Join us October 14 for a film showcase of rarely seen, regionally-focused films, which were recently digitized as part of Cline Library’s three-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant project. The showcase, which is free and open to the public, will screen a selection of clips from more than 260 rare and at-risk archival films digitized by Special Collections and Archives (SCA) over the past two years. Campus scholars, regional experts, and Library staff will introduce the clips.
Themes for this showcase include:
- Introducing programs at Northern Arizona University (NAU)
- River running and play on the Colorado River
- The Flagstaff All-Indian Pow-Wow
- Glen Canyon (related to the Images of a Lost World: Glen Canyon on the Colorado exhibit, now on display in the SCA gallery space on the second floor of the library and the Scholar’s Corner coffee shop adjacent to the Cline Library Assembly Hall).
SCA’s collections include home movies and professional films shot around Flagstaff, the Colorado Plateau, and the Southwest, with particular focus on canyoneering, river running, and human interaction with the natural environment. They also include video recordings from Meet the Pres. (later NAU on the Move), a half-hour television program featuring former NAU President Clara Lovett originally broadcast in the 1990s.
Films like these can enhance NAU students’ academic experience, according to Nix Mendy, Research Coordinator for the NEH grant project.
“Even if students are not able to make it out to the canyons or explore the natural landscape, they’re able to experience the grandeur of what’s around them through SCA’s archival materials,” Mendy said. “With moving images, you can see how people have historically interacted with the environment and formed personal relationships in real time. You don’t have to sit with hundreds of photographs or try to visualize different accounts from manuscripts. Rather, these films illustrate the landscape and its intrepid explorers in a way that could take hours to analyze in our static collections.”
Olivia “Liv” Hall is one such NAU student: she’s learning more about the Colorado Plateau and the broader Southwest region through digitizing and describing moving images as the Student Archivist for the NEH grant. A History Education major in NAU’s five-year degree program, Liv is balancing her journey towards a master’s degree with a high-impact learning opportunity as a student employee of Cline Library. To date, she has digitized most of the moving images for the grant, been awarded Cline Library’s Mary Crawley Memorial Scholarship, and been nominated by her SCA colleagues for the NAU “Student Employee of the Year” Award as a crucial contributor to the NEH grant team.
The grant’s next phase will focus on digitizing films from grant partners – the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, and Diné College on the Navajo Nation – and enriching the accessibility and discoverability of the newly-digitized films, which were added to the Colorado Plateau Digital Collections. Mendy also plans to create another showcase for films digitized through the NEH grant in summer 2024.
This inaugural film showcase will be held Saturday, October 14, from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Cline Library Assembly Hall. For more information, contact NEH Research Coordinator Nix Mendy.