Jeffrey Lauber, Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC), University of South Carolina, Summer 2018, NEH
I spent a very valuable summer at the University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC). During my time there, I worked primarily with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Film Repository, custody of which was given to MIRC by the History Division of Marine Corps University in 2016. The USMC collection awarded me an ideal internship experience: with a seemingly endless quantity of films to process (there are over 10,000 reels in the Corps' collection) came a perfect opportunity to hone my skills in inspection, identification, and repair of 16mm films. The mission of MIRC and the USMC collection being public accessibility on the collection's online video repository, I was also given the opportunity to work with databases and content management systems to describe and catalog digitized USMC films. Though processing and description of 16mm USMC films constituted the bulk of my summer, I also had the chance to dip my toes into various other tasks in film preservation. Some of these included scanning 16mm and 35mm films, transcoding DPX directories into mezzanine and access versions using FFmpeg scripts and commands, and identifying/assembling reels of 35mm nitrate newsfilm and stock footage. All considered, my summer at MIRC has become an essential part of my own personal and professional development.