Various possible MIAP student projects

(large and small)


Pacifica Radio Archives
Eyebeam
Latin American Video Archives
Democracy Now! video clips collection
Conde Nast Archive


The Pacifica Radio Archives: Preserving a Living History

for more info, contact Archives Director, Brian DeShazor


The Pacifica Radio Archives is the oldest collection (47,000 tapes) of public radio programming in the United States.  The collection includes rare recordings of some of the most visionary and influential thinkers of the 20th century and PRA’s Preservation & Access Project. Possible projects include work with: Allen Ginsberg reading “Howl”, 1957; Fannie Lou Hamer interview, 1965; Democratic National Convention, Chicago, 1968. 

                              
1. Allen Ginsberg and other "beat" poets in the Pacifica Radio Archives Collection.
Semester Project (Beginning November, 2004?)
Pacifica Radio Archives (PRA) collection of reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of radio programs contains many (an unknown number of) interviews, readings, live-event recordings, critiques, panel discussions, and broadcasts of demonstrations and "be-ins".

This one-semester student project entails participating in the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation & Access Project (funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Recording Academy, and donations from supporters of the Pacifica Radio Archives, and Pacifica Radio Station listeners).  Working with PRA-P&A project staff (primarily by phone & email), and using the PRA public access catalog (available on the PRA website: (http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org), the student will inventory and identify the Ginsberg tapes (and to the extent possible, other related tapes); correct existing PRA catalog entries and other descriptive information; determine copyright & ownership of each item; and ascertain which items are unique to the PRA collection. If time permits, the student will initiate a survey of other archives containing significant similar and related audio recordings (for example: Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO). The student will be supervised, assisted and supported by PRA-P&A staff.
   
NOTE: The work product of this semester projects will lay the groundwork for additional tasks which must be done on-site:
1) Locating related, uncataloged tapes in the possession of PRA.
2) Examining and assessing identified tapes for preservation and restoration needs.
It might be possible for the students doing these projects to travel to PRA in LA over the winter holidays to work on these physical aspects of the project.

2. Fanny Lou Hamer and the American Civil Rights Movement
Semester Project (Beginning November, 2004?)
Pacifica Radio Archives (PRA) collection of reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of radio programs (and source materials) documenting the work and life of Fanny Lou Hamer. These include public addresses, interviews, live-event recordings, panel discussions, and "raw" (unedited) recordings.  Working with PRA and PRA-Preservation & Access project staff (primarily by phone & email), and using the PRA public access catalog (available on the PRA website: http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org), the student will inventory and identify the FLH tapes (and to the extent possible, other related tapes); correct existing PRA catalog entries and other descriptive information; determine copyright & ownership of each item; ascertain the extent to which an item is an "iteration" (edition, version, or re-use) of another item; and ascertain which items are unique to the PRA collection. If time permits, the student will initiate a survey of other archives (and produced and published works) containing significant similar and related audio recordings.  The student will be supervised, assisted and supported by PRA-P&A staff.

NOTE: The work product of this semester projects will lay the groundwork for additional tasks which must be done on-site:
1) Locating related, uncataloged tapes in the possession of PRA.
2) Examining and assessing identified tapes for preservation and restoration needs.
It might be possible for the students doing these projects to travel to PRA in LA over the winter holidays to work on these physical aspects of the project.

3. The "Rally" Project.
Thesis Project

Throughout the history of the network, Pacifica Radio has been known for live broadcasts of political and cultural rallies, protests, and demonstrations.  Pacifica Radio Archives (PRA) is in possession of many (uncounted) reels of audio recordings which document key events of the mid twentieth century.  The majority of these are recordings of broadcasts, some are source materials for produced radio programs (which may or may not be in the archives). A significant number of documentary programs, news features, and some live broadcast recordings are entered in the PRA public access catalog (available on the PRA website: http://www.pacificaradioarchives.org).  Others have not been cataloged -- many of these have not been played since they were recorded and sent to PRA.

The thesis project envisioned here would entail two basic elements:
1. Cataloged Tapes
NOTE: This task can be done from any remote location, with the assistance, guidance and support of Pacifica Radio Archives / Preservation & Access Project staff.

2. Uncataloged Tapes
Conduct onsite survey of PRA storage facilities to locate, identify, inventory, assess and describe (for both content and physical condition) unprocessed tapes appropriate for inclusion in the "Rally" collection.
Make assessments and recommendations (or create and initiate procedures) for physical preservation, restoration, and conservation of these materials.

NOTE: The work product of this semester projects will lay the groundwork for additional tasks which must be done on-site:
1) Locating related, uncataloged tapes in the possession of PRA.
2) Examining and assessing identified tapes for preservation and restoration needs.
It might be possible for the students doing these projects to travel to PRA in LA over the winter holidays to work on these physical aspects of the project.



Eyebeam

contact person: Beth Rosenberg <bethr@eyebeam.org>


Eyebeam is a not-for-profit media arts organization that enables and engages cultural dialogue practiced at the intersection of the arts and sciences. Founded in 1996 by independent filmmaker John S. Johnson, Eyebeam is dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre. Eyebeam is headquartered in New York City, with facilities in Chelsea and Dumbo.


Eyebeam poses all the questions of installation art and new media. But, because it's not a museum, they are less interested in making all their pieces work 20 years from now, and more interested in just documenting other things around the piecce (what it looks like installed, how people interact with it [a great challenge when the piece involves 2 people with goggles interacting in a VR world], and, most important, they want to document the process by which people create things at Eyebeam (involving everything from sketches and screenshots during development, to interviews with artists about their finished product, to recordings of work-group meetings). Other challenges here are developing a system for storing and finding all the elements of documentation that are created, doing guidelines for documentation, and working with the organization to identify what documentation paths might be more adoptable organizationally (given that some departments will resent being asked to document as well as create, while others will resent other staff coming in to try to document works created in their department).


