Showing posts from January, 2014

list records what happened to so called "degenerate art"

The Nazis decided certain types of art were "degenerate" and a lot of it "disappeared". The Victoria and Albert Museum has just published a 2 v. list of the art and what happened to it. To read more click here

Pirate Bay, Prince and fighting copyright infringement, what works?

The Netherlands had banned Pirate Bay from functioning in 2011, thinking this would have a positive effect in stopping copyright infringement. Pirate Bay is a major file-sharing site which facilitated the sharing of a lot of copyrighted material.  Guess what? Other sites allow file-sharing and that is where web users went to circumvent the court order. Ultimately, the courts recognized that banning file-sharing on one site did not prevent copyright infringement, nor did it encourage users to pay fees for legal downloads. The basic point is that the providers had a "freedom of commercial activity" and were not themselves violating copyright. To read more about it click here.

In another current article about trying to suppress information sharing of copyrighted information, Prince (the artist not a royal cutie) gave a concert which some of his fans recorded and shared. He sued each of 22 fans who did this for $1 million each. They …

wild west image

My students were sorting through a box of mostly duplicates and peripheral visual items when they found this and wondered what it was. My first thought based on the headdress of the man in the lower left was a Wild West. The original image has some lightening on the left side, so I asked Pat Thelen, our digitizing goddess, to darken it. You can clearly see the crowd, flags, telegraph poles, and some large buildings, perhaps the first is a barn?  A group of men, carrying weapons, are walking ahead of the women in long dresses with long hair. Some men have feathered headdresses. There are wagon wheel marks circling in the right of the image which are hard to see except in the darkened image. Pennant flags are flying in the breeze. A number of ladies have parasols up to shield them from the sun on this very bright day. In the far upper left is a sign, which enlarged reads Coal Wood Hay Straw. This is clearly a wild west, which performed outside, not in a tent. Is it being held on a fair…

Circus image identified

I recently found an image of a circus parade in what I thought was Alpena, probably on 2nd street, in the late 1800s. The image is one of hundreds in the Fred R. Trelfa Photograph Collection, 1860-1961, 13.5 cubic ft. (in 18 boxes). The Congregational Church is in the background, on 2nd and Lockwood with a unique spire that existed only from 1868 to 1888.

To learn more about the collection or to view the online finding aid click here

A circus friend and fan, Jim Fry, suggested I contact Alpena. What a great suggestion!

Bob Lyngos in Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library sent me a response. He has another image of the same circus, showing a different part of the parade, also on 2nd, but passing Chisholm. The image is identified as the Sells Bros. Circus, the first one to perform in Alpena. The arrival of the circus' advertising crew, and then the circus and menagerie'…

The Collections of Father Goodrow


NSA debate, where are we?

Last week Pres. Obama stated that the NSA's wide spread practice of collecting data has "the potential for abuse" (I honestly think he should have said it allowed abuse to occur) and that he was trying to change the current system, including no longer monitoring personal communications on other friendly world leaders, sending the already accumulated info to a third party, and limiting calls the NSA can track.

Why keep the majority of the data if it is not of terrorists or their associates? How long and in what accessible form will it be kept? Who can access it?  Do you need a court order or is a concern by officials enough to allow access? Will data be destroyed and how will anyone ever prove if it is destroyed permanently in all places and in all formats?  Will regular people be allowed to know or access information that was collected about them? Which third party will agree to keep this information and under what access restrictions and in what form for how long?

One …

MI Conservation and Collections Care Camp 3/6/14 at WMU Library

film to digital and its impact on entertainment locally, nationally, and internationally

Paramount is the first major American studio which will now release only digital movies in the US. Inevitably, other studios will follow. According to a recent LA Times article, currently only 8% of US theatres currently have not converted to digital, mostly due to cost. Paramount will likely continue to have film for Latin American and other foreign nations where they have not converted to digital. Digital is cheaper for studios. Purists, historians, and conservationists fear the long term inaccessibility of the movies. Film can often be restored (at great cost). Digital has no standards for longevity. Will any of the digital films be available for viewing in 50 or 75 years? The film versions lasted and needed repair, but they did last. For nearly 10 years the studios have worked with theatres to help defray the cost of replacing film projectors with digital systems. 92% of studios have converted. Those that don't convert will probably have to close or seek other funds to convert…

job posting film archivist