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Get to know DER: Spotlight on Collection Management & Preservation

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Welcome to our Spotlight on Collection Management & Preservation, part three in our series to help you get to know DER better this December!

Did you know DER is home to some of the most significant visual records of 20th century cultures? Through our Collection Management & Preservation programs we’re committed to preserving these original film, video, and photographic media assets, and releasing remastered or previously unreleased titles.

Some highlights from 2015:

– We completed a 3-year effort to inventory our collection of 16mm film materials and transferred them into the care of the Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and Harvard Film Archive. Other materials were returned to their makers or donated to local film schools and artist collectives. Films now in archival care include:

  • Pittsburgh Police Series, dir. John Marshall, 1971-1973
  • Yanomamo pre-print materials, dir. Tim Asch & Napoleon Chagnon, 1968-1971
  • Odyssey Series, pre-print materials and distribution prints, produced by Michael Ambrosino, 1980-1981
  • Vermont Kids original and pre-print materials, dir. John Marshall, 1975
  • If It Fits original and pre-print materials, dir. John Marshall, 1978
  • Original film footage, audio recordings, and documentation (.e.g. field notes, etc.) of 1976 Folklife Festival, shot by John Marshall and crew

– We worked closely with producer Norman Miller to retransfer 20 films from the landmark Faces of Change collection. We are thrilled to have completed this huge project, and we will be making the films available in the New Year!

– We built up our in house capacity to digitally preserve, up-res, and update our collection of tape masters. With these new initiatives, we’re making our classic films more accessible and easy to find, watch, and share via on demand streaming. Let us know which titles you’d like to see!

“The 2015 Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival invited Alice Apley to introduce the Argentinian ethnographic filmmaker Jorge Preloran’s films to the Taiwanese audience, who enjoyed and appreciated the screenings and discussions very much. Through their collaboration with the Smithsonian, DER plays an invaluable role in making these older works accessible and provides wonderful service to popularize these important works. – Hu Tai-Li, President, Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival

Your tax-deductible donation enables us to continue safeguarding these important cultural works, and make them even more accessible to people around the globe.

Thank you for your support!


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