Despite the chilly weather (not surprising at this time of the year), the Spring Semester continues and my involvement in the archives along with it. As previously noted, my current project includes the Home Movie Collection. I officially started working on data gathering and editorial aspects today since I ran out of time to do so yesterday. Though I only scratched the surface of the collection, I believe I made excellent progress with it.
As a reminder, my work hours can only reach twenty-three hours a week. As such, I reached said limit today as I worked from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM instead of 3:00 PM. Nonetheless, this did not deter me to make the best of that period of time to work on the Home Movie Collection.
To begin my shift, I retrieved the box containing the pertinent records of each film (deed of gifts, film repair forms, digitization records, etc.) and the Western Digital My Book Studio II External Hard Drive (https://support.wdc.com/product.aspx?ID=114) that contained the digital files of the films. After logging in, I accessed the Word Document prepared by my predecessors and made sure I could access the film files.
Mr. Benjamin instructed that among my tasks included filling-in the blanks left in the documents and create better descriptions of the film depictions (and use information from the forms, if possible). After examining the document more closely, I started by observing two films from the Baron Richter donated films. The two files are linked as the depict a Christmas celebration from 1963 and 1963.
There is no sound attached to the films and sometimes bad lighting obscured what the camera holder was trying to film. Yet, the films captured the merrymaking enough for the viewer to understand the events depicted. Gift exchanges, a buffet table filled with exquisite, delectable food, camera-shy relatives (this particularly resonated with me as my mother does not like being filmed), and games of ping pong are among the family activities engaged the Richters. As enjoyable and relaxing as the atmosphere in the films suggest, I made sure I took notes for the finding aid data. Honestly, the whole experience reminded me of the Howard Eves Audio Collection.
After finishing the films, I decided to start from “Z” section of the films (the forms are alphabetically organized by donor). Luckily, I managed to find out the previous labels for each film and what they depicted as result. However, there were some inconsistencies. I found some notes that mentioned footage from Philadelphia in a certain film. I managed locate to all the other mentioned cities in the collection, but the City of Brotherly Love remained elusive. Another Richter film was once labeled “Aunt Fanny Pinesvile, Kentucky.” Unless the Christmas footage came from the Richters visiting Aunt Fanny, there seems to be no other indication of the footage.
Other than the aforementioned exceptions, I was able to match the former labels with the appropriate footage. Each film reminds that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Whether is children playing in a pool, a family sitting at a table and playing Monopoly, or playing the family dog, each experience seems timeless. People still engage in these activities and can relate to these images fondly.
Alas, my short shift came to end. I cleaned my work station and returned everything to the stacks before bidding farewell to my co-workers. As I left, Mr. Ogreten wished me well and I reciprocated the gesture.
In review, I began working on the Home Movie Collection. Tomorrow, I expect to be continuing such work (unless otherwise). Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!