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Library and Archives Canada’s Northern Content Film Collection: Understanding Faces, Places and Spaces through Moving Images - Caroline Forcier Holloway

Part of:
2:30 PM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Over ten years ago, Caroline Forcier Holloway, Senior Audiovisual Archivist, embarked on a part-time project to survey Library and Archives Canada’s (LAC) Northern Content Film Collection. Research involved revisiting footage and enhancing existing film descriptions of northern content, with particular emphasis on expeditions, where previously, such films were described at various levels of completeness depending on the content information at hand. The goal was to achieve an accurate representation of northern film holdings, by highlighting the significant amount of Inuit faces, places and spaces, included in their content, directly supporting LAC’s efforts to decolonize archival descriptions.

The primary documentary film sources that inform the collection reveal historical facts relevant to the current study of land claims and self-government, traditional Inuit beliefs, knowledge, languages and culture, and Truth and Reconciliation related matters. A large portion of the film collection is comprised of early home movies, where these are considered to be the most raw, unscripted and illustrative sources of documentary information about “our” past. As the conference theme implies, home movies and documentaries considered as actuality footage, encourage understanding and dialogue, by making a significant contribution towards the Arctic’s narratives of the relationship between the Inuit and numerous explorers, who visited or “claimed title to the land.”

Ms. Forcier Holloway will screen a film compilation from the Northern Content Film Collection and speak to the body of research that nourishes the national collection, and is an integral part of the We are Here: Sharing Stories project, LAC’s comprehensive Indigenous content digitization initiative.

Library and Archives Canada
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