In 2015, Indiana University launched the system-wide Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative (MDPI), with the goal of reformatting and saving deteriorating media and film that could be found across all of the Indiana University campuses. To date, more than 350,000 audio, video, and film have been digitized.
At the University Archives, in some instances, we knew who deposited or transferred the media, but so many lacked description — and we lacked the proper equipment to safely play or view many of the items – that we are just now discovering what we actually had in our holdings. It has been a long road to figure out copyright and privacy issues surrounding the digitized media but late last year, we were given the green light to begin working our way through the “dark archive” (just…30,013 items!) and begin making them accessible. Access levels are worldwide, IU-login, or restricted. Nearly all materials can be viewed upon request for individual researchers, however, and many item descriptions can be found via our collection finding aids in ArchivesOnline.
All of these items can be accessed via Media Collections Online (MCO). Some may require IU log-in for immediate access; click on the Sign In link in the upper right-hand corner of the MCO web site.
I am going to break this update into two posts, because so much has been described since my July update!
Speaking of – in July I wrote that we were working on a new project to include closed captioning for one of our first collections. It is a slow process – and the fact that we started with Russian history lectures meant LOTS of Googling to figure out spelling for names and locations, which made it go that much more slowly! But I am pleased to announce that the 1959 distance ed Russian History lectures recorded by Professor Robert Byrnes are now available WITH closed captioning! Check them out here. Access level: Worldwide
Pushed by request:
- William R. Breneman was a very popular long-time faculty member in zoology. Annually, he delivered a lecture on evolution called “From Cadillac, By Way of Kalamazoo, to You,” that used local references to explain evolution. The lecture was so popular that it drew standing room only crowds of students, faculty, staff and locals. Over the years, we have had repeated requests for copies of the lecture and we are now pleased to say that a 1976 recording of the talk is now available for streaming at https://media.dlib.indiana.edu/media_objects/t722hs36h!
- The talented playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman earned his master’s degree at Indiana University in 1974. He went on to have an extremely successful career working with creative partner Alan Menken on such well-known works as Disney’s Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, which came out after his death. In 1987, Ashman returned to his alma mater for a production of Little Shop of Horrors (Ashman wrote the book and lyrics for the musical). While on campus, he sat down with faculty member R. Keith Michael for an interview; a number of clips from the interview were used in the 2020 documentary Howard. https://media.dlib.indiana.edu/media_objects/9s161p314
C234: Indiana University Student Association (147 items): Consists largely of recordings of IUSA congressional meetings. The minutes of these meetings have also been transcribed and digitized and can be accessed via the Archives collection description at http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/findingaids/archives/InU-Ar-VAB9446. Access level: largely Worldwide; a few recordings of interviews are restricted.
C276: William T. Patten Foundation lectures (20 items): Indiana University’s William T. Patten Foundation hosts scholars from around the world to give campus lectures in their area of expertise. Several recordings of talks have already been made available by our colleagues in Scholarly Communications but we had some recordings they did not and have published those. These additions span 1982-2006 and include both moving image and audio recordings. Access level: Worldwide
C296: Hubert C. Heffner papers (10 items): Heffner was a Distinguished Professor of Speech, Theatre, and Dramatic Literature at IU and also served at times as acting director of IU Theatre. Audiovisual materials from his papers consists entirely of “The Nature of Drama” recordings produced by IU Television and the Department of Theatre and Drama in the late 1970s. In each episode, Professor Heffner explores various aspects of theatre with some thematic focuses such as “The Nature of Man” in drama or focusing on specific forms, such as melodrama, tragedy, etc. Access level: Worldwide
C298: Indiana Religious Studies Project (15 items): Formed in 1977, the Indiana Religious Studies Project brought Indiana secondary teachers to IUB to improve how the study of religion was taught in Indiana high schools. The Project’s funding ended in 1984. Audiovisual materials consist of lectures organized for Project attendees spanning 1978-1981. Access level: IU; brief descriptions can be found in the collection finding aid and outside researchers can contact us for access.
C299: Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance (25 items):A large part of these 25 items are recordings of the 1978 show “Drama: Play, Perception, Performance,” consisting of analysis of various works by host José Ferrer, likely used in class by IU instructors. Access level: IU, but descriptions can be found in the Audiovisual materials series of the Theatre Department’s records held by the Archives. Outside researchers can contact us for access.
C337: James King papers (13 items): In 1984, James King joined the faculty of Indiana University as a professor of Voice in the School of Music but before and after, Professor King had a career as an operatic singer. Audiovisual materials consist of audio recordings of his performances spanning 1962-1972. Access level: IU, but descriptions can be found in the finding aid for King’s papers and outside researchers can contact us for access!
C355: Alpha Phi Omega – Mu Chapter (2 items): Alpha Phi Omega is a national service fraternity founded on leadership, friendship, and service. The Mu Chapter was established at Indiana University in 1929. The Archives holds a nice collection of its records spanning 1927-2008, which includes two recordings. The first one is a slideshow of photos from some of the group’s 1998 activities; the second one, dated 1985, is a recording from a larger APO event held in Boston. The camera scans the crowd as they sing what is likely the APO song. Access level: IU due to the music in both recordings but outside researchers can contact us for access!
This seems like enough for this update. Look for part two soon!
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