Hiring a consultant to assess the moving image, video, and still image collection consisting of 41 film reels, 125 videos, and 272 transparencies that document Gilded Age history and culture in Florida from 1865 to 1929. Much of the collection was created on fragile acetate film stock and focuses on the settlement of Atlantic Coast Florida, the creation of resort hotels, and the building of the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad. The latter was featured in a film, "The Eighth Wonder of the World: Henry Flagler's Over-Sea Railroad." The collection has been used in documentary films and in scholarly print publications.
The Flagler Museum's Film-Based Archival Materials Consultation will be its first on-site assessment of the film, negatives, and video collections and will take place in Spring or Summer 2013. A highly qualified Film Conservator will examine a sampling of each type of more than 4,000 separate items--16mm film, video, negatives, and transparencies. The content of these materials is highly significant both regionally and nationally since it covers some of the most important Gilded Age figures, events, and architecture. The films are in a stage of degradation - the smell of acetic acid is prominent and could endanger all materials in the Museum's Archives. Some materials cannot be viewed due to format. This project will enable the Curatorial Staff to plan for safe and appropriate storage; transition materials that are deteriorating to a more permanent and consistent format; and begin the process of making the fragile film stock more accessible for research, display, and publication.