At George Eastman House

George Eastman House exchange 2010
 Darren Weinert

After over 24 hours of travel in four different aircraft I finally arrived in Rochester, NY, on a rainy Friday night. I was met by the smiling faces of Jeff and Deb Stoiber from George Eastman House. Over the weekend I was taken on a tour of Buffalo, NY, by Jeff, Deb and past NFSA/GEH Exchange participant Tim Wagner. We met up with Juan and Gerard from Haghefilm, Amsterdam, and two students from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation, Maggie Yin and HyunJu Jang. A great time was had by all and Tim made the perfect tour guide.

Monday I was off to George Eastman House (GEH) to start my Exchange Program. It began with a film screening of sample reels and a Q&A session held by Juan and Gerard from Haghefilm. The questions for the Q&A had been submitted by the students and covered topics such as: ‘How would Haghefilm transfer unusual film formats?’ to ‘What is the most challenging project your lab has been involved in?’

On Tuesday I met with Mark Osterman, an expert on historical photographic processes, who showed me through his department and discussed the variety of past photographic processing that he can successfully duplicate and also teaches. This knowledge is of importance to conservators as it assists in the identification of photographic collection material and can be invaluable when trying to identify material that has drastically transformed due to age, bad processing or contamination.

I then met the team in the GEH, Department of Photographs – Jessica Johnston and Barbara Galasso. This small team does an amazing job of digitising the photographs in the GEH collection. One project they are currently working on, that I was lucky enough to see, is the Lewis W Hine collection of Immigrant photographs taken at Ellis Island, NY, between 1904 and 1909.

Main image: L Jeffrey Selznick student Holly Foster inspects tinted 35mm film Haghefilm’s as Juan Vrijs looks on.