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Within You, Without You:
Representation and the Moving Image Archive

  • Several frames of film from a home movie, taken while inventorying films at the Academy Film Archive
    Home Movies in the Archive

This website serves as a collection of works from my time in the UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) program, and it documents my interests in both home movies in the archive and archival outreach. These interests make up two opposing views of the archive: the view from inside out, and the view from outside in. These two themes have, in some way, influenced nearly all the work I have done in my courses, and they have also carried over into my internships and extracurricular activities.

From the inside out reflects my interest in home movies and other “non-theatrical films,” which consists of educational films, ephemeral films, and other types of audiovisual media that were not created for theatrical purposes. Whereas feature films, television, and even documentaries contain a very curated view of their subjects, home movies are often candid representations of ordinary people. Archival representation often focuses on how archives collect documents surrounding marginalized, forgotten, or obscure groups, and collecting home movies and other nontheatrical audiovisual materials helps to achieve this goal.

The view of the archive from the outside in reflects my interest in archival outreach, and how moving image archives are viewed by the average person. While archives may seek to represent everyday life at a certain, bygone period of time, they can be opaque to the people they represent, especially archives that specialize in moving images, which are often very technology specific. “Archival outreach” to me means breaking down the walls that hide the functions of an archive and educating the non-archival community on how archives function and, more importantly, why archives are important.

Being at UCLA has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of archival theory, and to gain more hands-on experience working in archives. Being in Los Angeles has also proved beneficial, as I now have Hollywood history at my fingertips, and access more repertory screenings than I could possibly attend.

With the skills I have gained in the MIAS program, I am confident that I have what it takes to be a successful moving image archivist. As I continue to learn and grow in my future career, I plan to spread archival knowledge to other institutions, and to anyone with audiovisual materials.