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Grant number: PG-233644-16

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Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx, NY 10460-1068)
Madeleine Thompson (Project Director: May 2015 to present)

Preservation Assessment of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Archives Film Collection

A general preservation assessment of the collection of approximately 2,200 historical films taken by WCS staff over the course of the 20th century, documenting animals, visitors, and staff at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium, as well as WCS’s international expeditions in support of wildlife conservation. The collection includes footage of a 1964 expedition to Patagonia to assess its threatened wildlife and studies of Komodo dragons in their native habitats taken during the 1970s. Only recently acquired by the archives, these films until now have been largely inaccessible. With proper preservation and organization, the films would be made available to the public, complementing the WCS’s extensive archival records presently used by scholars, educators, and students.

This grant will support a general preservation assessment of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Archives film collection, which contains approximately 2,200 film prints created by WCS zoo, aquarium, and field conservation staff over the 20th century. Acquired by the Archives in 2014, the film collection is expected to parallel the Archives' other collections in its value to the humanities and especially to those interested in the histories of zoos and aquariums, international wildlife conservation, and New York City. The preservation consultant will conduct a formal assessment of the film collection and its storage environment in order to inform the Archives' goals of creating a sustainable preservation plan for the collection and making it accessible. In turn, the assessment will support the Archives' future ability to prioritize within the collection, budget and plan for the collection's rehousing and stabilization, and determine options for the collection's accessibility.

Project fields:
History of Science; History, General; U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017