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Grant number: PG-251649-17

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PG-251649-17

University of Alaska, Fairbanks (Fairbanks, AK 99775-7500)
Leonared Kamerling (Project Director: 04/25/2016 to present)

University of Alaska Museum of the North Film Preservation Assistance

The drafting of a disaster preparedness and response plan and the purchase of storage and rehousing supplies for an audiovisual ethnographic collection that includes approximately 200,000 feet of unedited prints, camera negatives, and release productions, as well as 300 videocassettes.  In the early 1970s, Alaska filmmakers Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling pioneered a collaborative approach to making films with Native partner communities.  They produced dozens of hours of visual and aural materials of subsistence activities; celebrations and ceremonies; interviews with elders, leaders, and community members; gift exchange potlatches; and other observations of daily life.  Their film, video, and audio collections have been used in documentaries on Alaska Native culture, as well as in museum exhibitions, public events, classroom instruction, and scholarly and student research.  For example, their exhibition “Then and Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape” presented visual evidence of climate change in the North by comparing early 20th-century photos with contemporary views from the same vantage points; personal narratives of Iñupiaq elders helped visitors to understand the consequences of climate change for the Native peoples who subsist on the land.

The Film Collection of the University of Alaska Museum of the North is an ethnographic collection focused on Alaska Native culture and issues from 1970 to the present. It represents a visual and aural record of Alaska Native knowledge during a period of rapid cultural and social change. Use of the collection in museum exhibitions, by scholars, students, Alaska Native communities and schools, speaks to its ongoing significance to the humanities.  We are seeking funding to implement specific recommendations made in the 2013 assessment of the collection (funded by the NEH Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions Program).  This includes the development of a disaster preparedness and response plan, the transfer of film and audio materials to vented storage containers, purchase of a dust-proof cabinet for storing materials undergoing conservation,  and the purchase of essential archive supplies such as film deterioration indicator strips, durable labels, and other essential materials.

Project fields:
Arts, General

Program:
Preservation Assistance Grants

Division:
Preservation and Access

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

Grant period:
2/1/2017 – 7/31/2018