Season’s Greetings!

One of our largest projects of the past few years is nearing completion.  The Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection is in the final stages of processing.  It has been handled in two main batches, the first of which is now search-able through Harvard’s finding aid database, OASIS.

To view the finding aids, search Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection and limit by repository Harvard Film Archive.

If, for instance, you are looking for material for films directed by Frank Capra, you may search by typing Frank Capra into the search field and limit by repository Harvard Film Archive.  One of the results will be the Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection, and you will see there is material for eight of his films and one miscellaneous item.

Due to its large size, the finding aid is split into five parts, organized alphabetically by director’s last name.   The finding aid will be updated again in June when the second and final section of the processing has been completed.  The second portion of the finding aid will list only a director, and not each of the films represented.

The material listed in the finding aid is available for research at Harvard.

Posters from this collection will have their own finding aid.

Kaspers Reise zu den Zwergen, (Hella Mora, 1954, hand colored lobby card, from the Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection)

Kaspers Reise zu den Zwergen, (Hella Mora, 1954, hand colored lobby card, from the Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection)

 

Kaspers Reise zu den Zwergen, (Hella Mora, 1954, lobby card, from the Lothar and Eva Just Film Stills Collection)

 

small gauge film storage

December 20th, 2011

We have a number of home movie collections at the HFA and we are always adding more.  Every year we host Home Movie Day, helping the public watch home movies on formats they may not be able to watch at home.

A problem we have come across time and again in these collections is film stored on grey plastic reels that have white stuff on them.  The white stuff can be light or heavy.  It occurs on grey plastic reels, some of which are labeled TENITE.  Tenite is  a wood-based plastic made by Eastman, first developed in 1929.

The white stuff isn’t mold; it’s the result of the plastic decomposing.

Above: decomposing Super 8 and 16mm film reels by Kodak

The decomposing reels smell “like vomit,” a technical description in the wonderful world of plastics.  Weissman Preservation Center staff member Zach Long tested the super 8 reels (which were not marked Tenite), and determined the reels are most likely made of cellulose acetate butyrate.

Above: actively decaying super 8 reels

 

Above: In early stages of decomposition, the reels have only a small amount of white on them and do not smell.

If you find you have film on grey plastic reels or reels labeled TENITE, we recommend putting them on different reels and throwing the old reels away.

* We recommend wearing plastic gloves when handling these reels! *

Even if the reels are not yet decaying, they are good candidates for this problem.  It is safer to store your films on a different type of reel.  For 8mm or Super 8 we use polystyrene reels, which are not ideal but are better than metal or cellulose acetate butyrate.  Your film will thank you!

Zdenek Miler

December 16th, 2011

From the Just Collection, some images from Zdenek Miler’s Puppy films. This Czech animator is best known for his character the animated mole ‘Krtek’. Miler made over 70 films.

Jak slunícko vrátilo stenátku vodu (1960) AKA How the Sun Returned Water to the Puppy

Jak stenátko chtelo malé pejsky (1960) AKA How the Puppy Wanted Little Dogs