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Meet the Packard Campus Institute

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The following is a guest post from Carla Arton, a Processing Technician in the Recorded Sound Section.

Here at the Packard Campus of the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, we not only pride ourselves on providing excellent reference and preservation services for our collections, our staff also actively participates in ongoing professional development.


In addition to participation in conferences, training and audiovisual preservation activities around the nation and the world, we also provide internal opportunities to share staff expertise and institutional knowledge through the Packard Campus Institute (PCI) which was initially begun by Film Lab staff in 2012. PCI, which is spearheaded by Film Lab Preservation Specialist Brian Allan, is now comprised of and open to all NAVCC staff. We provide an ongoing lecture series, training workshops and a professional reading group with the mission of promoting and fostering excellence in the pursuit of knowledge and in the practice of preserving and archiving audiovisual materials.

Through our activities, we aim to

  • foster best practices in our fields by hosting continuing educational opportunities and maintaining a record of educational events and programs, and
  • promote the pursuit of knowledge in our field by providing multiple platforms for information sharing and substantive discussion, such as our onsite programming, workflow documentation recordings, and a professional literature reading group.
National Preservation Recording Plan (2012)

Our lecture series has included “A Closer Look at Paper Print Preservation” (presented by former NAVCC Chief Patrick Loughney, Moving Image Processing Technician Alexis Ainsworth, and Film Lab Preservation Specialist Carol Galbraith), “Digital Cinema” and “Digital Imaging 101” (both by Video Lab Supervisor Paul Klamer), “The Vision of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center” (NAVCC Chief Gregory Lukow), “The Remastering of Good Mornin’ Blues” (1976) (Film Lab Datacine Operator Patrick Kennedy), and “The National Jukebox” (Recorded Sound Section Head Gene DeAnna). Each lecture has been video recorded and edited by PCI members with the intention of sharing it with the wider public. We hope to start posting some of these presentations to “Now See Hear!” in the near future.

Our workshops have included “Nitrate Preservation: The Fundamentals of Black and White Chemistry” (presented by various Film Lab staff),” Densitometry & Sensitometry” (Film Lab staff) and “An Introduction to Magnetic Audio Tape” (Audio Lab Transfer Operators Brian Pinke and Benjamin Harry).

The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929 (2013)


PCI also hosts a professional literature reading group, which meets monthly to discuss select articles, chapters and reports published within the audiovisual archiving and library communities. Past topics have been “Audiovisual Preservation,” where we discussed what preservation means to our community and to each of us in our daily activities**, “A Historical Look at Audiovisual Copyright,” and “Arranging and Describing Content.” Additionally, we’ve had staff specialists facilitate discussions on “Recorded Sound Appraisal” (Recorded Sound Curator Matt Barton), “Preserving Virtual Worlds” (Moving Image Processing Technician Dave Gibson), and “The Ethics Surrounding Access to Sensitive Materials” (Kate Pourshariati, Project Film Archivist for the Mead/South Pacific Ethnographic Archives).

Our reading for July and August is the 2013 Library of Congress and Council on Library and Information Resources publication The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929 by David Pierce.

We look forward to sharing more of our future activities with you on “Now See Hear!”

** Readings included sections of the National Recording Preservation Plan, articles from The American Archivist and The Moving Image journals, and a chapter from Karen F. Gracy’s 2007 book Film Preservation: Competing Definitions of Value, Use, and Practice.

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