Media Ecology Project Fights to Save Cultural History

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Dartmouth’s Media Ecology Project is about “the sustainability of cultural memory,” says Professor Mark Williams (photo by Corinne Arndt Girouard)

From “Dartmouth NOW“:

Media records of our cultural history are threatened because their value is not understood, their provenance is unknown or their formats are obsolete, says Mark Williams, head of Dartmouth’s Media Ecology Project, which is racing to identify and save these threatened resources.

Scholars, archivists, media technology developers, and other key players who see preserving and understanding this history as an urgent mission will convene at Dartmouth for a Media Ecology Project symposium Friday and Saturday. The Leslie Center for the Humanities provided funding for the event.

“We can step up as a scholarly community to provide better support for the essential work performed by the archives. This is about the sustainability of cultural memory,” Williams says.

The event is capped off Saturday with the Media Ecology Project Archival Film Festival from 2 to 5 p.m. in Loew Auditorium. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature the kind of rare, quirky, and important archival films that the project is working to preserve for media studies and cultural history scholarship.

Symposium participants from The Library of Congress, The UCLA Film and Television Archive, The Orphan Film Symposium, The University of South Carolina MIRC Archive, the WGBH Archive, Critical Commons, and the Dartmouth Film Archive will provide the entries for the festival.