Re: evaluation of 16 mm collection

Francis C Poole (fpoole@UDel.Edu)
Wed, 10 Apr 2002 06:34:00 -0700 (PDT)

Jeffrey...Here are a couple of sites you might want to check out.

Association of Moving Image Archivists

The Academic Film Archive

In our case I persuaded the Library to hold on to our 16mm films. We
have around 2000 titles, many of which are not available on video. Some of
them I consider classics, like Rhythm of Africa, which was written by Jean
Cocteau and narrated by Langston Hughes. We have others which are
fascinating like, Kingdom of Bronze (African bronze casting), and others
which are still instructive like, High Wall (about teenage gangs and
bigotry.) I made the case that even though some of the films are available
on video, they could go out of print at any time. In that event we still
have the film to either use or make a video copy from. If properly stored
and cared for, films will last for decades. Videotape, besides being
extremely fragile, is on its way out anyway. Will DVD replace tape? Will
all our videos end up on a server, or will videos end up on matchbook size
SD cards? Who knows? And hopefully I'll be sitting on a beach somewhere
NOT worrying about it. In the meantime, we've decided to value our films
as part of a legacy of learning through moving images. I'm just glad we
can still view our 16mm copy of The Third Man to appreciate
the clarity and richness of the FILM medium.

So good luck with your project and I hope you find a good home for the
Orphans in your collection. There are a number of legitimate archives out
there that might be able to help.

Francis Poole, Librarian
University of Delaware Library

On Tue, 9 Apr 2002, Jeffrey W. Pearson wrote:

> I need to come up with a plan to evaluate our 6,000 title 16 mm film
> collection, started in the 1940's, for weeding, preservation, and
> possible reformatting. If anyone has tackled this kind of project I
> would appreciate any advice you can share. I've got ideas for an
> approach and a general plan, but what I would love to know of is any
> already compiled list of what are considered the "best films of all
> time". I'm hoping to find help with identifying the hidden treasures
> in our collection. I know I'm asking for the grail here, but any help
> would be greatly appreciated.
> Thank you,
> -Jeff Pearson
> --
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Jeffrey W. Pearson Phone: (734) 763-3758
> Librarian, Film & Video Library Fax: (734) 764-7087
> University of Michigan e-mail:
> Shapiro Library, Room 2178
> 919 S. University
> Ann Arbor MI 48109-1185