August 2018 Archives

August 30, 2018

Travel to the French Riviera with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant by way of Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief. The romantic thriller won an Academy Award for cinematography, with additional nominations for costume design and art direction. "In his accustomed manner," wrote critic Bosley Crowther, "Mr. Hitchcock has gone at this job with an omnivorous eye for catchy details and a dandy John Michael Hayes script. Most of his visual surprises are got this time with scenery— with the fantastic, spectacular vistas along the breathtaking Cote d'Azur." 35mm print form the Yale Film Archive.

Visit the event page and download the poster!

2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9

Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium
53 Wall Street
New Haven, CT

What is Treasures from the Yale Film Archive?
Treasures from the Yale Film Archive is an ongoing series of classic and contemporary films in 35mm curated by the Yale Film Study Center and screened at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Treasures screenings are always free and open to the public.

Presented by the Yale Film Study Center and Films at the Whitney with support from Paul L. Joskow '70 M.Phil., '72 Ph.D.

Post on August 30, 2018 - 1:02pm |

August 23, 2018

Students studying at table in Bass

Construction will start in the Spring, after Commencement, on a renovation of the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Library to accommodate the growing student population. Bass Library is a favorite study space for many Yale College students. 

Last renovated in 2007, the two-story underground library holds about 150,000 items, including scholarly works related to the undergraduate curriculum, English-language literature, graphic novels, DVDs, and audiobooks. After renovation, the collection will be curated with the goal of encouraging students to explore and engage with the materials more intensively.  

students studying at table with laptopsThe project, now being led by Assessment Librarian Sarah Tudesco, started last year with open meetings, design charrettes, and a comprehensive study by anthropologist Nancy Fried Foster of how students and faculty perceive and use Bass. 

Among the study’s conclusions:

  • Students go to Bass expecting study space to be available. If they begin to perceive Bass as overcrowded, they will likely go elsewhere.
  • Students choose Bass when they have papers, problem sets, or other work to do for class, and they tend to work alone there, rather than in groups. 
  • Many students find it motivating to have peers working nearby, but they also seek to limit distractions by working in study carrells and individual study spaces.  
  • Students like to work in a library where they are surrounded by books. They seek out course reserve books from the stacks, but they do not spend much time randomly browsing.
  • Faculty place a high value on opportunities for students to use and browse in the physical collections, and especially on the educational impact of serendipitous discoveries.  
  • Some faculty worry that reducing the size of the collection to provide more study space will have a negative effect on students’ library experience and academic development.

To address these factors, the planning committee will continue working with students and faculty to develop an appropriate collection strategy. Architects from DBVW Architects will share designs with faculty, staff, and students for review and comments.

The Bass collection will be housed in the Sterling Library stacks until the project is completed in early 2020.  Some of the Bass books will remain in Sterling, interfiled with the books already in the stack tower.  Others will be returned to the renovated Bass Library.

Post on August 23, 2018 - 2:37pm |

August 22, 2018

In 2018, in anticipation of the centenary of the birth of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), the Yale Film Study Center began working with the Swedish Film Institute to strike new 35mm prints of eight of Bergman's most iconic films for Yale's collection. In order to create these unique prints from the SFI's preservation negatives, the FSC edited and improved the films' English subtitles and worked with the only remaining film lab in the United States capable of etching laser subtitles onto 35mm films. Support for this project was provided by Marlene and Gene Siskel '67 and by Yale's Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

This fall, these eight new 35mm prints will be shared with Yale and New Haven through four double-feature screenings in Through Bergman's Lens: Ingmar Bergman Centenary Film Series.

Thursday, September 20
6pm Opening Reception
7pm SUMMER WITH MONIKA (1953, 97 mins)
9pm SAWDUST AND TINSEL (1953, 93 mins)

Thursday, October 11
7pm THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957, 96 mins)
9pm THE MAGICIAN (1958, 99 mins)

Thursday, November 15
7pm THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1961, 89 mins)
9pm PERSONA (1966, 83 mins)

Thursday, December 6
7pm SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (1955, 108 mins)
9pm WILD STRAWBERRIES (1957, 91 mins)

Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium
53 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Download the Series Poster!

Through Bergman's Lens is presented by the Yale Film Study Center and Films at the Whitney with support from Paul L. Joskow '70 M.Phil., '72 Ph.D.

Post on August 22, 2018 - 2:12pm |

August 20, 2018

Post on August 20, 2018 - 8:26am |

August 17, 2018

 Street Corner Stories, an iconic 1977 documentary produced by filmmaker Warrington Hudlin during the seventies in New Haven.

