I apologize for the long, unannounced abscence. Since the last post, I focused on writing my thesis for my Master’s Degree, went on a six day vacation in Arizona (sites visited include the town of Jerome, Camp Verde, Picacho Peak, and the legendary Tombstone), and returned to regular duties last Tuesday. With this post, I declare the end of the prolonged hiatus and want to share what my current status is at the University of Central Florida Library’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). Of course, the vast majority entails the Home Movie Collection.
My current progress through the Home Movie Collection hit a snag: I apparently skipped a very bare-boned portion of the guide. I decided to backtrack and correct this oversight. What followed included some sluggish progress through donors’ footage regarding vacations in Europe. Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with European landmarks and sculptures.
I constantly needed to consult the image search of Yandex or Bing (never use Google, their image search currently ranks below these two). Whether finding a monument in Nice, France or differentiating France from Monaco, the experience required me to familiarize myself with these notable locales to help identify where this family went to. For example, trying to find Le monument du Centenaire proved to more difficult when all that was availablw was the image of the monument – no descriptions. Monaco proved to be just as hard as I needed to identify the different churches in the small principality.
Aside from the Prince’s Palace of Monaco (and learning about the royal family, like actress Grace Kelly), the most prominent building shown in the footage was the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate. Anything else, I needed to find on my own. I like to think I succeeded in this endeavor, but if an archivist (or a geographer) in the future corrects me I welcome it.
Aside from establishing familiarity with the subject matter, the other issue involves correcting the mistakes of my predecessors. For example, the guide noted that one portion of footage depicted the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany (West Germany at the time of filming) and featured a military parade. I know what the Brandeburg Gate looks like and expected some sort of West German parade due to the Cold War. However, I noticed several things wrong in the footage that discounted the descriptions.
First, my predecessor obviously noticed the “Quadriga,” which depicted a statue of the goddess of victory driving a chariot pulled by four horses, that sits on the Brandenburg Gate. Unfortunately, I identified the building in question as the Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark and it also depicts the bronze sculpture of Victoria, Roman Goddess of Victory, driving her quadriga, sculpted by Herman Wilhelm Bissen. Easy mistake to make. As for the military parade, I discovered that the ceremony procedures actually came from the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. Instances such as these continually drag my progress, but they need to be done.
In short, I am performing my due diligence in making an accurate and detailed guide for the Home Movie Collection for future researchers. My own lack of knowledge and misidentification by predecessors hinders progress to a slow pace, but I hope the information I’ve gathered makes this struggle worth it. At least I learned a bit more about the world through these films.
As for important updates, this Tuesday is Indepenence Day and the University of Central Florida campuses will be closed as a result. Yet, expect another entry at the end of the week. Until then, enjoy the rest of the week. Bye!