As Amistad’s Audiovisual Project Archivist, I have spent the past eighteen months working on an assessment of audiovisual items at the Center under a grant funded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The Center is pleased to report that the assessment has been completed. The results of the project have been tremendous.
Over the past year and a half, Amistad has developed a greater understanding of the rich audiovisual collection in our care. All moving image and sound recordings in the Center have been identified and inventoried, and playback equipment has been obtained for many formats. Items have been organized by format and relocated to Amistad’s offsite storage facility, which is equipped for preservation storage of delicate film and magnetic formats.
The experience has been extremely rewarding to me. As Amistad’s first dedicated audiovisual staff member, I have had the chance in many instances to listen to and to view items my fellow archivists and researchers have not had access to due to lack of equipment or item descriptions. I have also had occasion to research and learn about some of the more obscure formats I had not yet encountered in my professional experience.
But the truly captivating part of this job has been coming to know the breadth of the stories and information contained in our collections. From George M. Houser’s films of his travels in Africa, to 1930s recordings of the Talladega College choir in the Lillian Vorhees Papers, to the run of “Just For The Record,” a New Orleans-based gay and lesbian themed television program, new worlds have been opened up to me and to the research community through the work done on this project. I look forward to spending more time getting to know these fascinating collections.
Posted by Brenda Flora