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Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mike Mashon: Making Bart Simpson immortal

Library of Congress part of IUB Libraries' celebration of archives and special collections

Oct. 16, 2007

Pearl White

Pearl White, being pulled from a manhole, starred in 224 films from 1910 to 1924, including 15 episodes from the popular silent series "The Perils of Pauline." IU transferred nine of her episodic adventures from film to DVD. These episodes, once presumed lost, are part of the rich collection of rare films now available to scholars nationwide.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Mike Mashon, one of the country's foremost film experts and curator at the Motion Picture Division of the Library of Congress, will give a presentation, "Making Bart Simpson Immortal: Moving Image Preservation at the Library of Congress," on Oct. 24 (Wednesday), at 4:30 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the Slocum Room at the Lilly Library at Indiana University Bloomington. Mashon will discuss film preservation, archiving and the new National Audiovisual Center opened this year by the Library of Congress.

Mashon, who before joining the Library of Congress in 1998 was curator of the Library of American Broadcasting in College Park, Md., is appearing as part of IU Bloomington Libraries' "Reel Images: Film in Teaching and Research." In his current position, Mashon is responsible for acquisitions, establishing preservation priorities, external loans and coordinating programs in the Mary Pickford Theater.

Also part of the "Reel Images" lineup, a month-long celebration of archives and special collections, is David Francis, a renowned and widely respected expert on moving-images archives. He will speak on Oct. 30 (Tuesday) at 4:30 p.m. at the Lilly Library to conclude the month of events. A champion of audiovisual conservation for more than four decades, Francis has served as curator of the British Film Institute National and Sound Archive and chief of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Francis was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to film archiving.

This is IU Bloomington Libraries' second such celebration, and it includes a series of presentations, panel discussions, lectures, film screenings and workshops. This year's activities, which run through October, highlight the importance of films and film-related collections to teaching and research. The celebration opened on Oct. 3 with keynote speaker Julie Dash, the filmmaker of the movie The Rosa Parks Story.

Indiana University is well known for its film collections, including that of the renowned late filmmaker David S. Bradley. Bequeathed to the Lilly Library in 1997, the Bradley Film Collection represents one of the most comprehensive private collections of films ever assembled. From American masterpieces to French avant-garde, the 3,200 films in the collection are complemented by manuscripts, books and periodicals devoted to Bradley's life and work as a film historian. Other noteworthy IU collections are the papers of noted filmmakers including John Ford, Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, along with materials including film and television scripts and press kits.

Go to for more information on "Reel Images: Film in Teaching and Research."