Wednesday, 13 August 2008
digging deeper into the acmi collection
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is to significantly expand access to its extensive moving image resources, including the ACMI Collection, through the creation of a new screen culture resource centre.
ACMI provides diverse audiences with a myriad of ways to explore the moving image through film, exhibitions, public and education programming, workshops and festivals. This will be further enhanced in 2009 with the delivery of a world-first, free-of-charge, permanent exhibition charting the history and future of film, television, videogames and new media.
ACMI Director, Tony Sweeney, said new and enhanced opportunities for general public access to the full richness of the Collection onsite and online will form an integral part of the centre's future.
"The Collection is a rich repository of Australian and international moving image works, including rare and unique titles, objects and reference materials," Tony said. "While ACMI Members have historically been able to borrow a section of the Collection for home viewing, the real depth and richness of content, such as our extensive collection held on 16mm film stock, is largely inaccessible due to issues of technology, format compatibility and fragility".
As part of a commitment to provide broad community access to ACMI resources, a new resource centre will be built onsite to provide free-of-charge general-public drop-in access to a wealth of Australian and international works, including animation, feature films, documentaries, video art and self generated content.
"In addition, through the delivery of our new ground floor gallery we're taking full advantage of the opportunity to delve deeply into the Collection and utilise its rich resources to significantly populate exhibition content," Tony said. "In many cases, the Victorian community will then be able to view substantial amounts of Collection materials, particularly Australian content, for the very first time".
This opportunity to considerably enhance general public access to the Collection represents an important new phase for ACMI and its users, ensuring the richest possible offer for audiences to engage with screen culture as a source of entertainment, learning or research.
"The transition to an onsite access model responds to the dramatic shift in how audiences access moving image content today, through the global explosion in content providers including online and downloadable sources," Tony said. "It also addresses the fundamental challenges to the lending of collections materials, including the rapid changes in technology which increasingly sees formats such as VHS (and even DVD) being replaced as prime home viewing platforms".
Nationally recognised as a screen culture resource, the Collection features:
An archive of Australian documentaries with particular strength in Victorian moving image heritage titles
A significant catalogue of early experimental films, both Australian and international
Victoria's most cohesive collection of indigenous moving image works
A substantial holding in size and value, of animation films containing many classic titles, with strength in international as well as Australian and Victorian creations.
An outstanding selection of video art
A collection of world cinema dating back to 1896
Every copy of Cinema Papers, the definitive journal of Australian cinema
ACMI Digital Storytelling Collection featuring hundreds of self generated mini documentaries capturing the stories of the people of Australia
With the shift to onsite access as the primary source for Collections access in the CBD lending of Collection titles to individual members in metropolitan Melbourne will cease on December 31. Lending of Collection titles to schools, film societies, universities, cultural bodies and members in regional Victoria will continue unchanged.
Aside from the new national resource centre, key new initiatives for 2009 and beyond for broadening access to the Collection include:
Making available the real depth and richness of the ACMI collection, which resides in the 16mm, 35mm and VHS formats, which are increasingly unsuited to viewing offsite except in institutional contexts
A contextualised, interpretive approach to the richness of the collections allowing a variety of audiences including families, students, filmmakers and researchers, to readily access a wide range of iconic works and curated packages of films, documentaries, moving image content and other screen resources on-site.
The capacity for future digitisation of unique material in these national collections.
Increased content from additional partner collections, prominently including the television and digital media industries.
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