The Yale Film Study Center has been awarded a $24,000 matching grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve Street Corner Stories, an iconic 1977 documentary produced by filmmaker Warrington Hudlin ’74 in New Haven.

In Hudlin’s film, convenience store employees, customers, Yale employees, neighborhood kids, and others mix and meet at a New Haven convenience store, sharing jokes and stories, drinking coffee, and talking politics. Shot in cinéma vérité style, the film documents a unique storytelling form, an African American street-corner vernacular that Hudlin presents as a spoken form of the blues.

Street Corner Stories captures a particular story of New Haven and Yale and the interaction between them at a particular point in time,” says Brian Meacham, the center’s archive and special collections manager, who is overseeing the preservation project. “It’s also an important film to preserve in light of Warrington Hudlin’s role in the development of black filmmaking over the last four decades.” 

Warrington Hudlin producer and producer of  the documentary Street Corner Stories.Hudlin was born in East St. Louis, Ill., in 1952 and came to Yale in 1970. During his senior year, he was named to the Scholars of the House program, an honor that came with the responsibility of creating an “essay or project which must justify by its scope and quality the freedom which has been granted.” Hudlin chose to make a film, eventually called Black at Yale: A Film Diary, which grew out of his own “split-consciousness experience” of being an African American student at Yale in a time of heightened political awareness and tension. The Film Study Center preserved Black at Yale in 2017.

Street Corner Stories grew out of one of the final scenes (pictured below) in Black at Yale, in which one of the film’s main characters stops by a convenience store at the corner of Lake Place and Dixwell Avenue and falls into conversation with some of the regulars about their perceptions of Yale. 

“That introduced me to them and their willingness to be on camera,” Hudlin recalls. “And given that I’d just made a film about the university and the black, privileged students’ point of view—I said, what do the people of New Haven think, what do the working class folks think? That became my next P.O.V.”

With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts’ then-new folk art division, Hudlin returned to New Haven in 1976 and began shooting the film in and around the same store. “Men would stop there on the way to work, to get a coffee and a doughnut,” Hudlin says. “It was kind of a launching pad or waiting room before going to work. People who had jobs, for the most part, but most importantly, had a point of view about life, circa 1976.”

The interactions Hudlin captured resonate with the “up-South” accents and sensibility he grew up with in East St. Louis, another community shaped by the post-World War II migration of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North.  Hudlin’s affinity for the blues, jazz, and rock and roll originated there, too; his neighborhood was home to Ike and Tina Turner, Miles Davis, and the gospel singer Brother Joe May.

In his first year at Yale, he read Ralph Ellison’s essay “Richard Wright’s Blues,” which introduced him to the idea of the blues “as more than a musical form, as an aesthetic and sensibility, an essential view of the world.” Six years later, he brought Ellison’s concept of the blues as a form of storytelling to Street Corner Stories.

The men he filmed, he says, “we're talking on that street corner about their wives and girlfriends, about the people who controlled their working life, about politics, race, the police, all the topics they sing about in the blues. I let people see the connections.”

A convenience store employee and customer talking while shooting  Black at Yale

The film premiered with a screening at the York Square Cinema in New Haven and subsequently screened on the domestic and international festival circuits, where it was well received. One contemporary reviewer called it “an excellent study of black language styles and story-telling.” In recent years, however, the film has been little seen, with only a few known copies.

In 1978, Hudlin and two fellow Yale graduates, George Cunningham ’83 Ph.D. and Alric Nembard ’73, co-founded the Black Filmmakers Foundation, a non-profit that supports and advocates for black filmmakers. As president of the foundation, Hudlin has mentored generations of young filmmakers.  He is also a producer, director, writer, and actor whose credits include House Party (1990), Boomerang (1992), and Cosmic Slop (1994).

“I realize now that when I came into the world as a filmmaker it was like walking into a field that had not been plowed,” Hudlin says.  “I took Street Corner Stories to an art house in New York. The person there asked what language it was in. I said English. And they said, will you have subtitles?

 “We had no access even to independent art houses. We created the first ever black distribution cooperative because we knew colleges and campuses wanted to see our work, but they couldn’t get it. That’s why my background is so hybrid. I had to be writer, producer, distributor, marketer, all those things. If I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. In those days, it wasn’t a glass ceiling. It was a steel and concrete wall.”

