The Hollywood Park Collection

One of the most rewarding and educational experiences I have had in my time in the MIAS program has been to work with Hollywood Park on their collection. This final paper written for MIAS 240: Archival Administration, which is the culmination of several different activities, was a group effort between my classmates Alina Sinetos and Megan Gruchow and me. While we all worked together, we each contributed different sections of the paper. My main contributions are in the sections on archival appraisal, future plans with regards to keeping the collection, and the section on digitization as well as the conclusion. I also added to the helpful resources section. (An * signifies these sections). 

Alina and I had the privilege of being able to present a poster on our work with Hollywood Park at the 2014 AMIA Conference. You can read more about our poster session here.

The Hollywood Park Collection

Hollywood Park Racetrack
All Hollywood Park Photos Courtesy of Alina Sinetos.
Table of Contents

After 75 years of horse racing history, Hollywood Park closed its doors in December 2013. With its closure, a new light has been shed on the materials left behind, thanks to attention from an auction at the Park and various news articles in the Daily Racing Forum1 and the New York Times.2 Kip Hannan, who was the TV Production Operations Supervisor at Hollywood Park Racetrack, has now inherited the collection left behind from various departments at the Park including the Publicity Department and Press Box, the Marketing Department, and his own former department, the Television Operations. The press has dubbed him the “Keeper of Memories,” though Mr. Hannan’s new role as curator to the collection has turned into a massive undertaking. While Kip Hannan is extremely knowledgeable about the audiovisual materials, he has less experience handling the rest of the collection which includes scrapbooks filled with newspaper clippings and photographs, photo negatives, books detailing race charts and reports, as well as paper documents like “Daily Files” from the Press Box, which feature notes on the horse training and race results. Preserving and guarding the collection becomes even more complicated since there is no formal inventory or catalog for the items.

The collection has been spread out between four rooms at the Hollywood Park racetrack facility. One room is the former TV Department, which houses many of the video formats, the DVDs, Digital Files, and Mr. Hannan’s office. The second room is nicknamed the “Hole,” and is dark and damp with wood paneled walls and sheets of plastic covering the various film and video formats. The sheets are used to try and protect the materials from leaks and spills caused by the concession stand located above. The “Hole” has been neglected over the years and as a result is dusty and filled with water damaged boxes, many of which contain the 16mm films. Possible mold and other deterioration will likely be "The Hole," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood Parkdiscovered when the collection has to be moved due to the impending demolition of the racetrack. The third room, known as the “Fox Room” contains more video formats, primarily Betacam. Lastly, the “Archive Room” storage area is two adjoining office spaces. This area is in better shape and houses the paper, photographs, books and other ephemera collections. All four rooms are locked and the television and office space locations have more temperature control than the “Hole” room. However, these storage spaces are now only temporary due to the closure of the park. It’s only a matter of time before electricity, water, and other utilities are shut down. As of March 2014, physical moving of the collection began with materials being taken over to the building next door, the Pavilion. Located behind the casino, the Pavilion offers banquet facilities and was once an area for horseracing fans and celebrities. Mr. Hannan has secured nine suites for the collection to remain for now, however there have been rumors that the Pavilion will be demolished within the next couple of years.

Despite Mr. Hannan’s inexperience with archival practices, he is an essential figure to the collection. Mr. Hannan is able to provide context for the collection, he knows the history of the racetrack and is able to identify many of the images from the photographs and audiovisual material. His affiliation with the company can be an important resource in understanding gaps in the collection or the significance of certain items.

The controlling company, Betfair, is still in the process of making vital decisions for the Hollywood Park assets. At this time, the collection is at a limbo stage and is unclear if the company wants to keep all the material to build their own archive or donate the collection to a museum or library, like the Bancroft Library at UC Berkley or the Racetrack Hall of Fame in New York. Many decisions are at a standstill when it involves new storage conditions, budget, and copyright issues. For now the collection remains in the hands of Kip Hannan, who is doing his best to figure out a way to organize the materials. While many questions and concerns remain, one thing is clear: the vision of the Hollywood Park Collections is to share the history of horse racing, which has been an integral part of Los Angeles culture.

As part of a class project for Archival Administration, UCLA Moving Image Archive students Megan Gruchow, Staci Hogsett, and Alina Sinetos have worked together to develop guidelines and recommendations for what can be done with the Hollywood Park Collection. The first step they took was to meet with Kip Hannan on January 31, 2014 to question him about the state of the collection, his hopes for what can be done with the materials, and other archives/libraries that he is in touch with. Based on this initial interview, the students wrote profiles and mission/vision statements to help justify the importance of the collection. They then went back to Hollywood Park on February 12, 2014 to gather collection figures. Since there is no inventory, the team spent about five hours counting videotapes, films, books, photographs, scrapbooks, artwork, etc. Once the rough estimation was in place, the group developed a financial assessment for database costs, storage recommendations, rehousing costs, and digitization options.  On February 28, 2014, the students met with UCLA Special Collections librarian Tom Hyry to discuss how Hollywood Park would go about donating the collection.

