Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works
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Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant Produced Works

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Martin L. Johnson and Katrina Dixon for AMIA/IASA 2010.

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  • Karan Sheldon, Northeast Historic Film (Introduction)
    Martin Johnson, from New York University Cinema Studies, is writing his dissertation on local films. He will provide an overview of the itinerant filmmaker phenomenon.
    Katrina Dixon, Northeast Historic Film Media Cataloger, will discuss cataloging itinerant films as part of "Intellectual Access to Moving Images of Work Life," a Council on Library and Information Resources-funded Hidden Collections project for 2010.
    These films do not yet have their own genre name. The invisibility of many works persists because invisibility begets more of the same, only worse.
  • This is a note by Marion Howlett recalling her work on the road for the Amateur Theatre Guild, Boston, pushing a "hard sell proposition.” Thanks to the Council on Library and Information Resources, Northeast Historic Film hired two catalogers to describe 50 collections at both the collection level and the item level.  By identifying these collections and describing them in the Describing Archives: A Content Standard form for finding aids and as individual reels using the PBCore data structure in full XML regalia, we will be able to launch these records into the world where they will be found in relation to other like resources. Five of these newly described works are 1930s "movie queen" films connected to the Amateur Theatre Guild.
  • Our subject is the film made by a traveling creator.  How many people here have heard of Melton Barker?  H. Lee Waters? Amateur Services Productions? Arthur J. Higgins? [Many hands raised, and one offered Australian example.] Their champions are among us: Caroline Frick, Dan Streible, Dwight Swanson.
  • The next AMIA Journal, The Moving Image, Spring 2010, has an itinerant film focus. However, if you went to your university's special collections looking for works like these, even if they had some, you could not be assured of finding them even if they are 50 feet from you. Custodians often don't know what they are and how they came to be. We are just learning.
  • WorldCat has three "See yourself" movies--so far. 
  • You may know of and have used the Library of Congress Genre/Form Guide.  The Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms are newly updated as LCGFT and can be found here with genres you know: Documentary films, Monster films, Science fiction films.


  • And Scooby Do films. We hope to see the addition of terms to allow for the widespread identification and collocation of Local views and See yourself films. 
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  • Katrina Dixon (1 of 19) Arrived at Northeast Historic Film in February 2010. The Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections project is funded by the Mellon Foundation; looking to award funding to descriptive projects providing the first intellectual access to collections with a focus on how these collections impact national scholarship, teaching, and could serve as models.
  • Katrina Dixon (2 of 19) Describing Archives a Content Standard, EAD finding aids, directly related to the project’s goal of reuniting moving image resources with traditional archival paper collections.
  • Katrina Dixon (3 of 19) Use standards not only to guide project. Database system built in CollectiveAccess is customized for NHF’s cataloging needs and standards requirements; allows for life-cycle management; downloadable EAD and PBCore XML and upload of digital still and moving image representations.
  • Katrina Dixon (4 of 19) Northeast Historic Film is an item-driven institution. PBCore is a data structure that allows us to care for analog materials into unknown digital future . The metadata structure is designed specifically for moving images, intuitive/user-friendly, open source and established by WGBH with whom NHF has an existing relationship.
  • Katrina Dixon (5 of 19) Part of the challenge of building systems while completing descriptive cataloging is developing intelligent workarounds that won’t hinder any project process. Jack Brighton, WILL Public Media, a valued consultant, provided a PBCore Webform to catalog into. Basic and intuitive open source Webform that allows for publishing both the item or intellectual content record and the instantiation or physical record. Supported collaborative cataloging by professionals, interns, and newly-trained staff.
  • Katrina Dixon (6 of 19) Thesauri promote consistency in description and information retrieval; a subject term is topical, and used to describe what a film is about while a genre term is used to describe what a film is. An Affair To Remember, Subject: Love stories. Genre: Feature film. The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Subject: outlaws, gold theft, revenge Genre: Feature film, Western, could even use Adventure.
  • Katrina Dixon (7 of 19) First step in the description process: look at vocabulary. Took previous flat list of terms and created a new GoogleDoc of 124 Subject terms with usage notes. Terms = LCSH.
  • Katrina Dixon (8 of 19) Karan Sheldon worked on Genre terms, opening discussions with colleagues and scholars. Mostly derived from the LoC’s MIGFG and now LCGFT. Transparency is key, for sharing and beneficial to researchers.
  • Katrina Dixon (9 of 19) Genre terms as presented on the public Website, www.oldfilm.org. Each is a live link that leads to related collection listings. CollectiveAccess database feeds the Website, allowing for faceted browse and search.
  • Katrina Dixon (10 of 19) Conversation led to the proposed Genre term See yourself for use in relation to a collection of Movie Queen films, five of which are now accessible through the CLIR Hidden Collections Project; Movie Queen was written by Lauren K Woods; directors formed committees, found sponsors (churches and civic groups) (we also use the Genre term Sponsored) and advertised, selected local talent, shot a film, directed a live show.The film’s formula includes a welcome parade, businesses (gifts) and community (faces), kidnapping/gangster plot. PLAY BELFAST WELCOME CHAPTER ONE
  • Katrina Dixon (11 of 19) Update: Norwood, Mass. found; now have Bath Movie Queen; the Margarets (Cram and Showalter) were busy!
  • Katrina Dixon (12 of 19) Finding aid fed from CollectiveAccess. This is the Bath Historical Society Collection at http://oldfilm.org/collection/index.php/Detail/Collection/Show/collection_id/345 . Contains moving and still image representations.
  • Katrina Dixon (13 of 19) Bottom half of Bath Historical Society Collection record with Genre, Subject and Georeference. Each is a live link that will bring you to a list of collections related to the term or place clicked.
  • Katrina Dixon (14 of 19) Recent work with Martin Johnson led to proposing that See yourself be adopted to the LCGFT. [Local films as an alternative.]
  • Katrina Dixon (15 of 19) See yourself: characteristics: short shot length & capturing as many people and faces as possible; more faces = more tickets sold and more revenues. SHOW CLIP OF BUSINESS AND THEN FACES
  • Katrina Dixon (16 of 19) The advertisements for the films themselves are calling for people to See yourself on the silver screen; clearly state the intent of the filmmakers and film sponsors. To classify this film as “Itinerant” would be too general or broad the same way we don’t stop at calling a Western a Feature film.
  • Katrina Dixon (17 of 19) Bogota, NJ Movie Queen discovered on YouTube while researching for presentation; similarities & differences (huge parade scene; filming as many people as possible; businesses; mothers turning children to camera) unfortunately, this example lacks the kidnapping scene, but fortunately, this panel will not! PLAY KIDNAPPING SCENE CHAPTER THREE
  • Katrina Dixon (18 of 19) People really believed this might be Billie Burke from the Wizard of Oz; the risk of misinformation on YouTube. Decontextualized content. Movie Queen is a great example of the film as record and connection to a sense of place. Note the YouTube comment from xcutiexbootyxbabyx, who says, “OMG Bogota bakery? Love it.”

  • Katrina Dixon (19 of 19) Only by colocation and proper description can we dispel the mystery and understand how these films were made and intended to be seen. THANK YOU
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