Archivists Discuss WWI Film at the Leverett Memorial Lecture

The Department of History and Politics hosted its annual Leverett Memorial lecture on November 7. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War on November 11, 1918, Criss Austin and Carol Swain of the National Archives treated faculty and students to a discussion on “Preserving and Making WWI Films at the National Archives.” Around fifty students and faculty attended the lecture, during which the speakers showed restored films of US troop activities recorded by the US Army Signal Corps from 1917-1918. The United States joined the conflict in 1917, at which point combatants had been fighting across the globe for three years.

Criss Austin is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab at the National Archives. Over the course of the last decade she has overseen preservation and digital restoration projects including Nine From Little Rock, A Year Toward Tomorrow, With the Marines at Tarawa, The Negro Soldier, Let There Be Light, and The March. She recently completed digital preservation of William Wyler’s outtakes from The Memphis Belle: Story of a Flying Fortress.

Carol Swain is an archivist with National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Special Media Division and currently works on digitization and access projects. She has also served as a reference archivist for NARA’s Motion Picture branch. She received her Bachelor of Science in Film and Video from Boston University’s College of Communication, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in New York.
The annual Leverett Memorial lecture commemorates beloved colleague Rhett Leverett, who taught at Marymount for over 20 years and tragically passed away in 2012.