Fourth Piece of the Puzzle: Film

The two videos I have embedded below are quite different in content, but I think they help get at the central theme of my final project – thinking historically/contextually about primary sources and information systems. The Home Economics Story, which was produced by Iowa State, and Design for Dreaming, which was produced by GM, are ephemeral films that happened to be collected by Rick Prelinger (who collects ephemeral film) and then digitized by the Internet Archive as part of the online Prelinger Collection. They are both wonderfully rich texts, but within the context of my final project, they really point to the contingency of primary source materials. These were preserved and eventually digitized, but how much more was lost? Materials such as these films – and other ephemera – were not intended to be systematically collected by libraries or archives, but they provide a very different perspective from university and corporate records, magazine and journal articles, and newspapers.   

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