History

A year-by-year summary of our activities

2013

The Association of Moving Image Archivists gives Northeast Historic Film The Silver Light Award for contributions to the f
ield. The award citation by Andrea McCarty: read here. A new donor makes possible purchase of an MWA Flashtransfer Choice scanner, supporting high resolution transfer of 16mm, Super8, 8mm and 9.5mm film. The Symposium theme is Visions of Travel and Mobility, with presenters from the US, Canada, the UK and Luxembourg. The 2013 O’Farrell Fellowship awarded to Graeme Richard Spurr, a postgraduate student in Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow. Past staff members convene for a Future Visions discussion led by Pam Wintle. Over 80 clips published online in Hancock County, Maine: A Century of Archival Film, supported by the Maine Community Foundation. The Boston TV News Digital Library goes live, describing 10,000+ items from our WCVB TV Collection. 
 
2012

Oliver Gaycken, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2012 O'Farrell Fellowship. We hold Home Movie Day in Portsmouth, NH. The Boston Local TV Digital Library blog includes WCVB TV content, including Andre the Seal. Brian Graney and Gemma Scott present at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies at the Paramount Theatre, Boston. The Symposium is Wunderkino 2: On the Varieties of Cinematic Experience. In May hold a full day screening with art and cultural historians to discuss amateur film, considering aesthetic intent, audiences, and interpretive strategies. Over 40 cold storage clients entrust their audiovisual materials to our cold storage vault. 

2011

The Symposium is Das Wunderkino: A Cinematic Cabinet of Curiosities. Walter Forsberg is named the William S. O'Farrell Fellow. Moving Images 1938-1940: Amateur Filmmakers Record the New York World’s Fair and Its Period is funded by the CLIR Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.  Brian Graney joins the staff for the collaborative descriptive project engaging Northeast Historic Film, Queens Museum of Art and The L. Jeffrey Selznick School, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film  The result is fairfilm.org  and three cataloging workshops at GEH, The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas, Austin, and Simmons GSLIS in Boston. We hold Home Movie Day at Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine.  Karin Carlson processes WCVB Collection. We participate in "Film Restoration and Access in the Digital Age,” at the Coolidge Award honoring film preservation.

2010

In Our Wake: Maine's Maritime Heritage on Film is presented at Penobscot Bay Rendezvous in Camden, Maine, and other sites. The WCVB Television Collection becomes part of Boston Local TV News project, 1960-2000. Moving Images of Work Life, 1916-1960 funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We publish 50 new finding aids for moving image collections documenting work life with over 1,000 reel-level descriptions. Katrina Dixon and Martin Johnson present “Describing Local Films: New Thoughts on Itinerant-produced Works,” at the Association of Moving Image Archivists/IASA annual conference.  We present “Describing Amateur Films of Work Life" at Saving Private Reels, in Cork, Ireland. Caitlin McGrath is the first O'Farrell Fellow. The Symposium is Filmic Representations of Indigenous Peoples.
 
2009 

We celebrate the tenth year of the revival of our home, the 1916 Alamo Theatre, as a community cinema. The tenth annual Summer Film Symposium is Ways of Watching, with first-time funding from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We fill 45% of our cold storage vault space. Room remains for rental clients, an important source of operating revenue for NHF.  The National Science Foundation awards $260,935 to support Language Keepers, documentation of the Passamaquoddy language. The National Film Preservation Foundation awards $16,380 for film to film copying of the Adelaide Pearson Collection and two other collections.  NHF Home Movie Day takes place at Maine Historical Society and includes Martha White presenting the home movies of E.B. and Katharine White.

2008

The facade restoration is complete. The Betterment Fund grants $50,000 for our endowment.The Maine Community Foundation awards a $25,000 challenge grant as a one-to-one matching opportunity to support our endowment by April 2010. The National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture supports succession planning by board and staff with consultant Sharon Rosen. We receive the WCVB-TV Collection, approximately 4 million feet of Boston television newsfilm from 1970-1979. The Summer Film Symposium is City & Country, organized by Mark Neumann and Janna Jones, who also present. Researchers visiting the Study Center include Maija Howe from Australia, working on The Artlessness of Untimeliness: Temporality and the Mid-Century Home Movies. A March workshop by Brodsky & Treadway is held at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass., with support from the Golden Rule Foundation. We raise membership dues for the first time since the program was established in 1989.

 


2007

The Buy a Brick facade renovation campaign raises over $100,000 to repair the front of our classic brick building, supported by the Town of Bucksport, the Davis Family Foundation, and 263 individual gifts.  The annual Summer Symposium, Time Out: Images of Play and Leisure, includes return presenters Robbins Barstow and William O'Farrell, and new participants including Erik Jorgensen on the Western Maine Sanatorium (film from our Hackett Collection). Sian Evans joins the board; Martha McNamara retires. Gemma Perretta and Barbara Manning join the staff and we lose Sean Savage to California. The National Endowment for the Humanities awards a $29,850 Digital Start-Up grant for Finding and Using Moving Images in Context, working with the Gilbert and Branch Collections' film of China with partners Primary Source and Harvard's China Source. New England Archivists sponsors Film Preservation Basics, a Brodsky & Treadway workshop with 12 participants from three states. The National Film Preservation Foundation awards $8,460 for preservation of a 1946 film, Trail to Better Dairying.  