This report includes the findings that the MIAS students have conducted as well as a summary of their meeting with Mr. Hyry and overall recommendations for the Hollywood Park Collection. The report also includes archival resources and tools that will assist Mr. Hannan with managing the collection.


"The Archive Room," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood ParkSince there is no inventory or catalog for the Hollywood Park collection, the team had to conduct rough estimates of the various materials. Here is what they came up with for the overall total of all four rooms, as well as a breakdown of the amount and types of materials in each room:

Overall Totals
  • 16mm film in cans = 95
  • 16mm film in small boxes = 4,080
  • 2” videotape reels = 21
  • 1” videotape reels = 620
  • ¾” videotape = 2,430
  • Betacam = 3,050
  • VHS = 1,045
  • SuperVHS = 50
  • DigiBeta (mostly wiped) = 325
  • DVDs = 10,550
  • Digital clips on Kip’s Editor = 300
  • Promotional DVDs = 10 boxes
  • ¼” reel to reel audiotape = 1,080
  • Audio cassette tapes = 40
  • Acetate records = 16
  • Vinyl records = 6 copies of Hollywood Park Greatest Hits
  • Scrapbooks = 162
  • Books, logs and binders = 2,330
  • Magazines = 1,320
  • Daily Racing Forum Newspapers = 500
  • Programs = 1,160
  • Press box folders = 140
  • Boxes of paperwork, media guides and photographs, etc. = 275
  • Framed art, framed photographs and cardboard posters = 155
  • Photographs and miscellaneous papers from filing cabinets = 2,550
  • Envelopes of negatives (with more than one negative per envelope) = 73,250
  • Envelopes of contact sheets = 650
  • Carousels full of slides (with 140 slides per carousel) = 15
Total Count for the Hole:"The Hole," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood Park
  • 1” video reels = 600 reels (dating from 1984-1995)
  • ¾”  videotape = 1,190 (dating from 1989-1995)
  • 16mm film cans = 70 (dating from 1958-1967)
  • 16mm small film boxes = 4,030
  • VHS Tapes = 100
  • Betacam = 210
  • ¼” reel to reel audiotape = 10
  • Audio Cassette tapes = 40
  • Programs = 60
Total Count for Fox Room:"The Fox Room," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood Park
  • Betacam = 1,885
  • VHS = 660
  • ¾” Videotape = 1,060
  • Programs = 600
  • DigiBeta for De-accession = 300 (17 boxes)
Total Count for Archive Room:
  • Scrapbooks = 162
  • Books = 2,050
  • Chart Books = 160
  • Stock Certificate Books = 26
  • Race History Logs = 9
  • Magazines = 1,320
  • Press Box Folders = 140
  • Programs = 400
  • Breeder Cup Binders = 40Photo negatives in the Archive Room at Hollywood Park
  • Paperwork Boxes = 185
  • Media Guide Boxes = 84
  • Framed Art = 70
  • Framed Photos = 34
  • Cardboard Posters = 50
  • Photos and Miscellaneous Papers From Filing Cabinets = 2,550
  • Total Envelopes of Negatives (More Than One Negative Per Envelope) = 73,250
    • Black Boxes with Negatives (1930s-1970s) = 150; Envelopes of Negatives = 37,500
    • Cardboard Boxes with Negatives (1970s-1990s) = 65; Envelopes of Negatives = 35,750
  • Envelopes of Contact Sheets = 650
  • Carousels of Slides = 15; Total Slides = 2,100
  • Binders of Negatives, Slides, & Contact Sheets = 43
  • Boxes of Miscellaneous Photos, Negatives and Slides = 3; Total Items = 1,500
  • Vinyl Records Hollywood Park Greatest Hits = 6; Framed Gold Records = 3
  • ¼” Reel to Reel Audiotape = 1,070
  • 2” Videotape Reels = 21
  • 16mm Films in Small Boxes = 50
  • Boxes of Promotional DVDs = 10
Total Count for TV Department:The TV Department at Hollywood Park
  • DVDs (1988-2012) = 10,550
  • Digital Clips on Kip’s Editor = 300
  • ¾” Videotape = 180
  • VHS = 285
  • Betacam = 955
  • Acetate Records = 16
  • DigiBeta = 25
  • 1” Videotape Reels = 20
  • 16mm film cans (that have been transferred) = 25
  • Super VHS = 50
  • Programs = 100
  • Daily Racing Forum Newspapers = 500



