Highlights from the AMIA Student Chapters’ 2016 Annual Reports

In order to maintain their status as an official AMIA student chapter, every year, each chapter must submit a report summarizing their activities to the Education Committee and the AMIA Board. These students show great promise in becoming leaders in the field, and we would like highlight some of the extraordinary activities the students organized and/or were a part of in 2016 and 2017. If you’d like to read the full reports you can find them on each chapter’s page here, Student Chapters.

University of California, Los Angeles

The UCLA Student Chapter organized tours of local archives, including the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the Disney Film Archive, the A/V Conservation Department at the Getty Research Institute, and the UCLA’s Film and Television Archive in Santa Clarita. The Chapter also partnered with the Los Angeles Archivists Collective and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Department of Educational Initiatives to host the Archeology of Moving Image Workshop designed to introduce archivists to the world of moving image archiving and preservation.

New York University

The NYU Chapter organized APEX 2016 in Santiago, Chile, “to work with two local institutions: Biblioteca Nacional de Chile and Señal Tres La Victoria. At Biblioteca Nacional de Chile, a team of APEX participants worked to inspect films in their collection and set up a telecine. At Señal Tres La Victoria, a community television station, others worked to inventory their videotape collection and set up a digitization station. APEX participants also organized a community archiving workshop held at Señal Tres La Victoria. The trip cultimated in a series of roundtable discussions open to the public, in which information was shared on how to best face the challenges of managing and preserving audiovisual materials in Latin American archives.” More information about the trip can be at: https://apexsantiago.wordpress.com/


University of Rochester

The University of Rochester Chapter took a trip to Toronto where they met with the University of Toronto’s AMIA Chapter, and visited the U of T’s film archive and TIFF’s archive and reference library. They also traveled to Cooperstown, NY to “inspect, inventory, and evaluate a film collection for possible acquisition by the University of Rochester.”

McGill University

“Continued from the previous year’s programming, we were able to provide a few free film screenings in the Moving Image Research Lab’s (MIRL) private screening room at McGill for SIS students. As part of the screening series, we hosted two pre-recorded webinars on the basic principles of multimedia digitization as applied to sound and moving image.” The McGill Chapter has also been working with MIRL to preserve and catalog their collection of films.


University of Texas at Austin

The UT Austin Chapter planned tours of the Lyndon Baines Johnson paper and audiovisual archives, the Briscoe Center for American History, and Austin Public, the oldest U.S. public access station still in operation. They also organized a screening event held at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, which examined archival footage documenting the character known as the Texas Ranger, and a 35mm archival film screening of CREEPSHOW, presented by the archivists at the American Genre Film Archive.

University of Amsterdam

The UVA Chapter was on hiatus for the 2015-2016 school year, but the 2016-2017 Chapter is excited to be up and running again. They’ve been holding regular meetings, social events, and screenings, and are busy planning archive visits and talks with academic and industry professionals.



University of Toronto

In 2016, the University of Toronto Chapter completed their first year as an AMIA student chapter! During the past school year, they have done an excellent job mentoring and collaborating with the brand new Ryerson University AMIA Student Chapter, and held exchange visits with the University of Rochester’s AMIA Student Chapter.

Throughout the year, the U of T Chapter organized tours of Innis Town Hall, Vtape, the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), and Television Ontario (TVO). They also held a workshop on Video Preservation with Mark Pellegrino, Media Specialist at Media Commons (University of Toronto Robarts Library).

Simmons College

The Simmons College Chapter also completed their first year as a student chapter in 2016!

“To introduce ourselves, we hosted an informational meeting and screened shorts from Orphans in Space: Forgotten Films from the Final Frontier (NYU Orphan Film Project, 2012), replete with 3D glasses for everyone to fully enjoy Lillian Schwartz’s Galaxies (1974) and UFO’s (1971)… For our second event, we hosted a conversation with our new faculty member, Janet Ceja, about her latest work on revolutionary cinema in Latin America… Two of [Santiago] Álvarez’s documentary short films were screened: Now! (1965) and 79 Primaveras (1969).”


Thank you to the students for your hard work, creativity, and passion in organizing and carrying out these activities. We look forward to seeing more from you this next year, and hearing from our newest chapters, Ryerson University and Emerson College!


Welcome New Student Chapter- Ryerson!

The AMIA Education Committee and community would like to offer a warm welcome to our newest student chapter, Ryerson. Below is a guest post from Ryerson about who they are, what they’ve been up to, and their plans for the future of the group. Their current chapter information can be found here.

The AMIA student chapter at Ryerson is excited to announce their official launch! The chapter is located in Toronto, through Ryerson University’s Film Preservation and Collections Management Master’s program. We are thrilled to be joining the conversation around moving image preservation with our fellow student chapters and the AMIA community. As the only program dedicated to film preservation in Canada, we felt the need to create a student chapter to represent our growing moving image preservation program and to join the University of Toronto Chapter in representing AMIA in Canada.

