My research interests focus on how audiovisual materials are integrated into, accessed, and preserved as part of our larger cultural heritage. I currently manage the graduate degree program in audiovisual archiving and preservation in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA, where I also teach courses in preservation and archival administration.
In 2002, I helped launch the annual international Home Movie Day event with my colleagues Brian Graney, Chad Hunter, Dwight Swanson, and Katie Trainor. Over a decade later, Home Movie Day is perhaps the world’s largest ongoing film preservation, education, and outreach event. We have helped thousands of individuals and families identify, assess, care for — and most importantly, see — their films as family heirlooms and as an important part of a shared cultural and historical record. In 2003, we also founded the nonprofit Center for Home Movies, which promotes understanding of and interdisciplinary research and scholarship related to amateur media. (I discussed the history of this organization as part of a keynote speech for the New England Archivists’ annual meeting in 2012; you can view that speech in its entirety here.)
While working on my PhD in Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin, I began to explore the increasingly pivotal role of audiovisual recordings in the criminal justice system. The resulting research project included nine months of fieldwork with the Major Crimes Unit of a central Texas law enforcement agency; I also received basic certification from the Texas Association of Property and Evidence Inventory Technicians (TAPEIT) in 2007. My forthcoming dissertation, Keeping the Pieces: Evidence management and archival practice in law enforcement, addresses the property room as a type of archive, and examines how audiovisual recordings and file-based media are managed alongside material evidence in law enforcement organizations. That work has led into additional research projects related to the creation, management, and preservation of audiovisual evidence, including an IMLS-funded National Forum on data management needs arising from large-scale video recording programs such as police body-worn cameras.
I have previously held positions as an archivist and information professional at several outstanding institutions, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Academy Film Archive, and the Japanese American National Museum, and have consulted frequently on media preservation and collection administration issues with many other collections in the U.S. and abroad. For full details, please see my c.v.
In addition to my work as an academic, I am also an avid knitter and hold RYT200 certification from Yoga Alliance.