Regional Media Legacies Partnerships with Historical Organizations
The RML project team partners with organizations that manage audiovisual collections of their own, or work with smaller organizations or individuals in need of assistance with their own audiovisual collections. We are also interested in connecting with individuals with media who may not be associated with a specific organization. We will work with partners in three different potential capacities: 1. To assess and document audiovisual preservation needs, 2. As an internship host site, and 3. As a fellowship host site.
RML project activity is subject to the guidelines mandated by New York University. Most of our activities are currently being conducted remotely. Current recommendations for the Spring 2021 semester allow us to negotiate onsite visits or work as long as safety protocols are in place to ensure the safety of both our team members and your staff. We would greatly appreciate your time responding to survey questions about any media items you may have. It will allow us to gather relevant information we need as part of our overall research, and together we may identify current needs and possible future projects.
If you are an individual or a part of an organization with an audiovisual collection located in Brooklyn, Queens, or Long Island and are interested in contributing to our research please email RMLproject@nyu.edu. Once we hear from you, an RML team member will reach out with survey information. We are also more than happy to schedule a meeting to answer any further questions and discuss your collection. We will also ask that you separately fill out the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation's Collections Care Form.
For more information about the Regional Media Legacies project please email, RMLproject@nyu.edu.
Booklyn - Brooklyn, NY
Booklyn is an artist-run, non-profit 501 (c) (3), consensus-governed, artists and bookmakers organization that supports artists and organizations committed to environmental and social justice. They work towards this by documenting, exhibiting, promoting, and distributing their work within educational institutions worldwide.
Booklyn’s co-founder, Marshall Weber, possesses an audiovisual collection of his own which MIAP graduate student Amal Ahmed worked on this collection during her Spring 2020 internship. Find out more information here regarding her work.
Brooklyn Historical Society - Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) hosted the first Regional Media Legacies project-funded MIAP intern, MIAP graduate Matthew Hoffman, during the Fall 2019 semester. BHS collected, preserved, and made accessible one of the most comprehensive collections of materials related to Brooklyn’s history and culture. Under the supervision of Manager of Archives and Special Collections, Maggie Schreiner, Hoffman researched and assisted with preparation for a grant application for the preservation of audio-visual material in the Ronald Shiffman collection on the Pratt Center for Community Development, which documents the broad scope of Shiffman's career as a city planner, architect, and expert in community economic development from the 1960s to the present.
In 2020, the BHS made an agreement to merge with the Brooklyn Public Library. As of October 2020, the organization is now part of Brooklyn Public Library and is known as the Center for Brooklyn History. Schreiner, now the Collections and Digital Access Manager at the Center, informed us in November of 2020 that Hoffman's research for and writing for a previous grant proposal was used for a successful grant application to digitize the audiovisual materials in the Ron Shiffman collection.
Brooklyn Museum - Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Museum Archives offers world class research resources. The Archives contain the primary source documents that detail the history of the Museum and its predecessor institutions. The audiovisual collection numbers over 2,300 items and includes videos, audio tapes, and films that were predominantly created by the Brooklyn Museum from 1972 to 2005.
The bulk of the Audiovisual collection’s video series was inventoried and significant contributions were made by former MIAP Intern Draye Wilson. The information held in their audiovisual collection is unique and documents the Museum's history and programs that include under-documented cultures that are of value to a wide and varied audience. Content includes documentation of installations and lectures, public programming and symposia, interviews with artists and curators, research done in the field, television programs, and publicity materials.
In Fall 2020, under the supervision of Museum Archivist Molly Seegers, MIAP graduate student intern Zoe Yang assisted with increasing access to the audiovisual collection through tasks such as ingesting recently digitized materials, updating policies and procedures around ingest, and migrating and refining relevant metadata in object records.
Long Island Studies Institute - Hempstead, NY
A cooperative endeavor of Hofstra University and Nassau County, Long Island Studies Institute (LISI) is a major center for the study of Long Island local and regional history, and has unprocessed audiovisual material documenting unique aspects of this history.
