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What Actions toward Standardization of Conservation will Ensure the Preservation of History - Research Paper Example

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Throughout American history, documentation has been made about current events, eras, inventions, politics, conflicts, and many other topics that have influenced the culture and lifestyles of many Americans…
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What Actions toward Standardization of Conservation will Ensure the Preservation of History
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Download file to see previous pages Some of the history has been recorded through hand-written journals of influential individuals, folk songs and stories passed down through the generations, and audio and visual media. The visual media that has documented major events has allowed future generations to experience past history through the camera’s lens. Individuals are able to use this documentation to perform research, gain knowledge and understanding of a by-gone era, and experience alternative opinions and views from various historians. While the documentation of history was taking place, little thought was given to the preservation. Much of the early work done by novices and private individuals was lost or damaged beyond restoration. People may not have considered the impact those early films may have on future generations. Some films were shared with other countries who considered the viewing opportunity a privilege and treated the film with care. As the years passed, historians realized the importance of these old films and historical documentation and started to search for the early works of known individuals (NFPF, 2009). Many of the early films were never located and others that were found were in such decay that restoring teams were unable to salvage them. Extensive funding has been used to find and restore old films and many are lost for good. Restoration teams have recorded information that allows newer films to be preserved by storing them in cool dry storage that is closely monitored for air, humidity, and light. A better quality of film has been used that can withstand temperatures that damaged older product (NFPF, 2009). Some of the media used today to make reproductions of an older project has allowed the restoration teams to rework minute details and enhance the image on the decaying film. Media archivist have been charged with the responsibility of cataloging and researching historical documentation that may need to be found, restored, preserved, or redistributed to share the knowledge of the American past with America’s future generations. Significance With the introduction of the movie camera in 1893, by Thomas Edison, people have been recording history on film. Scorsese noted that “…with every foot of film that is lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other, and to ourselves” (NFPF, 2009). The Library of Congress has estimated that only 20% if American History as recorded on film from the 1910s and 1920s still exists. With all the shorts, documentaries, and independently produced works, there is no telling how much has actually been lost to damage and decay (NFPF, 2009). Three steps are used in the restoration and preservation methods of archivists and preservationists. The first step is to print the old film on new and better stock film. The second step is storing the old and new film in cool and dry storage facilities. The final step is providing copies of the original, to the public, for viewing through alternative medium (VHS, DVD, and Internet). In New Zealand, films that were thought to be forever lost were retrieved and sent through this three step process. One hundred and seventy-six titles are being restored through a special grant (NFPF, 2009). The earliest film recovered from the New Zealand archives was created in 1898, only five years after the camera was introduced. The restoration project started in 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in 2013, costing a total of $203,000 (NFPF, 2009). Research Methods A qualitative phenomenological research method has been chosen for this research study to further explore the phenomenon of how historical docume ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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