The Yale preservation project will use the original and best surviving elements of the film, donated to the Film Study Center by Anthology Film Archives in 2017. Hudlin had given the center a collection of original interviews, trims, outs, and audio elements for the film in 2014, but it was only when preservation work began on Black at Yale in 2016 that the original A/B rolls and optical track negative for Street Corner Stories came to light among a trove of materials Anthology had rescued years earlier from a defunct film lab.

Now, Fotokem, one of the last remaining film labs in the United States, is creating a new 16mm black and white duplicate negative of Street Corner Stories.  Audio Mechanics, an audio restoration lab, will capture and digitally restore the film’s audio, and DJ Audio, specialists in film sound, will create a new optical track negative. Fotokem will create a new 16mm print for screening as well as a high definition digital scan of the new internegative to create a digital access copy of the film.

Last Fall, after the Film Study Center completed the preservation of Black at Yale, Hudlin returned to campus for a screening and discussion with students. The students’ varied responses made Hudlin realize the extent to which the issues that interested him as a young filmmaker remain relevant and unresolved. “The dual consciousness continues,” he says. “It’s the relationship of black people to America.”

Preferring to focus on the future, Hudlin does not spend a lot of time looking back at his earliest films, but he is glad that Yale is preserving them. “It’s history,” he says.  “Unless these details are preserved, you can’t get accurate history.”

The Yale Film Study Center supports teaching, learning, and research, and fosters film culture at Yale through collection, preservation, access, and exhibition.  The center has been part of Yale University Library since 2017. The National Film Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit created by the U.S. Congress to help preserve America’s film heritage, has awarded eight preservation grants to the center and the library since 2008.

Post on August 17, 2018 - 11:14am |

August 16, 2018

Join us for the fifth year of Treasures from the Yale Film Archive, which begins with five great films in 35mm this fall.

TO CATCH A THIEF (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955)
2pm Sunday, September 9

MEDIUM COOL (Haskell Wexler, 1969)
Co-presented with the Democracy in America series
7pm Saturday, September 29

MARIE ANTOINETTE (Sofia Coppola, 2006)
2pm Sunday, October 21

KATHO UPANISHAD (Ashish Avikunthak, 2011)
Filmmaker in person!
2pm Sunday, November 4

2pm Sunday, December 2

Download the Fall Poster!

Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium
53 Wall Street
New Haven, CT

What is Treasures from the Yale Film Archive?
Treasures from the Yale Film Archive is an ongoing series of classic and contemporary films in 35mm curated by the Yale Film Study Center and screened at the Whitney Humanities Center.

Treasures screenings are always free and open to the public.

Presented by the Yale Film Study Center and Films at the Whitney with support from Paul L. Joskow '70 M.Phil., '72 Ph.D.

Post on August 16, 2018 - 1:49pm |

August 10, 2018

Two students who work in the library are among the first recipients of a new university award recognizing their contributions.  Jaster Francis ’20 is a work leader in collections maintenance at Sterling Memorial Library. Raffi Donatich ’19 is a student research assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Francis and Donatich were among ten students who received the inaugural Y-Work Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student Employees at an April 30 reception hosted by Yale College Dean Marvin Chun.

Nearly 60 percent of Yale undergraduates work part-time on campus, and the library is one of the biggest student employers, hiring hundreds of students. “Students support our full-time staff in many different areas, and we are grateful of their contributions,” says Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian Susan Gibbons. “We always hope the experience will be valuable for them, too.”

Finding friends and mentors

When he was looking for a campus job in Fall 2016, Jaster Francis wasn’t sure exactly what a student library assistant in collections management would do, but the $12.50 hourly pay was a big step up from the $7.25 minimum wage he had been earning at McDonald’s back home in Marietta, Georgia. He was committed not just to paying his own college expenses, but also to sending money back to his mother, Rene Francis, a physical therapist who has raised him and his two younger siblings as a single parent. “Everything I have, I owe to her,” he says. “She works so hard for us. Without her, I wouldn’t be at Yale.”

Soon, the Branford College student was working nineteen hours a week in the labyrinthine basement and chilly bookstacks of Sterling, learning the meticulously organized processes for getting books back on the shelves, in exactly the right spot, as quickly as possible. As Francis soon learned, “If you misplace a book on the shelf by just a few places, it can be missing for years.”

He took the job for the paycheck, but he has stayed for the people. “There’s always someone there to greet you with a smile,” he says. “The people I work with in Sterling Library have become my best friends.”

Before the end of his first year, Francis was promoted to work leader, helping to schedule and coordinate projects with the student work force.