Staci counts book in the Archive Room at Hollywood ParkWhether the Betfair Company decides to keep the collection or donate it to an archive or library, one of the most important first steps for the Hollywood Park Collection is to create an inventory of all the materials stored in the four rooms at the former Hollywood Park racetrack. A very basic start would be to create an Excel spreadsheet, with columns for the title of the item (if no title, like for a photograph, then a basic description), where the item is located, year of when the item was created, what type of material the item is (i.e. photograph, book, 16mm film, etc.), condition, and if the item is worth keeping in the collection.  This process will help with the initial appraisal of the collection. On the Society of American Archivists website, a glossary of terminology is defined by Richard Pearce-Moses. This glossary states that “appraisal” is “the process of determining whether records and other materials have permanent (archival) value… The basis of appraisal decisions may include a number of factors, including the records’ provenance and content, their authenticity and reliability, their order and completeness, their condition and costs to preserve them, and their intrinsic value.”3 A suggested appraisal model can be found in the next section of this report.

Once appraisal is established, the owners of the collection can begin deaccessioning some of the materials that are not pertinent to the archive. According to the Society of American Archivists Glossary, “deaccessioning” is “the process by which an archives, museum, or library permanently removes accessioned materials from its holdings; Materials may be deaccessioned because the repository has changed its collections policy and the material is no longer within its scope. Materials may be deaccessioned because they have been reappraised and found to be no longer suitable for continuing preservation. Materials that are badly decomposed and beyond repair may be deaccessioned. Deaccessioned material may be offered back to its donor, offered to another institution, or destroyed. Also called permanent withdrawal.” 4Boxes of water-damages 16mm film in the "Hole" at Hollywood Park

There are already some materials in the collection that can deaccessioned, such as the Digital Betacam tapes which were wiped out and no longer have content or some of the small 16mm films in boxes which have had severe water damage and as a result could contain mold. By establishing an appraisal of the items, the collection can eliminate some of its duplicates and damaged materials to help reduce the number of items needed to be packaged and moved to another storage location. Deaccessioning will also help the curator with managing the collection on his own.

If the Betfair Company decides to continue holding the collection, the next step will be to create a better inventory system or catalog. The Society of American Archivists has defined a “catalog” as “a collection of systematically arranged descriptions of materials, or a listing of items with descriptions.”5  There are various database systems that can be purchased such as CollectiveAccess, PastPerfect Museum Software, FileMaker Pro, CollectionSpace, and many more.

An evaluation of the various collection management systems software will need to be conducted to find the best fit for the collection’s scope. One such system for consideration is CollectiveAccess, “a free open-source software for managing and publishing museum and archival collections.”6  The software is flexible in that it does not require complex programming. The Providence feature “provides a relational approach to cataloging that allows users to create and describe relationships between different record-types, […] nuanced search and browse tools, advanced display, […] import capabilities, superior media-handling and more enable users to catalogue almost anything.”7  Several historical societies, small museums, moving image archives, and special collections have adapted this cataloging system for their holdings. Since the software is web based, there may be some limitations for large sized collections.

PastPerfect Museum software is used by many archival institutions such as the Historic Collection at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. The system is fairly affordable at around $700, customizable, and provides relationship links between records in the database.8  Nonetheless, PastPerfect is better suited for collections with more three-dimensional objects and can be difficult to search by date.

FileMaker Pro can be used as an inventory system; however the product is marketed as a business platform. This software would require extensive customization with someone familiar with database systems to tailor FileMaker Pro to the specific needs of the Hollywood Park collection. However, there are templates for FileMaker Pro available for purchase such as the Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) Cataloging Project.9 Another database system is CollectionSpace, a free, open-source software that was created by museum professionals.10  It is still working out many problems, one of which is a limited search function. This software, along with a few others, provides a demo which could help the collection gauge which features it would want in its catalog system.


As can be seen by the inventory, Hollywood Park has a sizable collection on their hands. It is doubtful that any institution will accept all of the materials in the collection, and not all of the materials have historical or research value. Part of the importance of developing a vision statement for Hollywood Park is to determine what aspects of the collection are the most worthwhile to keep. If the vision of the racetrack is to preserve and make accessible the history of jockeys and horseracing, then the most significant materials in the collection may be different than if Hollywood Park were to choose to highlight the history of horseracing in Los Angeles.

It is important to note when appraising the collection that copyright is a major factor for what items are more important to keep than others. If Hollywood Park does not own the copyright of certain materials, those materials become less usable and present more of a risk for institutions to care for and make accessible. Also, when thinking of donating, other institutions may have their own ways of assessing the value of materials that differs from Hollywood Park’s. Therefore, we advise speaking to the receiving institution about their mission and collection scope, to determine what materials they find more valuable.

Some of the known materials of great value in the Hollywood Park collection would be the high stakes races and those materials containing footage of the well-known horses, such as Seabiscuit and Native Diver. Due to the racetrack’s history in the shaping of Los Angeles, and its connections to Hollywood’s movie industry, footage and photographs of famous celebrities at the races could also be of high-value.

