Cinema Studies
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Kathryn Gronsbell, Moving Images/Video Preservation and Digitization Internship at the Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) , NEH

Under the supervision of Ricc Ferrante (Director, Digital Services) and Sarah Stauderman (Conservator and Collections Care Manager), the 10-week internship was completed in the SIA offices in Washington, DC. The internship consisted of three main projects, which were pre-empted by a stint shadowing the conservator and pre-program conservation interns regarding paper records in Record Unit 305, Office of the Registrar’s Accession Records, spanning from 1834-1958. My first project was the Identification, Rehousing, and Condition Assessment of Motion Picture Film using a collection of non-accessioned 16mm film, videotape, audiotape, and lantern slides from the National Zoological Park (U.S.) [NZP], Department of Zoological Research.

The focus of this project was to stabilize the film objects through inspection and rehousing. The second project, which spanned the entire internship, was the construction and implementation testing for the Smithsonian Institution Archives Film Inspection Descriptor and Guide, a 46-page manual that detailed film inspection for non-professionals. I researched and gathered information, training principles, and resources to compile into a human-readable document that accounts for the inevitable nuances of motion picture film. Another focus of my internship was the digitization of ¾” U-Matic tapes on a SAMMA. With guidance from Image and Video Digitization Specialist Kira Cherrix, I was trained in the entire process of digitization, including cleaning, inspection, processing, QR code creation and application, and digitization/migration. Migrated content includes video from accession 87-178, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Museum Programs using the SAMMAsolo product and process. The content of these tapes included conservation lectures by Robert Organ entitled “Conservation Orientation for Museum Personnel”. I had the opportunity to transfer content from Record Unit 587, Smithsonian Institution, Office of Telecommunications Productions, circa 1963-1989 that featured special events in the institution’s history.