Photo: Still of Kesey and the Pranksters in New Orleans; M135616, [Home Movies. Ken Kesey. Acid Test], 16mm color Ektachrome, circa. 1964-1966.

During the summer of 2018 I developed a processing plan for The Ken Kesey collection of the Merry Pranksters home movies. This collection was selected due to the the volume of requests consistently made for it, but were unable to be accommodated. Access to had been significantly hindered due to the disarray in which the collection was received, communal authorship of the material within the collection, conflicting legacy records, and level of cataloging that had been possible to complete for it. The complex nature of the over 500 items that comprise this collection also posed complex cataloging issues in relation to provenance, original order and respect des fonds. To accurately arrange and describe this material, ten years of documentation from multiple preservation projects had to be consolidated. In the spring of 2019, I completed a series-level finding aid on ArchiveSpace that confirms to SAA’s 2nd Edition of DACS and the Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries Version 3.2. This finding aid was later made available on the UCLA Library's Film and Television Archive's collections page in 2021.

Todd Wiener, Caitlin Denny and I will present on the collaborative process that made this finding aid possible for AMIA's Spring Online Conference in the session "Describing the Ken Kesey and Merry Pranksters Audiovisual Collection."

Downloadable PDF of the Ken Kesey and Merry Pranksters finding aid



Photo: Ian Byers-Gamber

Since September of 2017, I have assisted Adam Foster with the Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s archives and library. In this time, we have become intimately involved with their multimedia collections, history, staff, and community. This past year, we finished the process of moving the ~1,000 linear feet of these materials to their new theater space in Highland Park. This has involved conducting an audit that established collections by format, calculated linear and cubic feet, approximated totals for each of the collections’ holdings and providing recommendations for archival storage and housing. To preserve the original order of these materials we also created preliminary inventories for all of these collections.

Both Adam and I were 2018-2019 recipients of the UCLA/Mellon Foundation Internship Project, which was part of Dr. Michelle Caswell's UCLA Community Archives Lab. It was with the grant funding provided by the Mellon that we were able to continue our work documenting the Theater's collections and moving the library and archives to their new physical location in Highland Park.

Adam and I presented on our work at the Theater for the 2018 AMIA Annual Conference panel: "The Bob Baker Marionette Theater: Archiving with Oral Histories." View our presentation slides here.

Our work at the Theater has also been published in the Spring 2019 Performance! Newsletter of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Performing Arts Section in the article "Preserving Place: Moving the Bob Baker Marionette Theater."


Rewind and Hit Play Logo Design by Grace Danico

Design by Grace Danico

Saturday, April 6th, 2019

UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library


In April of 2019, I programmed and organized a day long mini-conference Rewind & Hit Play on behalf of the UCLA AMIA Student Chapter. This event brought together a selection of local scholars and professionals working in the field of media archiving, who had recently presented work in other conference programs. The motivation behind this event was to include past presentations, projects, and research that were previously inaccessible due to barriers such as the expense to attend, geographic location, or scheduling conflicts with coursework or jobs. In the spirit of access, this conference was also entirely free for attendees and included swag, lunch, and a reception!

Rewind & Hit Play was a collaboration with the Los Angeles Archivists Collective (LAAC), who designed all of the branding for the event, and were the promotional sponsor. Financial support was secured from AMIA proper, UCLA Department of Information Studies, LAC Group, Prasad Corporation, the Society of California Archivists (SCA), and Deluxe Entertainment.

More details are available on the Rewind & Hit Play website, as well as videos of speaker presentations.



Example of collection specific histograms created for the project report visualizing A-D strip results.

Working directly with the Getty Research Institute's (GRI) Media Conservator Jonathan Furmanski, the goal of the Acetate Project was to create a long-term preservation plan for the acetate films in the GRI's collections for greater access. Together, Jonathan and I identified and documented all of the Getty's acetate films; tested them with A-D strips to measure deterioration and condition; thoroughly documented the severity of these results; scheduled periodic testing to monitor their acetate film holdings in the future; relocated films to cold or frozen storage that were in severe stages of deterioration; re-housed films to meet archival standards; and prioritized films for outsourced reformatting. These findings were collated in a report structured around the guidelines provided by the Image Permanence Institute's (IPI) User’s Guide to A-D Strips: A Safe and Accurate Way to Check Film for Vinegar Syndrome. From these metrics, an assessment of the overall film holdings was provided with recommendations for preservation priorities and digital reformatting.


Still from the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Videotape Collection, "Non-edited Video Footage: Giant Forest Restoration Project – Restoration Work in the Round Meadow Area (Tape 5 of 6)," VHS, color silent, 1999

Still from the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Videotape Collection,

"Non-edited Video Footage: Giant Forest Restoration Project – Restoration Work in the Round Meadow Area (Tape 5 of 6)," VHS, color silent, 1999.

Over the Winter and Spring quarters of 2017, I digitally preserved 109 tapes from Sequoia King's Canyon National Park's audiovisual collection under the supervision and training of Yasmin Dessem and Allie Whalen at UCLA's Preservation Lab. The collection included an assortment of 1/2" open reel, Umatic, VHS, miniDV and Hi8. The content of these tapes were diverse and included footage of controlled burns, road surveys, oral histories, questionable 1970s reenactments, home movies, administrative meetings, as well as Umatic "access copies" of nitrate films shot in the 1930s. For this project, all of these tapes were inventoried, described, and digitized to archival standards.

Clip from the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park Videotape Collection,

"SEQU/KICA #8550 Split Screen (Tape 12 of 13)," VHS, color, silent, undated.