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The Review/Video/

Reel Heritage: Film Ephemera and Collections Management

Film archive experts discussed curatorial strategies around moving-image–related artifacts and ephemera.

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Apr 26, 2016 @ 1:00am

Launched in November 2014 as a joint endeavour of TIFF Higher Learning and the Film Reference Library, Reel Heritage engages and educates audiences about the importance of preserving film. This initiative brings post-secondary students together with film scholars, archivists, filmmakers, and curators in a series of free educational sessions that examine the challenges and opportunities facing moving-image collections in Ontario and beyond.

The fourth in the series, this Reel Heritage panel explored how moving-image–related props and other ephemera are managed and exhibited, and how exhibitions of this nature facilitate access to and the preservation of such collections. Through specific case studies, panelists examined how initiatives that incorporate exhibition, publication, and scholarship facilitate wider access and long-term preservation for collections of film-related objects and ephemera.

Sylvia Frank, Director of the TIFF Film Reference Library, discussed the partnership with the Canadian Conservation Institute, which helped preserve key collection items on display during the TIFF original exhibition David Cronenberg: Evolution, both at TIFF Bell Lightbox and abroad; Steve Wilson, Curator of Film at the Harry Ransom Center recounted the research and planning involved in the execution of The Making of Gone with the Wind, an exhibition sourced from the extensive David O. Selznick Archives held by the Center that includes several iconic costumes from the film that required extensive conservation; and Barbara Miller, Curator of the Collection and Exhibitions at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image presented on the museum’s collaboration with the Jim Henson Company on the forthcoming Jim Henson Gallery, a permanent display of the Muppets and Creature Shop creations from Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Muppet Show, as well as Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

This Higher Learning event was held on March 11, 2016, at TIFF Bell Lightbox, and was moderated by Theresa Scandiffio, Director of Adult Learning at TIFF.