Texas Archive of the Moving Image Internship

The Texas Archive of the Moving Image or TAMI is a non-profit post-custodial archive with a goal to digitize Texas films before they become unplayable. I began my internship with TAMI in the summer of 2016 without a formal film background, only a delight in watching films. Throughout my internship at TAMI I learned the difference between film sizes such as 8mm or Super 8, tape splicing, how to digitize film, and how to make speed changes to make the film look as close to the original as possible.

My experience at TAMI taught me that digitization is not perfect, especially with moving images. Analog to digital still requires reformatting and even with reformatting, the end result slightly differs from the original. Additionally, I gained the insight that time is truly the kiss of death for film; the best form of preservation is digitizing film reels and preserving the digital copy. Many reels of film are falling victim to vinegar syndrome and unless someone is actively seeking these films to digitize, countless historical moments captured on film will forever be lost.

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Digital Archiving Project

During the 2017 spring semester, I enrolled in Dr. Patricia Galloway’s Digital Archiving and Preservation course. I learned theoretical frameworks to preserve digital materials and born-digital content. Another aspect of the course was working with a group to create an emulator for a Zenith Z-100 computer located in the iSchool’s Digital Archeology Lab. Not only did I learn how to create a VirtualBox emulator from previously imaged 5 1/4 inch floppy disks through trial and error, I also learned the importance of documentation and provenance. My team deemed our emulator a failure because we failed to locate the original floppy disks imaged for the project by another group to compare to the emulator.

Link to emulator and final report coming soon.