As we started out the semester with a boon of interns, now we are winding down and taking time to say goodbye to them, as well. We had Kimo and Kate for the majority of the semester and we’re grateful for their flexibility and changing tack when we had to move out of the library temporarily for AC maintenance. We didn’t get to see as much of them, but we’re so grateful for their dedication. Thank you Kate for your perseverance and we wish you well in your next chapter!
Could you share a little more about the work you did at ʻUluʻulu since we did your last interview? Did your assignments change over the time you were with the archive?
My work at ʻUluʻulu changed a good deal after spring break. I made the transition to working completely remote, and went from handling and processing materials to working with all digital materials and files. I spent the majority of my time creating enhanced descriptions for the Tom Coffman Collection with some transcription work of Electronic News Gathering shot logs.
Was there anything about the material you worked with that was surprising or unexpected?
Having the opportunity to work with the Tom Coffman collection was incredibly educational. I was given an insight into the history of Hawaiʻi that I would not have been able to encounter anywhere else, and it has given me a brand new perspective and understanding about Hawaiʻi and its people. It was also eye opening about how documentaries are made and how much prompting and conversation is involved with getting interview footage for documentary films.
Now that you have worked as a Moving Image Archivist, and have had a chance to work with some different formats, what is your favorite archival media format and why?
I do still have a soft spot for physical film, specifically 8mm. I think it is mainly a nostalgic feeling, but there is just something about the mass market/home movie format that I find so much joy in working with and viewing.
Do you have any recommendations for movies or TV shows that feature libraries, archives, or archival footage?
The film American Animals has been recommended to me so often since entering library school that I feel like it deserves a mention here just for that purpose. I would also recommend the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, where the librarians are dangerous creatures that inhabit the local public library, and their summer reading program is one about survival. Finally, the Netflix mini-series Five Came Back focuses on Hollywood and its involvement with the second world war. It talks about the frontline work of five American movie directors, John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens, and the films they produced for the war department during their time in service. The series has a wealth of archival footage, and Netflix even has the full films created by these men to view as a complimentary resource to the mini-series.
And Finally – Do you have any advice for future ʻUluʻulu interns or fellows?
Be open minded in your learning here. There is so much knowledge to gain from working with moving image media, and the insight you are given to history with this medium is incredible.