An ARC Update .….
by Martha and Sol Sigall, Vice President, Archives
OUR “ARC” IS UP AND RUNNING!
While it continues to make progress, we are now open to our members and the community on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1pm to 3pm, and also by appointment. So, please come by.
April’s CCHS General Meeting featured Leith Adams, Chief Archivist at the Warner Bros. Museum, as our guest speaker. His presentation on “The Art of Archiving” was so very interesting and informative.
Leith spoke of being a “bone collector” – collecting everything while trying to throw the “crap” away! And it’s not always easy to know what historians and archivists may need in the future, though he tries to reassess the collection every 5 years.
Leith first came in contact with the Warner Bros. “documented” history while attending USC where he was hired in the cataloging of the WB Collection (documents & photos). The collection was donated to the School of Cinema-Television at USC in 1977.
While he personally collects movie posters, the Warner Bros. collection he oversees includes all kinds of memorabilia, including movie sets, marketing programs, written and acting scripts, and other ancillary items relating to all the arts of filmmaking.
The archives are meant to bring the process of making a film and the people involved to life for today’s audiences. He cited such items as letters from Ronald Reagan and Bette Davis to Jack Warner as wonderful “stories” of their times.
After a lively question-and-answer session, the ARC was opened for all in attendance to visit – and we received many positive comments.
Our Historical Society observed Historical Preservation Month early in May with a festive event that took place at the Culver Hotel and in the suite that was once Harry Culver’s office. Many Culver residents attended the May 2nd event.
One of those people was Mike Castleman who brought his young son, Logan, who showed so much interest in our Historical Society and asked questions of all of us. When he went back to school and Linwood Howe Elementary, he reported what he had learned to his third-grade teacher, Coco Kita. She, in turn, told the other three third grade teachers what she had learned from Logan. All the teachers thought it would be fitting to arrange a field trip to our ARC. Stuart Freeman, our President, and Julie Lugo Cerra, our Historian offered to arrange it as soon as possible.
Each class was divided in half. One group game into the ARC for a Power Point presentation by Julie which showed the history of Culver City. Meanwhile, the other group was taken on a tour led by Stu Freeman, Carol Gustin, and Cathy Zermeno of the Veteran’s Building and historic markers surrounding it. Then, both groups changed places.
Having students and community people visit makes our ARC so worthwhile. It is our aim and hope to have more events like these on a continuing basis.
RESEARCH & CATALOGING CONTINUES
Costumes Chair Louis Coffey-Webb and her intern Karen Contreras having been working tirelessly, readying the exhibit of the costumes we have. With the assistance of film historian and CCHS member Marc Wanamaker, they have made wonderful progress in identifying the “what/who/when” of these vintage treasures.
Even though our ARC is currently a work-in-progress, we feel we are taking positive strides forward. We are especially grateful for all of the help we have received from the City of Culver City. The ARC is definitely becoming the pride of the City!