“I’ve had a lot of work leaders over the past twenty-three years, but Jaster is special,” says Collections Maintenance Supervisor Anthony Riccio, who nominated him for the Y-Work award. “He embodies gentleness and pleasantness, and he has an incredible work ethic.”

Over time, Riccio (pictured at the award ceremony with Francis and Dean Chun) has become a mentor and friend.  

Two students who work in the library are among the first recipients of a new university award recognizing their contributions.

“We talk a lot about a lot of things,” Francis says. “Anthony knows the best way to teach and how to get people energized and excited about the work. He tells us to treat every book like it’s the most important book in the world because, for someone, it might be.”

This year, Francis has been named a Bouchet Fellow and will be researching and writing on racial capitalism and the American criminal justice system. He won’t be giving up his library job, though. “My favorite part of being an undergraduate at Yale is working inside Sterling and helping with the system that helps so many people on campus,” he says.

Delving into legendary collections

Raffi Donatich sums up her work at the Beinecke in a sentence: “It’s my job to dig through the boxes and find whatever they’re looking for.”

“They” are the Beinecke’s American literature curators, including Nancy Kuhl, curator for poetry, Yale Collection of American Literature, who nominated Donatich for the Y-Work award. Kuhl praises her student assistant for proposing “creative and compelling research projects” that have helped expose and celebrate the Beinecke’s collections to students, library visitors, and visitors to the Beinecke’s website.

“It was wonderful to have an opportunity to call attention to her good work, the ways in which she’s helped us with outreach … to educate people about our collections and to draw attention to them and to celebrate them,” Kuhl says.

Working at the Beinecke has given the Berkeley College senior a chance to get to know the collections in unusual depth—which has enriched her understanding of American literature. One of the best parts of the job is the opportunity to connect with original documents and artifacts.  “It never gets old to pick up something that Ernest Hemingway spilled coffee on,” she says. “It’s really that real.”

Photo credit: Mara Lavitt

Post on August 10, 2018 - 1:10pm |

August 10, 2018

Two students from the New Haven Promise Internship Program

Yale University Library has been selected to receive the first annual Ivy Award from New Haven Promise, a program that provides scholarships and career development support to graduates of New Haven schools. The award, which will be presented at the group’s annual Scholar Celebration on Aug. 16,  recognizes the library’s strong support of the group’s career launch and civic engagement initiatives.

“In the last year, Yale University Library has strengthened its commitment by hiring eleven paid interns in 2018,” wrote New Haven Promise President Patricia Melton in her notification letter. “However, it is more than increasing your financial commitment—opening the doors of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to the city and the treasures that the entire Yale University Library system possesses is generous and valued by all in the Elm City. Because of your involvement and dedication, our organization, our internship program, and the greater New Haven community have prospered and continued to flourish.”

The eleven Yale University Library interns are working in Library Information Technology, the Center for Science and Social Science Research, the Stat Lab, Assessment and User Experience, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Two more Promise interns are working in the library of the Yale Center for British Art and one in the Lillian Goldman Law Library. All together, Yale libraries are hosting fourteen of the ninety-eight Promise interns at Yale this summer.

“We are honored by this award, which reflects the commitment of many library staff to serve as supervisors, mentors and colleagues to the interns,” said Susan Gibbons, the Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian, who recently hosted the students for breakfast.  “This program is a priority for the library because we want to give back to New Haven, but I also hope that some of the interns may become interested in library careers through this experience and become our librarian colleagues in the not-too-distant future.”

The internships are particularly valuable because they introduce students to many technologies that are foundational to the library’s work, Melton said.  “Our scholars are digital natives who begin their internships with adequate or basic technology skills, and the library helps them get to the next level,” she said. “They can and are applying these skills back in college, which sets them apart from their peers.”

Two New Haven Promise interns working at Beinecke Library

Shirley-Ann Feliciano and Sam Smith (pictured here) have been interning with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Librarian Miriam Olivares in the library’s Center for Science and Social Science Information. The two students have been creating and updating instructional videos used to teach GIS, sophisticated data mapping software that can be used to analyze, manipulate, and present any geographical data. On July 31, they presented an introductory GIS workshop for eighteen of their peers, and in early August they helped Olivarez teach GIS workshops for New Haven middle-school and high-school students.

Feliciano was familiar with GIS from her studies at the University of New Haven, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in crime analysis. The summer’s experience has deepened her understanding of the versatile software as well as video production techniques. Smith, a pre-med student majoring in math and chemistry at the University of Miami, had never heard of GIS before this summer. Now, he sees the enormous potential for GIS applications such as analyzing and predicting the spread of disease. The internship “has opened up a whole new world of possibilities,” he said.