As Hollywood Park was in business for over 75 years, the amount of footage of individual races is immense. However, it is likely that not every single one of these races is important to keep. When creating a more in-depth inventory, it would be advisable to sample events from different years or racing seasons in order to form a picture of what was happening at the time while eliminating unnecessary materials.A scrapbook in the Archive Room at Hollywood Park

Of a low archival value are the materials that are damaged beyond repair, as might be the case with the moldy 16mm films, or materials that do not directly relate to the Hollywood Park vision. The footage of music concerts that happened at the track may fall into this category. Any duplicates of materials in excess of three copies could also be deaccessioned; in this category would be some of the programs, of which Hollywood Park has many copies.


Since the Hollywood Park racetrack is set for demolition, the collection is in dire need of finding a new home. According to the New York State Archives, ideal conditions for most types of formats include:

  • “Temperature between 65-70º F, with fluctuations of no more than 2 degrees
  • Relative humidity at 35-45%, with fluctuations of no more than 5%
  • Protection from ultraviolet (UV) light, air pollutants, and vermin
  • Protection from damage, disaster (i.e., water, fire), and theft” 11

Proper storage also dictates that film should lie flat while video and audio cassette-based formats should be stored vertically.12 Heat and moisture are detrimental to collections because they can cause mold and deterioration and attract insects. The new storage location for the collection will need to avoid moisture, heat, excessive dryness, and light in order to preserve the collection.

Reels of 16mm film in the "Hole" at Hollywood ParkTo determine archival storage costs, the company Cisco-Eagle has a model on their website for how to calculate costs for storing materials and the different types of shelving systems. Four six-shelf units, 18-gauge, 30″ x 42″ x 68″ can cost up to $600.00.13  The Hollywood Park Collection can also explore using a third party vendor for storing their materials. Hollywood Vaults provides storage for film, video, photography, and digital files. Their website provides a virtual tour of their facility as well as a price list of their services such as a fireproof safe, media locker, aisle vault, double vault, underground off-site storage, etc. A single vault costs $735 monthly for 162 cubic feet room and $1,175 monthly for 378 cubic feet room.14 Another vendor is Iron Mountain, “a storage and information management company, assisting more than 156,000 organizations in 36 countries on five continents with storing, protecting and managing their information.”15  Iron Mountain’s website provides a form to get a free quote for storing records and digital files.

If and when the Pavilion will be shut down or demolished, the archive will need to be moved to another storage facility and also consider financial factors for moving the collection. The British Library has a Preservation Advisory Center which published a guide for moving collections. They suggest doing a “condition assessment before and after moving, so that any item damaged in transit can be identified immediately.”16  If the collection is being moved to a third party vendor storage facility or to another institution like the UCLA Library, the Betfair Company will need to know how these places require materials to be delivered. Some may require that the collection be deposited in archival boxes and folders. Thus, the Hollywood Park collection will need to begin looking into the costs and types of archival materials for rehousing.


The rehousing of the Hollywood Park collection will likely happen in stages. Some parts of the collection, such as the water-damaged and moldy boxes of 16mm film, will require immediate attention, while others, such as the 185 banker’s boxes filled with miscellaneous paperwork, will remain in their current, stable state and await more thorough processing. The sheer cost of rehousing materials will force the archivist to prioritize parts of the collections considered most valuable and those considered most at risk. The cost factor might also influence the archivist’s decision to deaccession items, such as duplicates, damaged materials or items that fall outside the defined scope of the collection. The following rehousing guidelines for the Hollywood Park collection attempt to balance ideal long-term goals with achievable short-term goals.

The varying condition of the 16mm film in the Hollywood Park collection poses one of the largest challenges for the archivist. Yet, with each progressive stage of the rehousing process, the archivist can approach the preservation standards held by the moving image field. Nearly 100 reels of 16mm film currently sit in metal cans propped up vertically on shelves in one of the storage rooms at Hollywood Park. As a first step, the archivist must clean these film cans and inspect the films for damage and for traces of vinegar syndrome (the vinegar smell indicates decomposition of acetate film). Film cans with traces of rust or damage should be replaced with archival film cans, available through suppliers like Tuscan Corporation for approximately $5 a piece.17 Moreover, according to The National Film Preservation Foundation The Film Preservation Guide, films should not be stored on projection reels for long periods of time, since this form of storage can damage and stretch out the film.18 Instead, the guide recommends storing films on a core at least three inches in diameter—“the larger the core, the wider the diameter of the film roll and the less stress on the film.”19 If the archivist chooses to transfer each film from a reel to a core, three inch cores from suppliers like Tuscan Corporation come in packages of 200 for $90. Once properly rehoused, the films in these cans should be stored horizontally but may be stacked.20 To maintain order, the archivist must make sure that the label for each can reflects its proper contents. Specially formatted film can labels can be purchased from suppliers for approximately $50 for a packet of 200.

