With a little archival magic, NARA staff bring historic films “out of the dark” and back into the public eye. This post is from Archives Specialist Marcia Kolko from the Motion Picture Sound and Audio office.
Now on a small screen near you: A movie about…movies!
NARA’s own Motion Picture, Sound and Video office and Preservation Lab recently produced “Out of the Dark: Bringing Films to Light at the National Archives.” They used Frank Capra’s classic 1944 documentary “The Negro Soldier” to present a behind-the-scenes look at the accessioning, processing, and preservation workflow for motion pictures. Follow “The Negro Soldier” from the time of its arrival at the Archives to its place on the shelf of the Research Room where it will be available to researchers both in the United States and, due to the international reach of ARC, around the globe.
To see how the Motion Picture Office and Preservation Lab preserves and protects America’s historic motion picture collection, tune in to the latest entry on NARA’s Inside the Vaults channel!
Posted by Victoria on June 18, 2012, under preservation, Rare Videos.
Tags: Audio/Video Preservation Lab, Frank Capra, Motion Picture Sound and Audio office, Out of the Dark, The Negro Soldier, YouTube
As the Girl Scouts of the USA prepare to celebrate their 100th anniversary, we will be featuring stories from NARA staff who were former Girl Scouts. This post is from Director of Preservation Programs Doris Hamburg.
Happy 100th birthday, Girl Scouts!
Juliette Gordon Low began the first Girl Scout troop in 1912 in Savannah with just a small group of girls. Today there are more than 3.2 million scouts around the world. In fact, about half of adult American women are Girl Scout alumnae. Girl Scout activities (including selling those delicious Thin Mints!) develop skills, confidence, and character, and help to make the world a better place.
I was a scout as a girl and more recently served as a leader for my daughter’s troop. Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout! As a Brownie at age 8, little did I expect that Girl Scouting would have such an influence on my future.
When I was in 10th grade, my troop was asked to help at Lyndhurst, the newly opened National Trust for Historic Preservation museum. It was a splendid 19th-century Gothic Revival mansion overlooking the Hudson River in New York. At first, I sold postcards and souvenirs. As I learned more, I began giving tours.
At Christmastime, it was wonderful fun to help festoon the beautiful house with holiday decorations. I imagined the house when it was occupied by the original families, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Victoria on June 6, 2012, under News and Events.
Tags: Agents of Change, Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts 100th anniversary, Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low, national archives, Preservation Programs
In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act, the Exhibits Division’s senior registrar, Jim Zeender, and archivist Greg Bradsher flew out to America’s heartland to share a document that made it all possible.
Last month, they visited the Homestead National Monument of America, four miles west of Beatrice, NE, to install the exhibit. The Homestead Act of 1862 is a four-page document signed by Abraham Lincoln. Because it is written on parchment, the document is very sensitive to fluctuations in humidity. Great care was taken to ensure the case kept relative humidity steady as the Homestead Act traveled to Nebraska. This is the first time all four pages have been displayed.
“The Homestead Act is an important document because it opened the way for settlement of the west,” Zeender said. “It was an engine for immigration to the west, even bringing in people from overseas.” The act granted most Americans the ability to claim 160 acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River as long as the claimants were at least 21 years old, lived on the land for five years, and showed evidence of making improvements. Its passage allowed 270 million acres of land to be settled in 30 states.
At the Homestead National Monument, Zeender and Bradsher were briefed on security, given tours of the museum, and gave a series of presentations on the Homestead Act … [ Read all ]
For the next month or so, more than 900 goats will be calling the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum home.
“Last year, the Ventura County Fire Department broached the idea with us,” said Reagan Library Director and Herder-in-Chief Duke Blackwood. “We’ve partnered with them for more than 10 years with brush clearance. We’d bring in teams of people to do it, and it was very laborious and noisy. I don’t know how exactly, but the fire department was approached by these people with goats, and they thought they’d give it a try.”
An annual brush clearing is an important part of fire abatement because the library is located in a fire-prone area. The library took on 400 goats last year to clear 13 acres of brush around the property. This year, 900 goats will cover 40 acres. A portable fence is placed to move the goats around and keep them safe. A shepherd will also live on the property for the entire month to watch over the goats and make sure no coyotes or bobcats get them.
The goat program is organized and paid for by the fire department, so no special clearance is required to have the goats on property.
“It’s a very efficient and green way of doing it, and they get right down to the ground. You might say it’s not a baaaaa-d idea,” Blackwood joked.
All right, so these goats don’t … [ Read all ]
The clothes must make the man! Last week’s photo caption contest winner featured Spring Fashion Week and canvas jumpsuits; this week’s winner pokes gentle fun at what our congressmen might look like before they are suited up for work.
Duke Blackwood, the Director of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, took on his guest judging duties with a good humor that may make even the stoniest-faced terra-cotta warrior crack a smile.
Congratulations to Logan! Check your email for a code for a 15% discount in the National Archives eStore.
The original caption of the photo reads: “Photograph of the Reagans standing with the Terra Cotta figures in Xi’an, China” (April 29, 1984. ARC 198547). President Reagan’s 1984 trip to China marked only the second time a U.S. President visited since President Richard Nixon’s historic trip in 1972. Reagan met with Chinese President Li Xiannian in an attempt to resolve diplomatic differences between the U.S. and China. He also toured historical and cultural sites in Beijing with First Lady Nancy Reagan, including the Terra-cotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China. The terra-cotta soldiers were found in a massive burial site, intended to protect the emperor in the afterlife.
Our last photograph featured orderly soldiers below the ground, so this week we thought we’d take to the unpredictable skies. Put your wittiest captions in the comments below!… [ Read all ]
Posted by Victoria on May 10, 2012, under Photo Caption Contest.
Tags: china, Duke Blackwood, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, terra-cotta army, terracotta army