2006

We celebrate our twentieth year with an event in May at the Portland Museum of Art, a screening of My Father's Camera presented by director Karen Shopsowitz, and selections from the archives.  Bob Brodsky & Toni Treadway, with support from the Golden Rule Foundation, lead a workshop, Personal & Family Film in the Digital Age, at Maine Historical Society, and we have a screening highlighting WCSH-TV.  The Summer Film Symposium is The Working Life, organized by Mark Neumann and Janna Jones. The Alamo Theatre has its 90th birthday and the Davis Family Foundation awards $20,000 for improvements to our building. Cineric, Inc., preserves Mission: Alpha Centauri, a 1967 science fiction student classic, to 35mm.  Q. David Bowers donates nearly 4,000 postcards of cinemas throughout the United States, with strength in the early years of the last century.  

2005

Storage consortium members move their collections to Bucksport and cold storage rental is also made available to nonprofits and individuals. Alan Kattelle pledges his amateur cinema technology collection to Northeast Historic Film and a museum committee begins its work. Cinema attendance jumps 20% over 2004. NHF staff takes part in Home Movie Day III, the first at the Maine Historical Society. Graduate-level interns join us from the University of East Anglia, Nederlands Filmmuseum, and the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program at NYU. The sixth annual Summer Film Symposium theme is Amateur Fiction Film. The Librarian of Congress names The Making of an American (1920) to the National Film Registry.

2004

The National Endowment for the Humanities awards a Stabilizing Humanities Collections grant to outfit the Conservation Center and to create an archival storage consortium of nonprofit organizations. Roundtable III includes Native Studies, metadata, and student rights, safety and privacy. The fifth annual Symposium, Moving Image as Biography, draws presenters including Marée Delofski from Australia. Internet video sales double from 2003; VHS sales are largely replaced by DVD sales.

2003 

The new Conservation Center building rises. We present a screening at the Library of Congress Pickford Theater: Supreme Court Justice David Souter attends.  Roundtable II focuses on online Social Studies Maine content, with a panel on the Wabanaki Curriculum Commission. We hold the fourth annual Symposium, Toward Access, Interpretation and Understanding, the Northeast Silent Film Festival, and take part in the first Home Movie Day. Our founders receive the Constance H. Carlson Award for exemplary service to the Humanities from the Maine Humanities Council.

2002

Conservation Center groundbreaking takes place in June. The Online Collections Guide debuts, a searchable database funded by the Davis Family Foundation. We host the first annual Roundtable, on iMovie and Archival footage, for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (all 7th and 8th graders receive MacIntosh iBooks). Cineric film laboratory makes a major pro bono gift. From Stump to Ship is named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress.

2001

NEH Challenge Grants makes a $500,000 award to help complete the capital campaign; funds to be divided between establishing an endowment fund and construction of the Conservation Center. Renovations bring new safe floors to the front of the building. Video streaming starts on Road Runner of Maine.

2000

The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and Pentagoet support the capital campaign, joined by many others. The Northeast Silent Film Festival debuts, and we hold the first  Summer Symposium. The Library of Congress National Film Preservation Tour draws people of all ages for classic films.

1999

The Alamo Theatre opens for regular movies on May 1. Film preservation events sell out including Mary Pickford in Daddy Long Legs and Easy Rider. Collections grow with 85 new moving-image accessions and significant ephemera and equipment collections.

1998

The Education Committee completes a mission statement. The auditorium in the Alamo Theatre is functionally completed. NHF joins a consortium of moving image archives awarded a major preservation and access grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

1997

The auditorium is constructed and made ready for outfitting. Champion International Corporation makes the initial substantial donation to kick off the capital campaign.

1996

The Maine Mall and Burlington Square Mall host the Going to the Movies exhibition, along with more than 20 talks by film scholars-and film with an orchestra conducted by Gillian Anderson. 1100 people attend a screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Circus at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vermont.

1995
 
The Collections Guide is published with information on 200 collections. Rick Prelinger screens films, one of many archivists and filmmakers speaking and/or lending prints and videotapes. Arts consultant Bruce Hazard studies and submits recommendations on organizational management.



1994

 
Going to the Movies, the social history of moviegoing project, receives a grant of $185,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create an interpretive history exhibition based on original research and to offer lectures and screenings.

1993

 


The Kellogg and the Davis Family Foundations make grants to help renovate the Alamo Theatre. Construction starts in the mud basement. National Video Resources funds a project to expand video distribution.

1992

 



The Alamo Theatre building is offered in a bank foreclosure auction. NHF members and friends pledge enough to bid and buy the building for $37,500.  The gutted space becomes home to the archives and quickly opens to the public with a 16mm film screening series and potluck suppers.
 
1991
Videotape distribution takes off with the first "catalog" in Moving Image Review, 14 titles. Video Loan Service, a free video loan service, also starts with 31 titles. (In 2000 there will be more than 300.)
 
1990
Grant support increases with funding from the Maine Humanities Council for Going to the Movies: A Social History of Motion Pictures in Maine Communities. A National Alliance of Media Arts Centers-funded study helps management planning.

1989

The Board votes to create a membership program emphasizing connections and affordability. Staff members participate in conferences, discussing amateur footage and becoming leaders in this field. University of Maine management study helps develop a plan for NHF's future.
 
1988
 
Cooperative work with other archives results in restoration of the 1921 The Seventh Day with the Museum of Modern Art, and repatriation of the 1909 A Sailor's Sacrifice from England. The first Moving Image Review is published.
 

1987

Television newsfilm is a focus with the Bangor Historical Society/WABI Collection of 16mm film. The archives convenes an advisory group, and launches an educational pilot project.

1986

Visits to film archives around the country encourage the creation of a regional archives. Northeast Historic Film is incorporated in Maine; the Board meets for the first time with just three members: historian David C. Smith, film archivist Pam Wintle, and David Weiss.

1985

Karan Sheldon and David Weiss work for the University of Maine on the preservation and tour of From Stump to Ship: A 1930 Logging Film. The experience reveals the need to find, preserve, and make accessible deteriorating, neglected film.