from textbooks, video tutorials, and demonstrations. The workshop will conclude with discussion of how, where, and why materiality and craft knowledge might be most effectively re-integrated into archival education programs, and the value of models from other disciplines such as the “see one, do one, teach one” method used in training medical students.

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