In the Fall of 2019, LISI became the first RML Fellow host site. By partnering with LISI, the RML project gained a site to support Fellowship work across the Long Island region. This partnership is intended to establish a great deal of groundwork for LISI’s long-term audiovisual preservation goals, as well as building a network of local cultural organizations with hidden media collections.
Adjusting to restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic in 2020, partner work with LISI through 2021 has refocused to a collections assessment report to be lead by RML Fellow Robert Anen, with the goal of documenting the current state of a/v collections and recommending next steps to assist with moving long-term preservation efforts forward.
Los Herederos - Queens, NY
Los Herederos (The Inheritors) is a media arts non-profit organization dedicated to inheriting culture in the digital age. They engage in research-based documentation for public consumption to produce projects, programs, and services that address the realities of local culture, evolving communities, and an increasingly diasporadical immigrant experience. They believe in the power and complexity of transmedia storytelling to educate and encourage a more culturally aware, equitable, and sustainable society.
In Spring 2021, under the supervision of Executive Director Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, MIAP graduate student intern Kayla Henry-Griffin will work on Urban Condors: Andean Music in NYC (1970 - Present), a mixed-media collection compiled by ethnomusicologist and folklorist Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, based on her 15+ years of fieldwork and programming with Andean communities across the NYC metropolitan area (includes Long Island, Westchester and Rockland counties). Urban Condors contains materials relating to Andean music performance, artist interviews, and community-based activities spanning five decades in NYC.
LTV (Local Television) Archive - Wainscott, NY
The LTV (Local Television) Archive’s mission has been to offer the public an outlet to broadcast the activities of their communities for over thirty-five years. In that time, LTV has amassed thousands of hours of regional content that is in need of preservation. RML has partnered with LTV to assist them in ensuring that their audiovisual assets will be taken care of properly into the future.
RML Fellow Claire Fox completed a collections assessment report in December 2020, a major step in providing documentation of the current state of LTV’s audiovisual collections. Fox will utilize the information in the report to assist with furthering foundational preservation work for LTV’s audiovisual assets, and assist the organization in creating long-term workable solutions.
Adjusting to restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic in 2020, LTV hopes to host a MIAP graduate student intern during the Summer of 2021.
Mineola Historical Society - Mineola, NY
The Mineola Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of Mineola, New York. Since 1988, the society has been collecting objects that help tell the story of Mineola. The society possesses an audiovisual collection, mainly of home movies, that show the town throughout the 1930s and into the 1970s.
RML Fellow Robert Anen began inventorying and inspecting 8mm, Super 8, and even some 35mm film, but the ensuing lockdown halted this effort. Anen hopes to continue work in 2021, when it is safe to do so.
Queens Museum - Queens, NY
The Queens Museum opened in 1972 in Flushing Meadows Park, Corona, Queens. The site originally served as the New York City Pavilion for the 1939/1940 World’s Fair, and was one of few buildings that stood when the Fair concluded. Between 1946 and 1950, the building served as the temporary site for the United Nations. In 1964, the building was used again as the New York City Pavilion for the World’s Fair. The Panorama of the City of New York – a 1:1200 scale model of all five boroughs – was created for the Fair and remains a steadfast landmark at the Museum. Between 1965 and 1972, the building was an ice skating rink and a roller rink. The roller rink was removed in 1972 to make space for the Queens Museum; the ice skating rink disappeared after the Museum’s most recent renovation between 2009 and 2013.
The collection at the Queens Museum consists of over 10,000 objects related to the two World’s Fairs held at the site (the only two ever held in New York), including film and video. Each World’s Fair served as an international exposition that invited countries from around the world to share accomplishments and culture, and industrial leaders to share new technologies and projections. In Spring 2021, under the supervision of Archives and Collection Manager Lynn Maliszewski, MIAP graduate student intern Ana Salas will work on assessing and cataloging the Museum's audiovisual collection.