Projecting films at Choose Your Own Film screening night

Although the chapter just launched last Fall 2016, we’ve had several events to celebrate our first term. For instance, members of the chapter organized a monthly archival screening of non-fiction or independently produced films. Last November, we held a screening for the 1984 film by Diego Echeverria Los Sures and in December the second year Film Preservation cohort programmed a screening titled Out of the Fog: Films from Atlantic Canada, which included several 16mm prints loaned by regional archives.

Poster for Choose Your Own Film screening night

The student chapter also organized a tour of the Archives of Ontario in December. We hope to organize several tours of local archives and cultural institutions in order to allow our members to meet and talk to professional archivists in the region. In March, we collaborated with our mentor chapter at the University of Toronto, co-hosting a 16mm screening night titled Choose Your Own Film, and will work with them again at a panel at the Archives Association of Ontario’s conference in April.

Chapter members project 16mm films for Choose Your Own Film screening night

If you have questions or would like to connect with us, please email us at amiaryerson@gmail.com or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RyersonAMIA


Announcing New Student Liaison: Jen O’Leary

It is our pleasure to announce Jen O’Leary will be joining the Education Committee as our new Student Liaison. Jen has already been volunteering her time with us, drafting our forthcoming Student Chapter Guide, and has previously led the UCLA MIAS Chapter while in graduate school. As the Student Liaison, Jen will be the first point of contact for all students and chapters and will oversee any special projects or events geared toward those groups. Please welcome Jen!

OLearyHeadshotJen O’Leary is currently the Library Consolidation Assistant in Archive Operations at NBCUniversal. She graduated from the UCLA MIAS program in 2016 where she held internships at the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive, the Wende Museum of the Cold War and the Academy Film Archive. In addition to her MA, Jen also holds a BS in Radio/Television/Film and History from Northwestern University.

Jen has been a member of AMIA since 2014, attending the AMIA Conference for the first time in Savannah, GA. She was the 2015 recipient of the AMIA Image Permanence Institute Internship.

Student Spotlight: Spencer Churchill

The following is a guest post by Spencer Churchill for our Student Spotlight series. The series was created to highlight the fascinating and dedicated work being carried out by students in moving image archival studies. If you’re a student who would like to be highlighted or you know someone who should be, contact us at amiaeducationcommittee@gmail.com


An archivist’s perspective; from the collection at the American Genre Film Archive in Austin, Texas

My name is Spencer Churchill, I am originally from Binghamton, NY, but have resided in Rochester, NY while completing the two year Masters Thesis in English program, through the University of Rochester. I am also a recent graduate of the L Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. In addition to my studies, I was fortunate enough to hold office as President of the University of Rochester AMIA Student Chapter for my final year as a student. In my time spent as president, I organized several on campus film screenings from the university’s 16mm collection, a well-attended Home Movie Day celebration at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, a behind-the scenes tour of the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY and a very successful exchange trip to Canada to visit the students and staff of the AMIA chapter at the University of Toronto. 

My interests in the audiovisual field stem from my involvement in the fine arts and my undergraduate education at SUNY New Paltz. Although I have always had a particular interest in cinema, in both theoretical and historical capacities, I can locate my interests in film as a material object to a final art installation in which I replicated the viewing booth experience of a Mutoscope. While researching the earliest examples of silent and experimental cinema for the project, I started reading about the “lost films” of the late 19th and early 20th century. For me, the single most exciting thing about audiovisual archiving is having the ability to provide access to previously unknown works of motion picture history. When I found the field of film preservation, and saw how the Selznick School was providing an educational platform to best equip future practitioners there was an overwhelming sense of urgency that called for my participation.

Spencer Churchill

Spencer Churchill inspecting a 35mm reel from his senior project on the Indian Cinema Collection

The project that I can attribute the most personal gratification to was when I worked on the Indian Cinema Collection donation to the George Eastman Museum in the Spring of 2015. The experience spent on my personal project, in which I worked in tandem with my colleague and close friend, Mr. John Morton to index the gargantuan ingestion of the Indian Cinema Collection to the George Eastman Museum, is unparalleled and has, not only, spawned a multitude of opportunities for me in the present and future, but also has connected me to so many wonderful and passionate individuals working within the field of motion picture preservation, diverse halls of academic disciplines and fervent patrons of world cinema. Both my partner and I worked diligently to establish a densely-populated metadata indexing system for a collection of 775 individual 35mm theatrical prints and 575 unique titles that were housed in approximately 1300 burlap-wrapped boxes.

Our success in cataloguing the complete collection of films lead to my invitation to speak at 2015 AMIA Conference in Portland, OR. I was joined on a panel, aptly titled: “Processing Film Collections Labeled in Non-Latin Alphabets”, by Ms. Liz Coffey from the Harvard Film Archive, Mr. Travis Wagner from the University of South Carolina and Ms. Amy Sloper from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. This presentation went so well that I was then invited by the Journal of Digital Media Management to submit an article for publication based on my experience with the Indian Cinema Project.

While completing the optional second year Masters in English through the University of Rochester, I have been able to delve into film studies from both a historical lens, as well as an international perspective by studying Austrian, German, Russian, Italian and Early American Cinema. Since graduating from this program, I have shifted my focus to my final thesis paper in which I am interested in exploring the curatorial, archival, technological and cultural issues of exhibiting and preserving film elements that have faded to red.