In addition to the metal cans of 16mm film, the Hollywood Park collection contains over 4,000 boxes of 100 foot reel 16mm films. Of these small boxes of 16mm film, nearly 3,000 have been stored in damp conditions or have sat in water. The condition of these potentially water-damaged materials must be assessed in the current location, before moving the collection. If the items contain mold, they must be provisionally cleaned and sorted in order to determine the level of damage. The Washington State Film Preservation Manual (a helpful resource which offers low-cost suggestions to maintain a film collection) explains how to identify mold, mildew and fungus: “You can recognize it by white powdery mold spots on the outside of the film; it will work its way into the film over time. However, moldy film can be cleaned and with proper storage, mold can be eliminated.”21 The films will need to be divided into those unaffected by the moisture, those with damaged boxes but undamaged films, and those with both damaged boxes and damaged films. The first group must be separated from the others and placed with the rest of the small films, the next will need to be rehoused either in archival cans or in new archival, acid-free boxes, and the last group will need to be evaluated to determine if the films can be cleaned or are unsalvageable. New acid-free boxes of this size cost roughly $1.30 per box; if one-third of the affected films require new boxes, the total cost would add up to $1,300. Additionally, each interaction with these materials would require special health and safety precautions. Archivists handling the material would need to be provided with gloves as well as with ventilator masks. These protective supplies would also increase the overall costs, since ventilator mask cost between $12 and $25 a piece and twelve-packs of cotton gloves cost upwards of $13. All of these calculated expenses, as well as additional costs for cleaning, must be weighed against the potential value of the damaged material if salvaged.

The scrapbooks represent an equally problematic part of the Hollywood Park collection. Dating back to the opening of the race track in 1938, these scrapbooks contain both newspaper articles and photographs related to Hollywood Park. Scrapbooks are fragile to begin with, often made using poor quality paper that darkens and grows brittle over time.22 Storing scrapbooks in archival boxes can extend their life by protecting them from visible and ultraviolet light, from pests like silverfish that live on paper, and from airborne pollutants.23 Due to the oversize format of the Hollywood Park scrapbooks, approximately 24 inches by 20 inches, the cost of such archival, acid-free boxes would near $15 per box. With just over 160 scrapbooks in the collection, the total comes to $2,400 for rehousing alone. But rehousing the scrapbooks constitutes only a small victory in an ongoing, uphill battle. The Library of Congress preservation website dedicates an entire section to scrapbooks, suggesting different ways to care for the fragile materials: “Detached items can be separately enclosed in archival quality folders or envelopes or encapsulated and stored with the scrapbook. Although reattaching items may seem simple, it can be extremely detrimental to long-term preservation if inappropriate materials and methods are used.” Given the expense and commitment involved in the care of scrapbooks, the archivists must assess the historical or contextual value that the scrapbooks contribute to the collection as a whole.

Certain materials in the Hollywood Park collection require less immediate attention. For example, the collection holds 150 shoe-box size black boxes containing envelopes of primarily 4×5 negatives. Collectively they contain over 35,000 negatives dating from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Although the black boxes have not been deemed archival, they serve the necessary function of blocking out light and pests. The archivist need not invest in new archival boxes right away, which cost approximately $6 per box, $900 in all. The negatives themselves, however, are contained in sleeves made either from a material that resembles wax-paper, probably vellum, or from yellowing, acidic paper. For preservation purposes, the negatives should be rehoused in acid-free paper "The Hole," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood Parksleeves.24 Any materials used in rehousing the negatives should pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT), which rules out the presence of chemicals that cause damage to photographic materials.25 In addition to re-sleeving the negatives, the archivist must keep the original envelope for the information written upon it; for this reason, it would be best to select an acid-free sleeve that can slip back inside the original envelope and thus preserve the original context of the negative it holds. Acid-free sleeves are particularly expensive, each package of 100 sleeves costing around $20. With approximately 37,500 envelopes in the black boxes, rehousing this entire part of the the collection would require $7,500 worth of acid-free paper sleeves. Moreover, many of the envelopes contain more than one negative, increasing the price. One option for reducing costs would be to re-sleeve only the highlights within each box––negatives that record the most noteworthy subjects and events.26

As is apparent from these few examples, each set of materials from the collection requires individual assessment and tailored rehousing treatment. The archivist must also take care to preserve the original context of the materials, respecting any preexisting organizational methods. While materials like the black boxes of negatives are arranged chronologically, others like the cardboard boxes of random photographic prints, photographic negatives and contact sheets seem to lack any semblance of order. It will be the task of the archivist to assign order to these materials. The rehousing of the collection will be an ongoing process, with gradual improvements carried out in stages. Nevertheless, the archivist must first adequately rehouse and catalog the collection before considering any future steps such as digitization. The preservation of the original materials must come before the creation of digital surrogates.