Latin American Video Archives

contact: Roselly Torres-Rojas <rosellytorres@lavavideo.org>


MISSION: For years independent filmmakers throughout Latin America have been producing important and innovative films and videos. However, much of this invaluable body of work has long been inaccessible in the United States. At the Latin American Video Archives (LAVA), we work to facilitate the flow of media from south to north by collecting, organizing, and distributing feature films and documentaries made by Latin American and Latino/a artists to educational institutions in the United States and Canada.

THE VIDEO ARCHIVE: LAVA has an in-house archive that holds more than 3,000 titles, which is available year-round free of charge to students, professors, researchers, journalists, festival curators, television programmers, and anyone interested in Latin American cinema. The collection is organized by country and includes diverse genres such as documentary, fiction, experimental, animation, music videos, indigenous film and television programs. Among the videos are titles representative of several film movements of the region like the New Latin American Cinema, Argentine Nueva Ola (New Wave), Classic Mexican Cinema and Brazilian Cinema Novo. We also house a collection of tapes from the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and the Nicaraguan Film Institute (INCINE). The video formats stored include Betacam SP, DVCam, DVD, Mini-DV and Umatic tapes. Of these, approximately 3,000 are on VHS, and 500 on Betacam SP. Every year LAVA adds over 100 new titles to its archive.

Unfortunately, the facilities at LAVA are currently inadequate to hold and preserve these works. Last spring, the organization was given a deadline by its Board of Directors to move from its current location within 2 years. It was agreed by the Board that the films and videos currently housed at LAVA are in danger of being destroyed. The facility lacks proper storage space and there is no climate or fire control system. Many of LAVA’s titles have been lost because of these problems, and others are waiting a similar fate.

LAVA has to move to a new space within the next 2 years, and so they'll need to know their space needs (which very much depends on how many U-Matics they can throw away).

LAVA poses interesting right problems.  They have a combination of material that they were given full rights to, along with material that was placed on archival deposit just for safety sake (and not to be shown).  But they never had a record-keeping system to keep track of these.  So there's interesting work to be done (either as
a thesis or a project for a class) both setting up a new system that tracks permissions and sources, and another project to go back and try to confirm rights status for things already in their collection.


Democracy Now!

contact David Rice <dave@democracynow.org>


Democracy Now is an independent news program currently broadcast in television and radio form over 275 stations in North America, including Pacifica Networks, National Public Radio, Free Speech TV, communities stations, and internet streams. The program is hosted each weekday morning by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez and produced out of the Downtown Community Television Center’s landmark firehouse in New York City’s Chinatown.

    The archives of Democracy Now contain a variety of magnetic and digital media formats of audio and video, including mini-disc, reel-to-reel, DVCam, MiniDV, and digital files. The archives contains the history of the broadcasted show (beginning from 1996) in its audio and video formats (the show began being televised in late 2001). The archive also contains a library of audio, video, and still image resources for use in the daily show’s production.

Student Project/Internship #1:  Reel to Reel Audio Archiving

    The archives contain several boxes of reel-to-reel audio recordings. These recordings represent the masters of Democracy Now’s earlier shows and master tapes of interviews with important historical figures, such as Mumia Abu Jamal’s commentaries from death row, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide interviewed during his return to the Caribbean from exile in Central Africa, and "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship", a 1998 radio documentary for which Amy Goodman won the George Polk award.

    As the reel-to-reel collection has not received a proper inventory or preservation treatment, the student, under the supervision of the archivist and other Democracy Now staff,
Student Project/Internship #2: Identification and Discovery: Increasing Access Abilities

    In the busyness of a newsroom environment, recordings have been produced in situations of deadlines and stress, including off-air recordings, taped satellite feeds, digital still images, and raw and edited news footage. Some material produced contains valuable images but lacks accessibility because of hasty labeling, poor indexing, data entry errors, and misplacement.

    This project will deal with material that for one reason or another is difficult to access. The student has the opportunity to:

Student Project/Internship #3:  Processing Newly Produced Media

    Each broadcast of Democracy Now creates a number of new recordings of various formats. Each episode is currently mastered onto DV Cam with an access copy on Mini DV, a DVD-R for a distribution master, and a gold CD-R to master the audio, along with other specially mixed news segments and music breaks. Under this project, the student will:


Conde Nast Archive

Contact Archivist Shawn Waldron <Shawn_Waldron@condenast.com> 212-286-4879


Howard, as I mentioned at SAA in Boston, we have 16mm, 35mm, and audio reels, but no way to view it. I think it would be an excellent student project. The NYU connection alone is cause for excitment. As we are local, we could get everything down to your facilities or the students could come on site, or a combination of the two. There are about 30 boxes (approx. records carton size) all told; The Bauman film accounts for about 10 of them [shot by Suzanne Bauman for her documentary(s), "In Vogue" and "The Vision of Vanity Fair" (I'm not 100 percent about the VF, but am sure of the Vogue).]

The other boxes contain a March of Time documentary shot about the Conde Nast offices in the late 60's and possibly something shot by a Maysles, but that may be nothing more than a rumor at this point. I'm working off of writing on the boxes as the institutional memory around here doesn't go back that far.

The film is in good shape. We would like to have an inventory, proper housing, and a viewable (DVD or VHS) copy of the film when all is said and done.