First day of work at Biblioteca Nacional

Once we got to the Biblioteca and were situated, Juana began a brief explanation on how to inspect the 8mm and 16mm film we are working on to the preservation team of the Biblioteca. These women expressed interest in learning the basics of what goes into making our work possible and since they were kind enough to share their work space with us for two weeks we were more than happy to oblige. Juana went on to explain that the tools we use as moving image archivists can be difficult to come by since the formats we are working on vary greatly: 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm.


Julio then gave a demonstration on how to inspect both 8mm and 16mm film as well as explain how and why we gather information on the film for preservation purposes. After the demonstration we proceeded to flesh out our workflows and modify our teams to better maximize the work we were accomplishing.  This allowed us to expedite the capture of information for the spreadsheets we are compiling for the Biblioteca to use after we leave. I was asked to double check the 1939 Chilean earthquake footage that Claudia recently discovered since that reel was the first reel chosen to be digitized via the telecine that was set by Julio, Molly and Jeanette.

Claudia, Valeria and I also began work on the Concepión Collection that Claudia brought to the Biblioteca for us to inspect and re-house. This is a collection of thirteen one hundred-foot loads of 16mm film. It seems that three of these are Kodak Cinegraphs and the rest are home movies. Here’s an instance where I opened one of the boxes of the Concepcion collection and the film was broken in two pieces:



These pieces were probably wound together at some point many years ago. In order not to damage the film, I taped two reels together so as I wound the film off the original reel, the film wouldn’t fall off the reel or onto the floor.

––Robert Anen


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