Once Hollywood Park’s archival materials are properly cataloged and stored for the time being, the next steps ultimately depend on the intended purpose of the materials. This is a critical issue for Hollywood Park, as it will determine whether the materials should be donated to an institution with the means to properly care for and provide access to the collection. In this report, we will outline two suitable options for the Hollywood Park collection: keeping the collection and creating a stock footage library or research facility, or donating it to an institution. Before any of these options are taken into consideration, however, it is of the utmost importance for Hollywood Park to determine the copyright status of its materials, as this will effect what can be done with the materials.

Photo negatives in the Archive Room at Hollywood ParkOwnership of the physical material does NOT mean that Hollywood Park owns the intellectual property rights. Before donating, licensing, or providing access to the materials it is imperative that they have a grasp on the rights of the materials.

Keeping the Collection

A more commercial option for the Hollywood Park collection would be to generate income by licensing out their footage. Based on the prices charged by the UCLA Film and Television Archive they could make approximately 15 to 90 cents per second, depending on the use of the footage.27 However, in order to do this, the copyright of the materials would need to be thoroughly researched to ensure that Hollywood Park is, in fact, the owner of the intellectual property as well as they physical property. Licensing out the Hollywood Park materials would also require an extensive inventory of the collection along with finding aids and the ability to perform faceted searching so that customers can find exactly what they need.

If Hollywood Park should choose to keep the collection it would need to ensure that it has the funds to store and care for the material for an indefinite amount of time. In order to convert the collection into an archive, library, or museum it could be beneficial to become a non-profit organization, which would require the filing of extensive tax documentation. Funding for non-profits is difficult to find, especially for funding administrative costs and overhead. Many of the grants available are for project-based funding, and may not help to pay for staff, utilities, supplies, or any other basic needs that an institution will have. Also, grant applications are time consuming and there is a great deal of competition for them. It may take several years, and several applications before Hollywood Park could acquire grant funding. It is always advisable for a non-profit to seek income from multiple sources, and articles such as “Ten Nonprofit Funding Models” could be helpful to deciding what sorts of funding options would work best for Hollywood Park.28

Donating the Collection

On February 28, 2014, our group met with Tom Hyry, director of UCLA Library Special Collections, to discuss the donation process and the Hollywood Park collection. After the well-publicized closure of Hollywood Park, UCLA Special Collections contacted Kip Hannan to express interest in the collection. The library arranged a preliminary meeting, for which Kip brought samples of the materials within the collection, but has yet to visit the site. The collection policy of UCLA Special Collections places emphasis on “collecting materials that document the history, society, and culture of UCLA, Los Angeles, and Southern California.” 29 The Hollywood Park collection represents 75 years of horse-racing, betting and celebrity culture in Los Angeles. However, the emphasis placed on Los Angeles history, rather than horse-racing history, factors into which materials the library would accept. The backlog and limited resources of most libraries, including UCLA Special Collections, will likely prevent any collecting institution from accepting the Hollywood Park collection in its entirety.A record book in the Archive Room at Hollywood Park

When presented with such a collecting opportunity, the collecting institution must ask a series of questions for which there are no distinct right or wrong answers. The institution must consider if the offered collection falls within its collecting mission, fills a hole within its collections, aligns with the strengths of its collections and suits the needs of its patrons, as well as determine the opportunity cost of accepting such a collection.30 Moreover, approaching the collection from an archival standpoint, the institution must attempt to gauge what materials might still hold interest for society in 100 years. The conclusions reached establish a defensible position for whether or not to accept the offered collection. With the potential use of the materials in mind, the institution may only wish to accept portions of the collection.

The abundance of materials at Hollywood Park will pose a challenge for any collecting institution. Unless strictly devoted to Los Angeles horse-racing, few collecting institutions would be able to accept the whole collection. Using set criteria, the institution would attempt to strike a balance between breadth and depth, generally representing the race track’s history while providing more detail for highlights. For example, the institution may choose to accept the annual reports of the organization over its day-to-day receipts; to retain all documentation of the gold cup races, but limited documentation of all of the daily races; or to collect a sample of chart books from each era, rather than every single chart book.31

The first step in donating materials to a collecting institution involves the specification of the materials being donated. This requires the compilation of a basic inventory. Ideally, the material would arrive to the collecting institution in non-damaging containers with container-level content lists. Many institutions will generally not accept materials in an advanced state of decay, such as the water-damaged boxes of 16mm film—particularly if the materials fall outside the strength or emphasis of the institution. Often the costs and time involved in processing and cleaning such materials outweigh the potential gain. Such preservation catastrophes would need to be treated on site, before the materials reach the collecting institution.

