January 18, 2019 – “Corvids, Cars, and Massachusetts”

Hello, everyone!

Before recounting events of today, there is some news that needs to be addressed. As a reminder, the campuses of the University of Central Florida will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday and there will not be a blogpost as a result. Expect an entry next Thursday instead. With this pertinent information addressed, the recap of today’s events can be unhindered.

After entering the office, I retrieved the Home Movies Collection hard drive and records from the stacks. Once all the necessary wires were connected and I logged in, I peered into the collection notes. The notes left behind for the collection ranged from very descriptive to so vague that it omitted certain details. Both types were encountered as the day progressed.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the early portions of footage in the films needed to be recorded. The family trip to Baden, Germany served as a prime example oversight. The notes mentioned the name of the hydroelectric dam depicted in the film, yet this footage is three-fourths into the film. As such, I noted the proceeding footage before it and most of the footage contained the adults speaking with relatives at various tables. There were some notable exceptions.

In one portion of the film, various family members stood around an orange car, examining it. After conducting some research, I found a possible contender in the Fiat 124 Sport Spider as the car’s design matched the one in the film. Unfortunately, the model year remains unknown.

After noticing a flock of black birds that caught the attention of the videographer, I decided to conduct another research venture.  I wondered if there were any ravens in Switzerland and I found out that ravens did indeed live in Switzerland (I managed to find out flamingos lived in south Switzerland as well. I never would have guessed). However, the birds in the film seemed too small to be ravens.

The identity of the birds had two contenders: the carrion crow or the rook. The birds looked about the same size as the two corvids. The footage did not give a clear shot of the beaks, which would have been the determining factor. Rooks have white beaks, while carrion crows have black beaks. Admittedly the reflected sunlight might have skewed my interpretation, I believed that they were rooks based on the film evidence.

Sometimes the footage blatantly informed viewers of the exact location of the film’s setting. As the films depicted another graduation, the videographer panned right and a sign flashed across the screen. The sign said “Atlantic Union College.” A quick search yeilded that the college, founded in 1882, is in South Lancaster, Massachusetts as a Seven-Day Adventist college. I added this location information accordingly in the notes.

Unfortunately, sometimes my research yielded inconclusive results. In one film, a row of parked cars is depicted and the film focuses on the grill of one of them. Since the film prominently features the car, I figured I should identify it. Curiously, the car in question had front plate that had the symbol used by Chevrelot for Corvettes and the car was not a Corvette. From what I uncovered, the car certainly depicted is a Chrysler, but the exact model is disputed.

The top contenders include the Chrystler 1965 300L or the Chrysler New Yorker (either from 1968, 1969, 1970). The design matches both of those models, so there was not a significant differentation in favor of one or the other. In fact, the depicted car had an odd feature from photographs of the respective models. The Chrystler logo appeared on the grill, a feature not seen on either model. Not ruling out the possibility of a custom job that added the logo, this small feature kept me from declaring the car as one of the two models.

In spite of the confusion and the thorough review of the films, I managed to reach Film 77. When the time came for my departure, I ejected, packed, and returned the hard drive and records to the stacks. I bid farewell to the remaining staff and left for the day.

In review, I continued noting the depictions in the Home Movie Collection and conducted some research on various subjects related to the films. Hopefully, I will soon be able to move on from the Miriam Rowe poprtion next week. Until next Tuesday, enjoy the weekend and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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