Interns also gain experience and insights that are about more than technology. At the Beinecke Library, Dante Haughton and Tubyez Cropper (pictured below, with Haughton at right) have spent the summer assisting Communications Director Mike Morand by producing short videos highlighting events, exhibits, and the work of the Beinecke’s research fellows.  Shared on social media, the videos have received thousands of views, attracting local visitors to the library while also expanding virtual access for more distant audiences. “It’s been phenomenal to have Dante and Tubyez here,” Morand said. “They quickly became an integral part of our team. They came up with great ideas and then they did a great job executing them.” 

Haughton, a rising senior and English major at Skidmore College, said he has particularly enjoyed seeing original historical materials up close and talking with researchers about their work.  The experience has increased his understanding and appreciation of the Beinecke’s unique role. “I am grateful for the time we have been able to spend with some of this summer's researchers,” he said.

Two interns from New haven Promise program working at Beinecke LibraryThe two interns have also helped organize public events, including the July 18 commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s hundredth birthday and the July 5 public reading of the Declaration of Independence and Frederick Douglass’s 1852 oration, now known as “What to a Slave is the Fourth of July?” 

Cropper, who graduated in May from Franklin and Marshall College, was the opening reader for the Douglass oration. “There was definitely a great response from the audience,” he said.  “I heard a lot of laughs and gasps as they realized how a lot of the content back then was still existent in today’s society… It made my day to see so many people take interest in such a historic event in our nation's timeline.”

Claudia Schatz, a rising senior at Wesleyan University, has been interning in the Beinecke’s technical services department, where her work has included digital preservation of floppy disks and re-housing photographs from the Western Americana Collection. But for Schatz, a French studies major and art history minor who studied in Paris last year, the most memorable project has sorting and processing the voluminous correspondence of French artist Maurice Bismuth-Lemaître to make it more accessible to researchers, a task for which her French language skills have been essential. “There are often moments of ambiguity where the content becomes relevant,” she said. “For example, when letters are clipped together, I may need to read them to evaluate why and whether they should be kept together.”

Her sense of the work changed in early July when the 92-year-old artist died. “Since he can no longer speak for himself, his collection and this work we are doing will have to speak for him,” she said. “That makes archival processing feel urgent and important.”

These are the 14 New Haven Promise Scholars interning at Yale libraries this summer:

Yale University Library

  • Arthur Abeshouse, Southern Connecticut State University, Library Information Technology
  • Anissa Carter, University of Connecticut, Library Information Technology
  • Tubyez Cropper, Franklin & Marshall College, Beinecke Library Communications
  • Eric DeJesus, Boston University, Library Information Technology
  • Shirley-Ann Feliciano, University of New Haven, Center for Science and Social Science Information
  • Dante Haughton, Skidmore College, Beinecke Library Communications
  • Kenneth Jiménez, Southern Connecticut State University, StatLab
  • Bryana Kilpatrick, University of Connecticut, Library Information Technology
  • Terrae Patterson, Eastern Connecticut State University, Assessment and User Experience
  • Claudia Schatz, Wesleyan University, Beinecke Technical Services
  • Sam Smith, University of Miami, Center for Science and Social Science Information

Lillian Goldman Law Library

  • N’Kiya Galberth, University of Connecticut

Yale Center for British Art, Reference Library and Archives

  • Shannon Foley, University of Connecticut
  • Amariah Rodriguez, Eastern Connecticut State University

Post on August 10, 2018 - 3:27pm |

August 6, 2018

Catherine Basie, Hugues Panassie, Count Basie, Helen Oakley Dance, and Stanley Dance. Paris, 1956. MSS 62, Box 41.

The Stanley Dance and Helen Oakley Dance Papers (MSS 62) are now open for research. As the Dances were well-known jazz journalists and producers, their papers are an important resource for the study of jazz in the United States from 1920-1960. The Papers contain a large number of interviews with and photographs of jazz musicians, as well as sound recordings. Both Stanley Dance and Helen Oakley Dance had close relationships with Duke Ellington and Earl Hines, both of whom are well represented in the Papers. The Guide to the Papers can be viewed here

Photograph: Catherine Basie, Hugues Panassie, Count Basie, Helen Oakley Dance, and Stanley Dance. Paris, 1956. MSS 62, Box 41. Photographer unknown. 

Post on August 6, 2018 - 3:00pm |