This summer we are excited to welcome our first Roselani Intern in two years, Lily Lubin. Lily’s Roselani Internship is taking place in conjunction with her Association for Moving Image Archives (AMIA) Pathways Fellowship. ʻUluʻulu is lucky to be working with Lily for a total of ten weeks for her remote internship and fellowship. Read our introductory interview with Lily, below!
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into this field of work, Lily.
A little background on me! My full name is Elizabeth, but I’ve always gone by Lily — although it’s a little unclear how that nickname came to be.
I was adopted from China as a baby and raised on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. In the summers, my dad and I would often go birdwatching or collect butterflies and insects and my interests in preservation stemmed from his. As I grew older, I started to notice the absence of certain things — the familiar call of the whippoorwill or luna moths that would gather on the screen door– and my curiosity grew.
I went to Emerson College as an undergraduate, where I got a degree in screenwriting with minors in comedy and music history. When I was working in production or recording studios, I realized that I most enjoyed projects that related to cataloging or organizing sessionography. The media archives track at UCLA was the perfect opportunity to combine my interests in film and preservation and I hope that I can offer a more emphatic view on materials where others may not.
Other things! I like to think I’m funny so I make a lot of jokes, whether they land or not.
In my spare time I like to hang out with my cat. I also love to read and listen to music — my record and book collections are constantly growing and I am always open to suggestions! I don’t have a lot of fun facts for myself, but I like to give fun facts, for instance, did you know that John Lennon helped write, and also sang backup vocals on, the David Bowie song “Fame”?
What brought you here to ‘Ulu‘ulu? What are some of the things you’re hoping to learn during your internship with us?
I discovered ‘Ulu‘ulu and the Roselani Media Preservation internship through UCLA, where I am currently pursuing my masters in Library and Information Sciences and hope to pursue a profession in media archiving.
During my internship, I hope to learn more about how an archive runs in real life and the intricacies of working in an archive that focuses on the preservation of cultural and historical materials.
What projects are you working on at ‘Ulu‘ulu?
I have multiple projects that I am working on simultaneously, which I really enjoy because it covers so many different aspects of archiving – and more specifically media archiving – that I have been learning in my courses at UCLA.
For instance, a couple of my projects involve creating enhanced/detailed descriptions for digitized footage from Juniroa Productions and KGMB ENG news. This project allows me to be creative in determining what information is key for a researcher or archivist when it comes to discovery and access. Similar to this, I have a project that involves transcribing handwritten ENG news log sheets.
Another project I have is creating captions for clips from the Pau Hana Years for the ‘Ulu‘ulu website – this project was especially fun because there was such a wide range of topics that are covered and so many creative and interesting people featured that I would never have come across otherwise!
Lastly, I have a project which involves checking the quality of the footage once it has been digitized. While I am waiting to start this project, I look forward to it because it is one of the more technical sides to media preservation.
Is there anything about the items you are working with that is surprising or unexpected?
Something unexpected about the items I’ve worked on is how meticulously the log sheets and ENG footage were kept before coming to the archive. It’s really cool that someone had the foresight to keep the paper log sheets because it’s a really helpful tool for providing metadata and information that might otherwise be lost to the world.
Now that you’ve been at the archive for a little while now, have you found a favorite aspect?
One of my favorite aspects has been watching footage from the 70s and 80s. I wasn’t incredibly familiar with Hawaiian history before entering this internship and I’ve learned a lot about what life was like at that time.
Do you have any advice for future ‘Ulu‘ulu Interns?
Don’t be afraid to look things up! There are times when I just can’t quite figure out what someone is saying or what is written, so I’ll search for it online. It’s amazing and scary how much is on the internet, but it’s a useful tool to ensure that there are as few blanks as possible. It’s a win-win on both ends because the work will be more accurate and you always learn something new.
Please tell us a joke!
One of my favorite knee slappers is a fruit related joke:
One fruit said to the another “I can’t elope”
To which the other said, “but honey do!”
Thank you, Lily for sharing so much with us!
Through the generous support of the Henry Ku‘ualoha & Muriel Roselani Giugni Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the Roselani Media Preservation Internship is offered each year at ‘Ulu‘ulu to give a student of merit who is committed to the preservation of our media history the opportunity to acquire practical experience in a moving image archive.