I had been in Washington and New York during the early 1980s, when a number of important events in film preservation (or destruction) had taken place, and I found it hard to cover them in this unfamiliar field without the help of professional newsletters about film and TV preservation.
At that time, the professionals, enthusiasts and collectors were not formally organized, except as an advisory committee to the National Center for Film and Video Preservation (or perhaps the American Film Institute—the article doesn't say). They were called the Film and Television Archives Advisory Committee (F/TAAC). They would meet now and then, and discuss the possibility of organizing, but always decided not to. They thought it would take the spontaneity out of their informal group, as I recall. So I gave up on them for a while.
But in 1989 they published the 23-page "minutes" of a meeting they had in Miami. I had to report the "minutes" in the literature section of the Abbey Newsletter, because they were so full of news about film and television, and so devoid of any mention of elections, budgets, votes, officers, or (God forbid!) dues. This is how I covered that strange document:
"...There are reports of activities of related groups, descriptions of five Hispanic collections from the first general session, generous summaries of papers given in the other sessions, working group reports, even descriptions of a tour and a workshop. the sessions were on in-house quality control; cleaning, rejuvenation and redimensioning; new technologies for film and video; and the future of F/TAAC...."
One year later, at the group's next annual meeting, the "no-commitments" policy was abandoned, and I was able to run the following news item on p. 12 of the February 1991 Abbey Newsletter:
"The Film and Television Archives Advisory Committee adopted a more descriptive name [Association of Moving Image Archivists] and debated whether to become a formally organized body at its fall meeting at the Oregon Historical Society. Draft bylaws were discussed, and will be sent out for a decision to all those who have attended at least two meetings in the last seven years.
"The National Center for Film and Video Preservation, at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, currently serves as secretariat for the AMIA."
What a relief! Ever since then, they have been active as an organization. They have a newsletter (AMIA Newsletter) with four editors and a publishing deadline, yet. The organization has three officers; a board of directors; an address, currently 8649 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211; tel: 310-550-1300; fax: 310-550-1353, plus e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org> and a website: http://www.amianet.org/. And they even have a strategic plan.
Recently, Sam Kula, the President of AMIA, announced in his column for the summer 2001 issue that he had some fabulous news. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has been lending AMIA their spare office space, had just bought a former broadcasting studio, a large building in which there is more than enough room for AMIA. Just in time. They were rapidly outgrowing that spare office space. The plan calls for the move to the renovated building to take place in early 2002.
More good news from Sam Kula: AMIA now has a peer review journal, the Moving Image, the purpose of which is to serve as a bridge between archivists, academics and image-makers. and another publication has just come out: the AMIA Compendium of Cataloging Practice. Other publications are planned.
Don Dunham, Library Binding Institute
Library Binding Service
Terry O. Norris
Preservation Technologies, L.P.
Bark Frameworks, Inc.
The Better Image
Joan T. Batchelor
David Diggs La Touche
Ralph & Christa Ocker
Ocker & Trapp Bindery
Nancy Carlson Schrock
R. Tom Baldwin
Betsy Palmer Eldridge
David B. Gracy, II
Carolyn Jane Gammon
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Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:40:28 PST
Retrieved: Monday, 20-Nov-2017 09:33:23 GMT