Archive Researchers

Featuring: Mauro Tonini, Venice


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How did you become an archive researcher, and what excites you about being a researcher in Italy?

I started working in this field when I went to Rome to work with a well-known production company, GA&A. I had just graduated with History of Art at that time, and did not have an exact idea of what I wanted to become. I just loved documentaries, art, and old footage, and had some experience in photography and shooting. At the beginning I just did everything people needed during the production of their documentaries, and it was a very good school in the professional production industry! Then they worked on a project co-produced by the History Channel regarding the history of Trieste, the city where I had lived before. The producer asked me to research footage of the beginning of the XXth century, and it was so exciting. I discovered an amazing underground world of amateurs, collectors, restorers, and some unknown, wonderful footage lost in the background of the regional archives. I came back to Rome with this material, and the producer said, “That’s what you are, a researcher,” and I agreed.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Laura Tusi, Buenos Aires


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How did you become an archival researcher?

I’ve always loved movies and watched too much TV as a kid. I took film studies and joined research groups in film history, both academic and independent. That’s how I became aware about archives and preservation. At the same time, I have always wanted to make movies. The discovery of a Metropolis print in Buenos Aires Film Museum and making a documentary about it made me realize that I wanted to do research for documentary productions, that way I could put my two passions together.   (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Mahawish Rezvi, Karachi


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You’ve worked in both the U.S. and Pakistan. Do archival repositories, licensing, and research procedures differ for you in Pakistan versus in the U.S.?

Working in both these countries has been an invaluable experience. While working in the United States one really learns to work within the confines of the laws and rules, meaning licensing and copyright laws are strictly enforced. This is not the case in Pakistan, one gets away with a lot more, the flip side being it is harder to get archival material. Pakistan went through a television news revolution in the early 2000s now as these organizations come of age they have accumulated a sizable archive and are now trying to figure out policies and rates according to demand.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Shimaa Elsawaby, Cairo


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You are the only ‘Archival Producer’ in Egypt. How did you come to work in that role?

When I was studying in the field of Communications, I looked for training in Non-governmental Media. A company called, “Video Cairo sat,” accepted me. It is the best and oldest private media in Egypt. VCS has a big archive library, and the owner of it, Mr. Mohamed Gohar knows the value of archives and taught me that very well. I was the Archive Librarian there. In 2005, I started a new job with the first private Arab news agency, “ANA” in Egypt. I setup the ANA archive library. Then in 2007, I began work as an archive researcher and set up many archive libraries for companies. I worked for the Al Jazeera offices in Egypt to establish their archive library from 2008 until 2013.  (more…)

Archive Researchers

Featuring: Tamsyn van Gelderen, Johannesburg


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You have degrees in journalism and animal management. How did you combine your passions for these subjects with your career of media production and archival research?

I got into journalism purely because I liked writing, was good at it and because I didn’t make the grades required for vet school (becoming a vet was a dream from the age of four). I decided to go for my Animal Science degree in a fit of pique (and terror as I had just turned 40!) when I broke up with a boyfriend. While I was busy with that, I decided I wanted to work for National Geographic and combine my writing skills with my passion for animals. Fortunately, I found work with a film company (Aquavision TV Productions) in South Africa that allowed me to do just that. (more…)