Collecting area: Film & video

National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Collection

1965-2016
5 boxes 7.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 686
Depiction of

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

In contributing to the National Arts Policy Archive and Library (NAPAAL), the NEA allowed SCUA to digitize publications on the arts and arts management since its inception. The collection reflects the impact of the arts (including music, literature, and the performing arts) on everyday lives of Americans and include materials intended to support individual and classroom education, information on arts management, reports on the status of the arts, histories of the organization, and much more. All items are cataloged in the UMass Amherst Libraries online catalog and are included in the Internet Archive, where they are available for full-text searching.

Subjects

Art and StateArts--ManagementGovernment aid to the arts
Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007

Ulrich Plenzdorf Collection

1970-1979
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 978

An East German screenwriter and playwright, Ulrich Plenzdorf was born into a Communist family in the working-class Kreuzberg district of Berlin in 1934, settling in East Germany after the war. Abandoning his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Leipzig, Plenzdorf worked as a stagehand at the DEFA film studio while studying at the film academy in Babelsberg. His breakthrough as a writer came with the play Die neuen Leiden des jungen W (1972), which enjoyed enormous success internationally, selling more than four million copies in 30 languages. A year later, he followed up with the popular film, Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1973), and his popularity as a writer continued through unification. Plenzdorf died in Berlin on Aug. 9, 2007, at the age of 72.

This small collection includes research files on the screenwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf assembled by Albert R. Schmitt, a professor of German at Brown University. In addition to an early edition of Die neuen Leiden and a mimeograph copy of an English translation by Herbert Lederer, the collection includes a handful of letters and a few pieces of ephemera from early productions of Die neuen Leiden, along with reviews and scholarly articles of Plenzdorf’s work.

Gift of Barton Byg, June 2017
Language(s): German

Subjects

Dramatists--Germany (East)Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007. Neuen Leiden des jungen W.Screenwriters--Germany (East)

Contributors

Schmitt, Albert R.

Types of material

EphemeraPosters
Ravett, Abraham

Abraham Ravett Collection

1977-1979
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 890

The independent filmmaker Abraham Ravett has taught film and video at Hampshire College since 1979. Born in Poland in 1947 and raised in Israel, Ravett emigrated to the United States with his family in 1955. Since earning his BFA and MFA in Filmmaking and Photography, he has won wide recognition for his work, receiving major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, among other organizations, and a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His films have been screened internationally and have earned Top Prize at the Viennale 2000, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Onion City Film/Video Festival.

This small collection contains raw footage on open-reel videotape shot by Ravett and two dvds documenting local communities in eastern Massachusetts: the North End, Boston (1977-1978) and Haverhill High School (1978-1979), the latter taken while artist in residence.

Gift of Abraham Ravett, Mar. 2011

Subjects

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customsHaverhill (Mass.)--Social life and customsNorth End (Boston, Mass.)--Social life and customs

Types of material

Videotapes
Ring, Hans Joachim

Hans Joachim Ring Collection of East German Cinema

1945-1990
10 boxes 4.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 566
Depiction of Bummi
Bummi

Born in Germany on Aug. 4, 1934, Hans Joachim Ring was a film enthusiast with an encyclopedic knowledge of German cinema. During the Second World War, movie theatres became a refuge for the young boy, whose family was forced several times to flee due to Allied bombing. The hardships of post-war life cemented the role of film in his life and as he grew older, he became an ardent collector of materials relating to film.

The Ring Collection includes hundreds of programs, fliers, and handbills published by the official East German film distributors Progress Film-Vertrieb and the Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA) and sold to patrons at theatres. This extraordinary assemblage includes several hundred programs covering the immediate post-war period (1945-1950) and hundreds more relating to films released up to and beyond the end of the Communist era. Offering insight into the evolution of graphic design in East Germany and the marketing of film, the collection is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

Acquired from Ann Langevin, May 2008
Language(s): German

Subjects

Children's films--Germany, EastMotion pictures--Germany, East

Contributors

Deutsche Film AktiengesellschaftProgress Film-VertriebRing, Hans Joachim

Types of material

Fliers (Printed matter)HandbillsPrograms
Stack, Jonathan

Jonathan Stack Collection

1992-2000
36 boxes, films 65 linear feet
Call no.: MS 969
Depiction of Gabriel Films logo
Gabriel Films logo

A renowned independent film maker and founder of Gabriel Films, Jonathan Stack has written and produced over two dozen documentary films and fifty television programs. Born in New York City in 1957, Stack graduated from UMass Amherst in 1979. From the time of his film Damned in the USA (1992), Stack has taken on challenging subjects, earning a reputation for gaining access into forbidden and often dangerous situations, from crack dens in Harlem to war-torn Liberia. The recipient of numerous honors in his career, Stack has been awarded five Emmy Awards, has twice been nominated for the Academy Award, and his film The Farm, on Angola Prison, won Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in 1998.

The films and videos in the Stack collection include copies of his work in Liberia and Haiti and material from his documentary on prison rodeos at Angola Prison. The collection includes film from Damned in the USA (1992), Final Judgment (1996), and The Farm (1998), as well as footage from Harlem, Angola Prison, St. Gabriel Women’s Prison, and on body piercing, rodeo, and the prisoner Vincent Simmons.

Gift of Jonathan Stack, April-Dec., 2017

Subjects

Documentary filmsLouisiana State PenitentiaryMotion picture producers and directors

Types of material

Videotapes
Straight Ahead Pictures

Straight Ahead Pictures Collection

1877-2007
20 boxes, films, books 33.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 851

Established by Laurie Block and John Crowley in 1989, Straight Ahead Pictures is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing innovative multimedia presentations about topics in American history and culture. Working in film, video, radio, and print, Straight Ahead Pictures has often focused on the cultural history of the body, and especially the meaning of fitness, disability, health, and related concepts. They are the sponsor of the Disability History Museum, a virtual resource containing primary documents, educational materials, and exhibits.

The film and video that comprises the bulk of the Straight Ahead Pictures collection was collected, used, and produced by the company in its productions. The collection also contains several linear feet of research materials, publications, and ephemera including newsletters and publications from disability rights organizations, historical ephemera, and magazines centered on the concepts of fitness and health.

Gift of Laurie Block

Subjects

Biological fitnessDisabilitiesDocumentary filmsPeople with disabilities--Civil rights

Contributors

Block, Laurie

Types of material

Motion pictures (visual works)Video recordings (physical artifacts)