R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn Archives - Brooklyn, NY
The Diocese of Brooklyn was created in 1853 in response to the growing numbers of primarily Irish and German Catholic immigrants into what was then part of the Archdiocese of New York. The diocese was named for the then City of Brooklyn, where the new bishop had his cathedral, which then encompassed all Long Island. This included the North and South Forks, where a Catholic mission existed at Sag Harbor. By the time Bishop Charles E. McDonnell became the second Bishop of Brooklyn, the city included not only English and German speaking parishes, but also a network of Polish, Lithuanian, and Italian parishes, as well as single parishes for Scandinavian, Slovak, French, Puerto Rican, and African American Catholics. After the death of the third Bishop of Brooklyn, and due to the post-WWII population growth in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the diocese was split in two. The Suffolk County Diocese formed into the new Diocese of Rockville Centre, while Brooklyn and Queens remained known as the Brooklyn Diocese. Even with the division, the Brooklyn Diocese remains one of the largest in the United States.
The R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn Archives was created in 1977 with the appointment of the first full-time archivist, Rev. Harry Culkin. The Archives identifies, collects, preserves, and makes available historically valuable institutional records of the Diocese. It also includes the records of related organizations such as the Roman Catholic Orphan Society, The Emerald Association of Long Island, personal papers and oral histories of priests. The Diocesan Archives has custody of several collections of audiovisual material. In Spring 2021, under the supervision of Archivist Joseph Coen, MIAP graduate student intern Lindsay Miller will assist the archive in gaining more specific understanding of the audiovisual materials within their collection.
Sea Cliff Village Museum - Sea Cliff, NY
The Sea Cliff Village Museum (SCVM) strives to raise community awareness by preserving artifacts, documents, photographs and costumes relating to the unique historical background of the village. In 1871 a Methodist organization purchased land in Long Island as a retreat for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens families. During summertime revival meetings they would live in rented tents and attend services at the 500-seat Tabernacle. By the turn of the century Sea Cliff was a major East Coast resort, with vacationers arriving by steamboat and train. Then, as the automobile became more popular, people traveled farther for their vacations. But the village remained and today many late 19th century Victorian houses survive to give Sea Cliff its special character. One of the buildings now houses the Museum, which maintains permanent displays and mounts two special exhibitions per year.
RML Fellow Robert Anen has been assisting with a film collection discovered in the museum, working to inventory, inspect, and rehouse 20-30 reels of 16mm film along with other newly unearthed audiovisual material. Some of the films are dated 1925, and could possibly be some of the oldest home movies on Long Island. Featured in the collection are two different families: the Willetts and the Scholes. The Willett films are dated 1925-1930 and depict family activities, often at their Roslyn home which is now the Shibley Day Camp. More can be learned about the Willetts films in Anen’s first RML blog post here. The Scholes films are dated 1945-1958 and were shot by Bert Scholes of Sea Cliff, depicting his life with longtime girlfriend, Rose Tuboni, whom Scholes later left his house to when he died in 1974.
The Standby Program - Glen Head, NY
The Standby Program, Inc. is a non-profit media arts service organization founded in 1983. Standby’s mission is to foster the creation and preservation of media artwork by democratizing access to media technology, providing technical consultation, and creating resources to advance the development of the field.
The Standby Program has partnered with the RML project to host RML Fellow Claire Fox for preliminary preservation work on a video collection from the media department of New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The collection consists of 3/4" U-matic videotapes from the 1980s containing local news coverage of Long Island. Bill Seery, Director of Preservation Services, will supervise work on the collection. He has already partnered with Fox on the RML webinar hosted December 7, 2020, titled "Conversation with a Conservator: Knowing your collections and preparing for digitization."
Weeksville Heritage Center - Brooklyn, NY
Weeksville Heritage Center is the steward of a 19th century African American historic site located in Brooklyn. In addition to three historic houses with period furnishings interpreted for the general public, the Weeksville Heritage Center’s collections include oral histories, unprocessed institutional records, archaeological artifacts, objects chosen for interpretive purposes, family papers of Weeksville descendents, and research files that compile primary source materials that document historic Weeksville and other free Black communities.
In Spring 2020, MIAP graduate student Madeleine Mendell focused on surveying, documenting, and assessing legacy audiovisual formats and previously digitized materials in Weeksville’s processed and unprocessed collections. Find out more information here regarding their work.