The Vaults!!

Posted by on Sep 08 2009 | Motion Pictures

This week I will be spending my time exploring the impressive collection storage  held by the NFSA.

Materials in the collection are vast and include many areas of both film and television. This includes such items as: costumes (including the wedding dress worn by Toni Collette in the film “Muriel’s Wedding”), televisions, projectors, motion picture film, various video formats,  disks, wax cylanders, DVD’s, glass slides, production stills, film posters, film props and my personal favorite: a ‘clap-o-meter’ from a television studio.

Clap o meter

The Archive holds it’s materials in four separate locations which can basically be put into these categories: 1). Preservation materials; 2.)Access copies; 3.) Paper and registration (document) materials; 4.) Nitrate collection.  This week I will be given a tour of these separate areas and a brief study of how they are stored.

 Preservation copy-disks 1

One such area is involves the audio recording on disks.  Currently, the archive is working on a risk management project of ‘disk flipping;’ that is, taking recorded sound disks and flipping them in their vertical preservation storage containers.  This is to help prevent the the disks own weight from bending and damaging the disks.  This may sound rather odd, but image a disk sitting in the same position for 20 years.  Gravity could take a toll on such material. 


Other areas I will be reviewing include the film and video collection.  Stay tuned for more information!

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    Deborah Stoiber is the Nitrate Vault Manager at The Louis B. Mayer Conservation Center. She graduated from The L. Jeffrey Selznick School in 1998. After graduation, she spent time at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY working on their 16mm collection.

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