This article addresses the politics of film digitization by arguing that we should reconsider archival and preservation "best practices" that require film restoration. Instead, it advocates for digitizing films "as is," which, in turn, captures the film's current materiality (i.e., fading, scratches, and other facets that reveal age, wear, and use). Using the work of Luis Vale, one of the youth filmmakers from New York City's Lower East Side's Young Filmmaker Foundation's Film Club, as a case study, the article points to the importance of archiving and saving these youth films as part of a growing movement to look beyond Hollywood cultural production and preserving national moving image heritage. More broadly, this article highlights how archiving practices determine which histories are remember and how.
Copyright © 2016 Rowman & Littlefield. This article first appeared in Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 12:4 (2016), 391-399.
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Lauren Tilton, "Preservation First? Re-Viewing Film Digitization," Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals 12, no. 4 (2016): 391-199.