Preserving History and Making it Accessible

Author: Henninger Media Services | | Categories: Archiving , Documentaries , Film Scanning , Post Production Facility , Video Post Production

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The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) collects, preserves and shares the history of business and industry throughout Baltimore and Maryland. The Museum’s archives provide valuable insight into the broad scope of the local industrial and business community over time.  Included in the Museum’s holdings were a number of film assets that hadn’t been evaluated in a long time.  The BMI team turned to Henninger Media Services to help organize, screen and transfer these materials, ultimately making them more accessible.

We asked Matthew Shirko, an Archivist with the Baltimore Museum of Industry, to tell us why he chose to work with us on this project.

Why did BMI select Henninger Media Services to complete this archiving project?

In addition to the company’s impressive portfolio of past projects and previous clients, we went with Henninger because of the professionalism and flexibility they offered.  Throughout the project, the team at Henninger has remained accessible and transparent, communicating issues and status along the way, and presenting flexible options targeted specifically to our intended audience and project goals. From the start, it has felt like a true "team effort” thanks to the engaged and enthusiastic involvement of Henninger's staff. From an archival perspective, Henninger’s facilities and the level of care shown for our historic film footage were big selling points.

What gave BMI confidence that selecting Henninger Media for this archiving project was the right choice?

Henninger’s flexibility and professionalism were big confidence boosters. Not many vendors have the professional film transfer set-up and client-focused relationships that Henninger has. Knowing that our archival film would be safe and secure was super reassuring, but the real gain came from the flexibility to "figure things out" as we go. We had almost no information about these film reels, most of which hadn't even been touched in 25 years, let alone viewed. Henninger came up with solutions for addressing unlabeled or out of shape film, and also brainstormed with our team on how to best provide preview/low-res clips for researchers. The ability of the Henninger team to embrace the project and "make it their own" has been super helpful, especially considering the BMI staff hours we can dedicate to this project are very limited. Having input from the experts has been truly beneficial and has streamlined the project considerably. 

Would you share an example of a favorite or particularly memorable experience you’ve had during this project?

Having always wanted to work in radio or TV production and having a special interest in archival film, video, and audio preservation, the most memorable part of the partnership so far, for me, has been getting to tour Henninger! The facility is very cool, super modern, and a lot of fun. More broadly speaking, the museum staff in general was taken aback when we viewed our first few minutes of digitized film footage from the 1950s. A huge milestone and a long time coming! Finally, this film can be used for something more than just taking up space! 

Would you recommend Henninger Media Services?

Of course! We have already started planning additional projects, dependent on future grant funding, based on the ease and success of this project. Henninger will be our go-to partner for any and all audiovisual needs that can't be handled in-house, and we will continue to recommend Henninger to independent researchers that we work with as well. 

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Henninger has been a leader in providing Film Scanning Services for over 25 years.  We can transfer 8mm, Super 8mm, 16mm, Super 16mm or 35mm film to digital file formats, DVD, Blu-ray or other tape formats as requested. Please contact us if you have questions about starting an archiving project.