Survey: Anthology Film Archives

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Film theater and archive and publication library
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$500,001 - $750,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
Anthology’s mission is to exhibit, preserve, collect documenttion about, and promote public and scholarly understanding of independent, classic, and avant-garde cinema. We are stewards of memory and history, of the visual experience of individual imagination.
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
Anthology opened in December 1970, as a single screen theater, archive, and research library, at the Public Theater on Lafayette Street. In 1973/74 it moved all operations to 80 Wooster Street. At Wooster Street it expanded its operations to include publishing books, and exhibiting video as well as film. In 1982 it sold the Wooster Street space and moved into temporary quarters on Broadway while renovation proceeded at the Second Avenue (and Second Street) Courthouse, which had been purchased in 1980. All operations moved to the Courthouse in 1988, including expanded library and vault space, and two theaters. In this new location Anthology has been showing at least 900 different films and videotpes each year, and publishing books and catalogs at an average rate of 1.5 per year. The number of films preserved has also increased to about 15 per year. In 1992 Anthology also began its annual Film Preservation Honors, which celebrates 5-7 individuals and institutions for their work in conserving cinema and also is an annual fund-raising event. When Anthology opened in 1970 all of its public programming was of its "essential cinema" collection of some 300 films that define the development of cinema art. Since 1987 programming has expanded, in addition to showing the "essential cinema" to include retrospectives, theme series, and many series presented by organizations that rent theater space. All public programming described in quarterly schedule (15,000 copies).
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
Films and some videotapes are screened daily, 350 days per year, often two to three per day, occasionally with public speakers. In addition to retrospectives Anthology -- at least once a month -- does US premieres of films from American independents as well as international film-makers, such as "The Ister" this year, "Ulysses Gaze" in the 1990s, Some books & catalogs: 1992 Jim Davis: The Flow of Energy 1993 Recycled Images by W. Wees; 1995 Natural Rhythms--World of Robert Gardner by Thomas W. Cooper 1997 Notes on John Marin and Frank Lloyd Wright by Jim Davis and Intersecting Images--Cinema of Ed Emshwiller 1998 First Light; 2000 Fritz Lang 2000; Omer Kavur: Sculptore of Cinematic Time 2001 Galaxy: Avant-Garde Film-Makers Look Across Space and Time (text in French & English), 2003 Five Films by Zeki Demirkubuz 2005 Crossroads: Avant-Garde Film in Pittsburgh in the 1970s; Curtis Harrington, Cinema on the Edge; Perspectives on Jerome Hill and Anthology Film Archives 2006 BB Optics: Results You Can’t Refuse 1992-2006 annual Film Preservation Honors journal
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Jonas Mekas
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
John Mhiripiri
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Wendy Dorset
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Robert Haller
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Shortage of space, and of course we need more funds. Currently half of our annual operating budget of $650,000 is provided by earned income, but the balance comes from grants and donations and ad salesfor the annual fund-raiser. Essentially our staff is overworked and underpaid, so we remain within our budget.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
Our archive is already in place
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Fiscal Need
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10c.
10c. How are arrangements made for access to archive?: 
Library (publications) access is by appointment. We have a closed-stack library but files and books can be brought down for study/xeroxing by reserachers. Film Archive access is by appointment with the film archivist. All of our film materials (c. 12,000 cans of film) are not accessible.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Programs of Events
Other Printed Publications
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
File Cabinets
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
1 - 10
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
200 +
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
21 - 30
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
200 +
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Written or Typewritten Inventories
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Full-Time Archivist
Please describe: 
Paper materials managed by Haller; films by Lampert
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Manual System (Card File, File Folders)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Films in temp/humidity control vault; paper documents in uncontrolled library
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
Dedicated climate control system
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
continue cataloging
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
digital catalog of films
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
continue our making of protection negs of films
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$35,001 - $40,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$200,001 - $250,000
Part 23.
23e. Not Applicable: 
Not Applicable
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
24e. Not Applicable: 
Not Applicable
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
25b. Who?: 
FIAF - International Federation of Film Archives AMIA - Association of Moving Image Archivists
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
Our collections of films are not only of work by artists, that "document" their own concerns, but also document the perspectives, images, and sense of who we are as a culture. The films here at Anthology constitute a unique window onto the civilization of the twentieth and now the twentyfirst centuries. (Of course we have major collections of films by over 100 film-makers from the 20th century.) The paper collections in the library are complete to a degree very rare in the US--our periodicals and books on cinema have not been razored by the "scholars" who have plundered so many library collections. We have over 200 periodical series, with over 40,000 individual issues. The vertical files cover approx 8,000 individuals, and 300 organizations. There is also a still photo collection of over 3,000 photographs, with half of them available nowhere else. A major project coming up in the next five years is the preparation and publication (on paper and on the internet) of a Biographical Encyclopedia of American Avant-Garde Cinema.
to "Anthology Film Archives"
Who executed this survey.: 
Robert A. Haller, Director of Collections/Special Projects
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: