Cinema Studies
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Spring 2011, Crystal Sanchez, Internship at NYPL Special Formats

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (LPA) in Lincoln Center is home to four divisions that each have extensive audio-visual collections: Music, Dance, Theater, and Recorded Sound. The internship placement was in LPA's Special Formats Processing Audio-Visual Group. Internship supervisors were Tom Christie, Head Librarian for Special Formats Processing, and Tanisha Jones, Director of the Archive of the Recorded Moving Image, Jerome Robbins Dance Division at LPA. Additionally, the Preservation Department at LPA was consulted regularly and close relationships were formed with the head Sound Engineer and Film Preservation Specialist.

The internship's main purpose was to utilize the expertise of the LPA staff in working directly with the staff at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in assessing their film collections and preparing them for long term storage. Materials were transported to LPA from Schomburg and a workflow was developed to assess, inventory, rehouse, and prepare items for long term storage at both Recap and Iron Mountain storage facilities. In the last month of the internship, for one day a week, a staff member from Schomburg came to LPA to train and work together on the project. In this way, the project could continue after the internship was completed. This knowledge of moving image processing was taken back to Schomburg so that items could be processed and recorded at the Schomburg location in the future.

The internship also allowed me to work with material at LPA, namely from the Recorded Sound Division. I was a participant in prioritizing material for preservation from the Ping Chong collection, classical orchestral films from the 1940s were rewound, rehoused, and identified, and Georgia Gibbs films were rewound, assessed, put on cores, and rehoused. 45 short, 16mm reels of Grace Moore home movies in their original Kodachrome boxes were found at LPA shortly before the internship. These were processed, recorded, watched, put on cores, rehoused, and researched. This project will continue in the hopes of securing funding to preserve the films and share them with the community. They will be catalogued and put into NYPL's online collection database.

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