Once an inventory of the materials being donated has been created, the transfer of the materials requires a formal deposit agreement. Agreed upon by the institution and the donor, the deposit agreement specifies the materials being donated, the nature of the donation as a gift or a deposit, the intended role of the archive in relation to the materials and the intended use of the materials, including any access restrictions.32 This document also irons out the transfer of rights. An institution can either donate the material along with the rights, or place the material on deposit while retaining the rights. The donor should bear in mind that physical ownership of the material is separate from ownership of the rights to that material. Since rights to moving image material can be particularly complicated, it might benefit Hollywood Park to hire a professional to determine the rights holders of the materials in the collection. Generally, the collecting institution will want both physical and intellectual control of the materials it that receives. In exchange, the library assumes the responsibility of rehousing and providing proper storage for the materials, creating finding aids, and facilitating access to the collection.

Digitizing the Collection

Should Hollywood Park choose to keep and digitize its collection, it would need to adopt an infrastructure suitable for managing their digital assets. The first step is to identify the materials that should be digitized, and if it is advisable for Hollywood Park to digitize parts of their collection at all. It would be in their best interest to select those moving images and photographs that are the most valuable to their collection and start with digitizing those. It will most likely not be necessary, or even feasible, to digitize the entire collection thus, selecting the most important documents is vital.

Once a selection of digitization-worthy materials is created, Hollywood Park should devise a plan for digital storage and migration of materials. As digital formats are constantly at risk of becoming obsolete, the materials that are digitized will routinely need to be migrated and checked for errors. A great resource for setting out a digital preservation plan is the article “Digital Preservation Policies Study,” which gives a step-by-step look at the factors and planning needed to preserve digital materials.33 Once materials are digitized Hollywood Park will still have the task of storing the materials and making sure that they are properly managed and migrated so that the files do not become corrupt. If they choose to store the digitized materials themselves, they need to acquire servers for on site access copies, and for digital preservation masters it is necessary to store masters in multiple copies and at multiple sites. Depending on where they chose to store their physical collection, these masters could be added to the preexisting storage area or Hollywood Park could choose to store its collection with a digital repository, such as the one located at the University of Southern California.34 Whether the preservation materials are stored off-site or not, Hollywood Park will need to ensure that they have a working digital asset management system in place to guarantee their ability to store and access the access copies of the files so that they can be used as needed.

Once a proper storage and digital asset management system is in place, Hollywood Park should determine whether it would be best to perform in-house scanning or to outsource the work. For in-house scanning and digitization, Hollywood Park would need to acquire the equipment for scanning and digitizing the variety of materials they possess. They would also need to hire an employee, or employees, with the skills and knowledge needed to digitize the materials. As the Hollywood Park Archive contains a variety of different mediums, all of which would need different equipment to scan items, and as the fate of the collection is so unsure at this time, this pricing assessment is primarily based on outsourced pricing."The Hole," one of the audiovisual storage rooms at Hollywood Park

The costs of digitizing presented in this document are estimates based on prices discovered from a preliminary Internet search. Should Hollywood Park choose to go ahead with digitizing materials consulting with multiple companies would be advisable, as they may be able to get better rates based on how much material is to be digitized. Also, the prices included are for scanning the material, not necessarily for preparation of scanning, or cleaning and restoring any of the material. This assessment focuses mostly on digitization costs for most of the larger collections of moving image and audio materials at Hollywood Park, as well as the negative collection. Items that are not included, but could be of importance to digitize, include the scrapbooks and non-negative photographs, as well as the business records and any rare books in the collection. The copyright of these materials should also be thoroughly researched before any digitization begins. For items of importance that are under copyright, Hollywood Park, should it become a library or archive, could qualify for U.S. Copyright Law Section 108, which allows for the duplication of certain materials for preservation purposes35. Section 108 only allows for a set amount of duplicates to be made and only under certain circumstances, so familiarity with this aspect of copyright law would be necessary before proceeding. Also not included in this assessment is the DVD collection. More research will need to be done to assess the best practices for the preservation of those materials that now only exist in DVD form.

Film digitizing costs:

  • Colorlab price sheet36
    • $0.45/ft to scan 16mm, with an addition fee to output to files and an addition fee for any color corrections.

Videotape digitizing costs:

  • A Cut Above Video Productions37
    • 30 minutes 3/4″ or BetaCam SP tape digitized as a ProRes 422 file: $55
    • 120 minutes 1” tape digitized as a ProRes 422 file: $241
    • These prices do not include cost of delivery medium.
  • CintrexAV38
    • $50 per 3/4″ or BetaCam tape, with outputs to various file types or LTO tapes. Quantity discounts available.

Audiotape digitizing costs:

  • HD Media Services39
    • $35.99 / 7” reel to various file types and includes removal of hiss and hum.

Negative digitizing costs:

  • HD Media Services40
    • $0.69 per negative or slide, with output to JPEG or TIFF files, includes cleaning and color correcting.

