September 2011, Volume 15, Number 4

Features

Moving Image Archives Move Into 21st Century

MDC's Moving Image Archives
MDC's Moving Image Archives
MDC's Moving Image Archives

Moving the preservation of moving pictures significantly forward, the Wolfson family recently donated more than $2 million to expedite the digitization of tapes and films contained in the renowned Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives at MDC.

“We are deeply grateful to Lynn Wolfson and the Wolfson family for this gift,” said René Ramos, MDC archives director. “Thanks to their generosity, we will have the necessary tools and staff to make the entirety of this collection accessible to the public much sooner than we ever imagined possible.”

The Wolfson family, the most generous benefactor throughout the College’s five-decade history, first donated this historic collection to MDC in 2009. By next year, the archives will be housed at the state-of-the-art Student Support Center, which is currently under construction at MDC’s Wolfson Campus.

In 1984, Lynn Wolfson, WTVJ news anchor Ralph Renick and historian Arva Moore Parks founded the Moving Image Archives. 

Collaborative Effort

The Wolfson Archives, named in honor of Lynn and her late husband, Louis Wolfson II, were created under the joint sponsorship of Miami Dade College, the Miami-Dade Public Library System and the University of Miami.

As senior vice president, Louis Wolfson II presided over the television and cable division of Wometco Enterprises prior to its sale in 1983. All the original footage in the Moving Image Archives was contributed by WTVJ, the flagship of Wometco Enterprises.

The Archives have been collecting, preserving and making accessible film and video created in or about Florida, beginning with an initial contribution by Renick, who was a pioneer in broadcast journalism. 

A Century of History

The Wolfson Archives encompass more than nine decades of Florida’s history. Currently, more than 22.8 million feet of film and 35,000 hours of videotape in the collection need digitizing.

“Preserving this history before tapes and films deteriorate is a top priority for our family,” Lynn Wolfson said. “We are pleased to make this donation to Miami Dade College, which is working to make the Archives available to students and the public at large.

“We know the collection is in good hands at Miami Dade College.”

— WV


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