Category Archives: blog

Death Comes to the Archive

Archives grow from what elders preserve and death releases, and winters hit the aged hard.  It’s a plain truth no one can celebrate. This polar-vortex winter has been stringent, even in the south, and as 2017 turned into 2018 three women who appear in Lesbian Home Movie Project collections died — ally Barbara Ann Davis

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Traveling Familiar Roads with Jeannette Peabody Cannon and Google Maps

by Emma Prichard Northeast Historic Film Crossing into New Hampshire, a sharp-peaked mountain rears up out of the horizon. ‘Huh, that looks familiar,’ I think to myself as I try to calculate the distance to the next Dunkin Donuts. Of course it looks familiar, it’s Mount Chocorua. I drive past it every time I head

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Scanning JoAnn Elam’s “Filmabuse (Original)”

By Justin Dean and Brian Belak One of our missions for the Woman Behind the Camera project is to digitize and make accessible online the film work of JoAnn Elam, but as can be the case, that has sometimes turned out easier said than done. Recently, we found a curious reel labeled “Filmabuse (Original)” that

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Uncovering the real filmmaker behind the Abbott Collection

Sometimes when we dig deeply into a collection we find out that the information that we had was not correct.  For this project NHF had to identify which of our collections had been filmed by women, which was more difficult than it seemed.  I learned this the hard way with one of the first collections

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JoAnn Elam’s Everyday People (1978-1990) at Chicago Film Archives

By Aurore Spiers, University of Chicago The JoAnn Elam Collection (1967-1990) at Chicago Film Archives (CFA) consists of approximately 735 film, video, audio elements and some paper material, which JoAnn Elam’s husband Joe Hendrix donated in 2011. In addition to Elam’s best known films, such as Rape (1975) and Lie Back and Enjoy It (1982),

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Looking for “Lebisia”

Wild and prolific painter, sculptor, and filmmaker Jere Van Syoc transferred from Moody Bible College to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1962 with the modest intention of becoming a high school art teacher.  In her earliest days at SAIC, her roommate the fiber artist Leora Stewart recalls, she still went to

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The JoAnn Elam Collection at Chicago Film Archives

by Aurore Spiers, University of Chicago The JoAnn Elam Collection (1967-1990) at Chicago Film Archives (CFA) is one of the 58 archival projects receiving generous support from the Woman Behind the Camera. It consists of approximately 735 film, video, and audio elements and some paper material, which JoAnn Elam’s husband Joe Hendrix donated in 2011. Since

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Reading Lips, Keeping Secrets

By Sharon Thompson, Executive Director, Lesbian Home Movie Project Lesbian Home Movie Project (LHMP) is nosy. We won’t take footage unless the possessor agrees to help us document it. And we don’t just ask for the meat and potatoes of moving-image archives, dates and locations. We ask what was happening when the footage was captured.

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Discovering Dorothy Stebbins Bowles

by Karin Carlson Northeast Historic Film One of the best parts of processing a film collection is learning about the person who shot it. It is captivating to see old footage of exotic and familiar places and to watch families grow up on film. Watching a family’s home movies is a glimpse into the others’

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The Woman Behind the Camera is launched!

Welcome to the Woman Behind the Camera project. This collaboration between Northeast Historic Film (NHF), Chicago Film Archives (CFA), and the Lesbian Home Movie Project (LHMP) aims to bring to life amateur film and home movies created by women in the 20th Century. Over the next several months we will be creating an online catalog

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