Pearl Bowser

When Pearl Bowser, an award-winning author, filmmaker, archivist, and educator, donated a selection of her works to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in 2012, it became one of the Museum’s first media collections. In this Exchange, Ina Archer, a member of the Museum’s Media Conservation and Digitization team will discuss how the collection helped to establish the Museum and the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts’ (CAAMA) preservation priorities, archival and digitization workflows, and cataloging standards. Additionally, the team will demonstrate how the collection provided diverse content for programming and research by showing some of their favorite examples from the collection—The Guest, a short horror narrative Bowser co-directed, excerpts from Bedford Stuyvesant Youth in Action home movies, and other films in the collection that focus on various New York City neighborhoods and their communities.

Bowser embodies the importance of archiving the work of African American image-makers. Her materials have been added to the Smithsonian Institution’s Collections Search Center, as well as to a new, publicly accessible video player that NMAAHC initiated and developed in collaboration with other Smithsonian Institution digital units. Since its development, the video player has been adopted across the Smithsonian. Ultimately, this Exchange hopes to demonstrate that by putting her collection in action once again, Bowser sustains her historical support of media preservation efforts and of black independent filmmaking.

This Exchange includes: 

Presenter: Ina Archer

This is a free event. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required.