Film archivist Kathy Rose O’Regan recently visited the NFSA on exchange from George Eastman House in the US. While at the NFSA, she investigated a 100-year-old collection of advertising posters from The Palace cinema in Orpington, London.
What does an archivist do for you? A bartender serves you drinks, a banker handles your money, but people don’t always understand what I do. Film and media archivist is not necessarily a position people can automatically interpret.
In essence, we are cultural caretakers. We find, repair, restore, conserve, and, most importantly, provide access to moving image in all its formats, as well as related stills, documentation and artefacts. We delve into the histories of others on a daily basis, and can gain touching insights into lives and times gone by through the artefacts which remain.
During my month-long stay at the NFSA, I worked with a small collection of posters that gave a window into another time and place. These 14 posters came from The Palace Cinema in Orpington, Bromley, Greater London.