Howard Besser


Howard Besser is Professor of Cinema Studies and Founding Director of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation masters degree program (MIAP).  In addition to teaching MIAP courses, he teaches a regular Cinema Studies course on New Media, Installation Art, and the Future of Cinema.  His current research projects involve preserving digital public television, preserving and providing digital access to dance performance, preserving difficult electronic works, issues around copyright and fair use, Do-It-Yourself media, and the changing nature of media with the advent of digital delivery systems.

Previously he was a Professor of Information Studies at UCLA, where he taught and did research on multimedia, image databases, digital libraries, metadata standards, digital longevity, web design, information literacy, distance learning, intellectual property, and the social and cultural impact of new information technologies.  Besser is an international expert on new technologies in libraries, museums, and archives, and has been active in national and international efforts to develop metadata and standards for the cultural heritage community.

Author of “Digital Longevity” in Handbook for Digital Projects, a Management Tool for Preservation and Access (Northeast Document Conservation Center, 2000); co-authored “The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age” (National Academy Press, 2000), “Defining the Problem of Our Vanishing Memory: Background, Current Status, Models for Resolution” in Time and Bits: Managing Digital Continuity (Getty Information Institute and Getty Conservation Institute, 1998). Articles in The Moving Image, First Monday, Processed World, Art Libraries Journal 25, Cinema Journal, Journal of the American Society of Information Science, Museum Studies Journal. Awarded the Outstanding Information Studies Teacher of the Year, American Society for Information Science, 1995. Member of the National Archives Electronic Records Preservation Review Panel, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, 2002-present; on the Preservation Committee, Electronic Literature Organization, 2002-present.  Recipient of grants from Mellon Foundation, Pacific Bell, and Intel Research.

For further publications, please see

The MIAP Program website:


B.A. 1976 (media), California (Berkeley)
M.L.S. 1977, California (Berkeley)
Ph.D. 1988 (Library and Information Studies), California (Berkeley)

Fall 2017 Courses

CINE-GT 1800 / Intro to Moving Image Archiving & Preservation
CINE-GT 3490 / Advanced Topics in Preservation Studies