USC Digital Repository to Preserve Half-Century of Oscar Telecasts

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The University of Southern California Digital Repository, in partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy), will manage and preserve a 320-terabyte collection of audiovisual materials created by the Academy over the last 50 years.

The Academy collection covers thousands of hours of video footage documenting the Academy Awards® ceremony, and other programs and events that comprise the institutional history of the Academy. The collection also includes the Academy Film Archive’s digital restoration elements of film preservation projects. Highlights of recent digital restorations include feature films such as The Life and Death of Colonel BlimpThe Big Country and Rashomon, as well as numerous animated films, documentaries and silent era shorts.

“From so many perspectives—the business of entertainment, cinema craft and technology, the history of the Academy itself—these collections are vital cultural materials,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “USC is uniquely suited to preserve these collections that document the vast impact of the Academy in so many cultural, commercial and historical arenas.”

The Academy began collecting materials that document cinema history shortly after its founding in 1927. The Academy Film Archive—established in 1991 to support film preservation and restoration as well as the study of motion pictures—is now home to one of the world’s most extensive film collections. The archive includes the personal collections of classic auteurs such as Alfred Hitchcock and Sam Peckinpah alongside those of contemporary filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch.

“Preserving the history of cinema in all its forms always has been a prime concern of the Academy,” said Michael Pogorzelski, director of the Academy Film Archive. “That history lives in film reels, movie posters, lobby cards—and now, digital files. We need to preserve our digital history alongside our celluloid heritage for the next century and beyond. That’s what this project with USC is all about.”

“To preserve a collection of this depth and breadth demands technical expertise and infrastructure that matches the significance of the materials,” said Sam Gustman, executive director of the USC Digital Repository. “I’m thrilled that the USC Digital Repository’s digitization, preservation and access systems will manage these materials for the Academy.”

The USC Digital Repository is a collaboration among the USC Libraries, USC Shoah Foundation and USC Information Technology Services. This venture brings together several of the university’s unique strengths—particularly materials cataloging and metadata creation, high-performance networking, and digital-preservation infrastructure—to provide advanced repository services for private-sector, academic and not-for-profit partners.

Available for Comment
Sam Gustman
Executive Director, USC Digital Repository
Associate Dean, USC Libraries
Chief Technology Officer, USC Shoah Foundation

USC Libraries
Hugh McHarg
Associate Dean for Planning and Communication
(213) 740-1405