Archives Month is over! While we loved sharing stories from people who’ve influenced their communities, we really wanted to hear people’s thoughts about our archives. We got a great response from our month-long survey; many thanks to everyone who participated! The answers we received from you helps us to understand what you’re interested in. Hopefully, we can address your questions so we can help you can understand us (and what we can provide) too.
Thanks for your questions! Here are our answers:
Can you put all of VC’s content online for people to see? Can I subscribe to access the archives online?
Unfortunately, we cannot put all of VC’s content online. Several reasons exist for this. The cost of digitization and storage is prohibitive. Digitization takes a long time (just think about how long it takes to scan a photo, then multiply that to 300,000 photos at high resolution, which takes even longer). We don’t have the funds, or the staff, to do this. Our small online content is material we’ve carefully selected that we think is particularly interesting to people, and we hope to put more online in the future. We do not have subscription services.
How does one gain access to the archives? Can I use the archives for academic research? Can I bring my class or group to visit?
If you’re interested in viewing the archives, for any reason, including academic research or just because, just email us. We just need to schedule an appointment. We can discuss class and group visits!
I don’t live in the LA area. How can I take advantage of the archives?
Many people who use our archival materials live all over the country. We work with people over email frequently, and in some cases, they get proxy researchers to visit us on site if needed– just email us!
Do you have films for me to view? How do I borrow DVDs of films featured in previous Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festivals?
We have lots of films for you to view– including VC productions as well as films from previous LA Asian Pacific Film Festivals. Unfortunately, we don’t have the capabilities to allow people to borrow them. If you want to view films, you can do so at our office.
Can you tell me how to convert old formats to newer formats?
Yes! Lots of resources exist online that can help you understand many types of materials (paper, video, digital, etc.) but not all up to archival standards. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your materials.
Can I access the archives on the weekend?
We’re closed on the weekends. Sorry!
Second, is there an index of archives across the country that collect Asian American community assets?
A specific index of archives that collect Asian American community assets doesn’t exist (that’s very specific!) but you can check ArchiveGrid, which is a nationwide directory of archives. You can also check more narrow indexes like the Online Archive of California, which lists collections in California repositories. Plug in any terms and collections with those matching terms will come up. Happy Hunting!
Is Historypin a site for APIAs in California/LA only or is it nationwide? Does it include information on adopted Asian Americans?
Historypin is a user-generated, online portal of photo collections that’s based in England, so it’s worldwide! Institutions and individuals from all over the world have channels on Historypin. It does not have information on adoptees.
Many people requested workshops related to filmmaking (directing, screenwriting, editing, etc.). We regularly hold workshops for filmmakers. For more information, please check our website. You can also contact our Director of Artist Services, Milton Liu, for more questions.
As for archives-related workshops, we’ve held some on digital asset management and photo preservation. We wanted to host one on how to manage personal collections, but unfortunately did not have enough people sign up. We’d hold more workshops if the interest was there. We don’t host online workshops, but many already exist!