Sarasota, Fla. - The archives at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is diligently working on making old films new. The archives that serve as the repository for 410 historic circus films from as far back as 1926, has acquired new technology that allows them to not only convert the analog films for digital use, but to preserve and correct them. High-resolution still photos can also be captured from the films.
"We're bringing these films to FSU's Diginole and other sites to make them accessible in modern technology like cellphones and computers," said Heidi Connor, Chief archivist. "Circuses are fascinating and we need to see them in motion. We want to invite the circus community and others to contribute their own films for us to turn into videos before it's too late."
To accomplish this goal, The Ringling has enlisted to services of Filmic Technologies. President of the cutting-edge technology firm, Josef Marc, is presently on campus and training The Ringling Archives staff in how to operate the new equipment. "The Ringling will have videos of their entire collection in just a couple of months," said Marc, "This is a new technology purpose-built for revitalizing film collections quickly. It's automated so it doesn't interfere with the archivists' existing responsibilities." The Ringling’s archivists have the capability to digitize up to 3,000 feet of film per day with Filmic's machine.
Filmic FI-16™ is an integrated film inspection system using the latest computer vision technology to analyze the physical condition of films while creating high-resolution digital photographs of every image, as well as videos. Automatic Condition Reports tell the archivists many important things including where damage may be located, film length and type, and other information critical to maintaining the health of the film collection. The Ringling Archives received a private donation to fund this project.
The archives staff is excited that they will soon be able to share both historic films and still images with the public. The archives may be contacted through The Ringling website at: ringling.org/archives-inquiry
The Ringling is a preeminent center for the arts, history and learning that is dedicated to bringing the past and contemporary culture to life through extraordinary visitor experiences.
A place of exploration, discovery and respite, The Ringling’s campus in Sarasota, Florida – which includes the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, an historic mansion, an 18th-century theater and bayfront gardens – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As the State Art Museum of Florida and part of Florida State University, The Ringling fulfills an important educational mission. The Ringling offers formal and informal programs of study serving as a major resource for students, scholars, and lifelong learners of every age within the region, across the country and around the world.
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