This blog post was written by MARMIA’s 2021 Remote Summer Intern from Ryerson University, Iris Robinson (pictured below). Iris lives in Canada and has been remotely spending this May-August working on making our WJZ-TV Collection and our home movie collections more accessible. We are thrilled to have Iris join the MARMIA Team for the summer and can’t wait to see where her research and work continues!

Hello! My name is Iris Robinson and I am currently completing a remote summer internship at MARMIA. I presently live in Toronto, Ontario where I am working towards a MA from Ryerson University in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program. My academic research and professional interests in the moving image archive field surround community and regional archives, with an emphasis on amateur projects and home movies. Further, I am interested in home movies that foreground issues of gentrification, access to urban space, and neighbourhood histories. Since relocating to Toronto three years ago, I have witnessed widespread disruption of community and neighbourhood histories due to rapid condominium and urban ‘revitalization’ projects. In my research of these spaces, I saw that local amateur projects and home movies are often important artifacts for the preservation of these rapidly disappearing histories. As such, I am primarily interested in the ways that amateur projects and home movies are catalogued, described, and preserved in relation to relevant community-based archival practices and interests. 

At MARMIA, I have been working primarily with the WJZ-TV Collection and the home movies collections. Much of my work so far has been data entry; generating Excel spreadsheets for the Evening Magazine and Unidentified Footage series descriptions and uploading this information into ArchivesSpace. Now that I have become acquainted with this platform, I am working with MARMIA CEO Siobhan Hagan and Board Member Megan McShea to develop a plan for describing MARMIA’s home movie collections to upload to the organization’s ArchivesSpace page in order to make them more accessible.