The numbers in this report are only preliminary estimates, and may not accurately reflect the actual cost of digitizing, as there are many other factors that will weigh into this project. The cost of preparing the materials for transfer, rehousing them, and cleaning them may not be included and would increase digitization costs. For a list of vendors with the ability to digitize this material, Hollywood Park should consult the Association of Moving Image Archivist’s Supplier Directory for suggestions.41


This plan is a recommendation and a general idea of the optimal steps that Hollywood Park should take to manage its collection and steps that it can take in the future. The costs are approximate, and are meant to provide insight into the next steps for the archive and the expenses associated with them. Our team has gathered suggestions for what needs to be done to properly store and catalog the materials, as well as what costs to expect for digitizing materials, and what infrastructure needs to be in place to do so. We have provided suggestions for what can be done with the collection as well as some necessary steps to take for those different options. Our hope is that this document can be of assistance to Hollywood Park, as it begins to determine the fate of their collection. We appreciate Hollywood Park letting us advise them and we look forward to seeing what happens with the collection.


For Archival Terminology and Practices:

For Inventory Databases:

For Appraisal Methods:

For Storage Conditions:

For Rehousing Information:

For Rehousing Supplies

For Digitization:

For Copyright:

For Possible Relocation:


  1. Jay Privman, “Hollywood Park’s Curator of Memories,” Daily Racing Form, 19 Dec 2013, Web.
  2. John Branch, “A Last Hurrah for Hollywood Park,” The New York Times, 14 Dec 2013, Web.
  3. Richard Pearce-Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (Chicago: Society of American Archivist, 2005), 22.
  4. Pearce-Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (Chicago: Society of American Archivist, 2005), 107.
  5. Pearce-Moses, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (Chicago: Society of American Archivist, 2005), 63.
  6. CollectiveAccess, Web.
  7. Features,” CollectiveAccess, Web.
  8. PastPerfect Museum Software, 2014, Web.
  9. Cataloging Project,” Independent Media Arts Preservation, 2009, Web.
  10. About,” CollectionSpace, Web.
  11. Managing Records: Storage and Preservation,” New York State Archives, Web.
  12. National Film Preservation Foundation, The Film Preservation Guide: The Basics for Archives, Libraries, and Museums, 2004, PDF, 67.
  13. Record & Archival Storage: How to Calculate a Return on Investment,” Cisco-Eagle, 2014, Web.
  14. Services,” Hollywood Vaults, 2014, Web.
  15. About Us,” Iron Mountain, 2014, Web.
  16. Caroline Bendi, “Moving Collections,” British Library Preservation Advisory Center, August 2013, PDF, 8.
  17. Estimated costs do not include tax or shipping fees.
  18. The Film Preservation Guide: The Basics for Archives, Libraries, and Museums, National Film Preservation Foundation (San Francisco, 2004), 26.
  19. Ibid, 26.
  20. Ibid, 67.
  21. Nicolette Bromberg and Hannah Palin with Libby Burke, Washington State Film Preservation Manual: Low-cost and No-cost Suggestions to Care for Your Film;
  22. The website for Library of Congress; “Preservation Basics: Preservation of Scrapbooks and Albums”;
  23. 3 Ibid.
  24. Northeast Document Conservation Center;,-care,-and-duplication.
  25. Image Permanence Institute offers PAT testing:
  26. The archivist may need to seek out someone familiar with the horse-racing world for this task.
  27. Molitor, Kara. MIAS 240: Archival Administration. University of California Los Angeles. California, Los Angeles. 04 Feb 2014. Class Lecture.
  28. Foster, W. L., Kim, P., & Christiansen, B. (2009). Ten Nonprofit Funding Models (SSIR). Stanford Social Innovation Review. Retrieved from
  29. The website for UCLA Library; “Collecting Areas”;
  30. Conversation with Tom Hyry, February 28, 2014.
  31. These hypothetical examples do not represent the opinions or priorities of UCLA Special Collections.
  32. The website for National Film Preservation Board; “Depositing Films with Archives: A Guide to the Legal Issues”;
  33. Beagrie, N., Semple, N., Williams, P., & Wright, R. (2008). Digital preservation policies study. JISC. Online:
  34. USC Digital Repository: Preservation, storage and digitization
  35. US Copyright Office. The Copyright Law of the United States and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code. Vol. 92. Government Printing Office, 2012. Google Scholar. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
  36. Colorlab, “Colorlab Price List.” Last modified Sep 01, 2011. Accessed February 23, 2014.
  37. A Cut Above Video Productions, Inc., “Archive Video Currently on Videotape.” Accessed February 23, 2014.
  38. Cintrex AV, “Broadcast Tape Transfer Services.” Accessed February 23, 2014.
  39. HD Media Services, “Slide scanning including free color correction.” Accessed February 23, 2014.
  40. HD Media Services, “Audio Reel Transfers to CD, MP3 or AIF files..” Accessed February 23, 2014.
  41. AMIA Supplier Directory: A Global Directory of Services and Suppliers of Audiovisual Media” Jan 2014