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Community Archiving Workshop – Downtown Community Television Center

  • Wednesday, November 04, 2015
  • 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Downtown Community Television Center 87 Lafayette Street, NY 10013

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A Community Archiving Workshop on November 4th will tackle the archiving of social issues documentaries from the 1970s and early 1980s produced by the Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), a media arts center that was founded in 1972. Organizers welcome the participation of archivists and those new to archiving and interested in learning basic archiving skills for video materials. Join us in this effort to save DCTV’s collections and learn about audiovisual archiving in the process! 

Interested participants must be pre-registered and space is limited to 30 participants — please RSVP to cn984@nyu.edu (Christopher Nicols).

DCTV’s rich and precious resources have been locked away in older video formats, like 1/2” open reel, that were used by pioneering documentarians starting in the late 1960s. Their historic collections include street interviews of a residents and businesses on 3rd Avenue from the Bronx to lower Manhattan; the living and working conditions for Asian immigrants in 1970s Chinatown; Vietnam as it rebuilt after the Vietnam War; and Iran and Afghanistan during the time of the Iran Hostage Crisis. The tapes were used in award-winning films, and offer a unique picture of New York in the turbulent times of the 1970s and 1980s.

Audiovisual archivists and students from NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies are recruiting the participants to activate the recovery of these endangered tapes. They will spend the day inspecting and inventorying 70 or more boxes, pulled down from DCTV’s crawlspace. The inventory will help DCTV decide what can be saved. Organizers also believe that it is essential to de-mystify this process of inspection and cataloging so that other important collections held by arts and cultural groups of New York will not disappear from the cultural record. Selections of finished works will be screened and refreshments will be served.

The Workshop is organized by participants in Community Archiving: Media Collection, a graduate course in the Department of Cinema Studies, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, taught by Mona Jimenez, Associate Arts Professor/Associate Director, Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program in the Department of Cinema Studies. It is co-sponsored by the Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV) and inspired by Community Archiving Workshops organized by the Independent Media Committee of the Association of Moving Archivists and their network.


About Community Archiving Workshops:
The first Community Archiving Workshops (then called Activist Archiving) were held at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester (2009) and at Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia (2010). Since 2010, workshops have been held in Austin, Seattle, Richmond, Savannah, Nashville, and Oaxaca.

About Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV):
DCTV is a media arts center that fosters diverse viewpoints by providing professional training, state-of-the-industry resources, and by creating outstanding documentary productions, with the belief that diversity of expression strengthens our democracy and enhances civil society. Founded in 1972 by Jon Alpert and Keiko Tsuno, DCTV has fostered a diverse and inclusive media arts community for 40 productive years. DCTV pursues its educational mission by introducing members of the community to the basics of electronic media through hundreds of free or low-cost production courses and access to broadcast-quality production equipment.

Questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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