The winter of 2019 was relatively quiet for Ile Ife Films. There was a bit of back and
forth regarding the terms of the gift of the Arthur Hall Collection to the Special
Collections Research Center (SCRC) of Temple University Libraries in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. We marked time while the SCRC moved from the Paley Library to the new
Charles Library, a complex operation that involves millions of items, as one might expect,
given that the SCRC is among the premiere academic research libraries in the country.
With the unanimous accord of the members of our board of directors, we signed the Deed of
Gift on June 24th. It is nine pages long. It defines the scope of materials in the
collection, Arthur Hall's background, and the terms and conditions of this "Creative
Commons Attribution - Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License." Our aim with this
agreement is to have the collection preserved over the long term and widely available to
the public both on site at Temple University and internationally online. We shall see how
this works out in reality over the coming months and years.
As reported in the 2018 Annual Report , all the films and videotapes in the collection have
digital Preservation Masters and are archived in the vaults of Northeast Historic Films
(NHF) in Bucksport, Maine. The Preservation Masters are stored on duplicate sets of LTO
tapes - "Linear Tape-Open" for long-term data storage - one set in Philadelphia and one
set at NHF. "Mezzanine" or working copies made from the Preservation Masters were copied
to the Ile Ife Films RAID drives as well as to a 20 TB drive which was given to the SCRC
in October 2019. (See below.) This is the culmination of years of preservation work, work
delivered complete to the SCRC at considerable expense.
(See our Consolidated Financial Statement, 2008 - 2019.)
In addition to the films and videotapes, I produced hours of audiotapes and hundreds of
photographs that are rightfully part of the Arthur Hall Collection, and Arthur himself
left thousands of items - audiotapes, photographs, albums, portfolios, files, posters,
scrapbooks, and correspondence - collectively called "ephemera" because they disappear
easily over time. Patrice Janssen and I began sorting through piles and cabinets full of
ephemera, deciding what should go to the SCRC. Betty Alridge arrived October 7 to provide
invaluable help as we boxed things up. Margery Sly, the SCRC director, arrived October 11
to pack her car with collection materials going to Philadelphia. Later, she provided us
with shipping cartons in which to repack the rest of the collection, thirteen boxes that
shipped, finally, on November 27. These things take time.
Here is a short film about the transfer:
Moving the Arthur Hall Collection
from Maine to Philadelphia
Over the summer of 2019, Ile Ife Films also worked to preserve the films of Abbott Meader
with digital preservation masters, just as we had with the Arthur Hall films and
videotapes. Abbott is the principal camera in Arthur Hall's Snake Dance Teacher Dance (1977).
His paintings hung for many years on the third floor of the Ile Ife Center
on Germantown Avenue. He is a member of the board of directors of Ile Ife Films and,
along with his wife Nancy, has been a steadfast and generous supporter of our nonprofit over the years.
Abbott Meader at home with his film cans.
In addition to his work as a painter, Abbott Meader has made well over fifty films over
the years and has inspired generations of filmmakers. He worked with Bruce Williams over
the summer of 2019 to prepare three programs for screening by Cine Infinito in Santander, Spain:
Cine Infinito - Abbott Meader - Films by a painter I
Cine Infinito - Abbott Meader - Films by a painter II
Cine Infinito - Abbott Meader - Films by a painter III
Abbott Meader films on Vimeo