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Carmichael films to be preserved

Hoagy Carmichael

July 28, 2014


Working in collaboration with the Archives of Traditional Music, the IU Film Archive has been awarded a National Film Preservation Foundation grant to restore two home movie films that document Hoagy Carmichael's family and social life in 1937 and 1938, just after he moved to California. The films are part of the larger Hoagy Carmichael Collection at ATM which includes over 750 sound recordings that feature Hoagy Carmichael as a composer or performer. The recordings, dating from the 1920s-1970s, include commercial discs and non-commercial field recordings on disc, wire, cassette, and reel to reel tape. The field recordings include test pressings, interviews, and Carmichael's performances at informal gatherings. In total there are more than 3,500 paper, film, artifacts, and recordings as part of the Hoagy Carmichael Collection at ATM.

The original home movies, made using Kodachrome color film, are too fragile to project and the early Kodachrome color has faded, losing its original vibrancy. “The $12,500 grant will enable preservation experts at Colorlab, a motion picture lab in Maryland, to digitally restore lost color and create new film prints, returning these important artifacts of 20th century pop-culture to something closer to what the Carmichaels would have seen in 1938,” said Rachael Stoeltje, head of the Moving Image Archive.

The new restoration prints will allow for their public screenings in cinemas for the first time ever. Once the restoration is complete, expected to be in 2016, IU Cinema will screen the home movies as part of a five-year celebration of Hoagy Carmichael's life, music and films. To learn more about this grant award, visit the IU News release.