Preservation and Access: Common Heritage

Period of Performance

1/1/2016 - 6/1/2017

Funding Totals

$11,840.00 (approved)
$11,535.67 (awarded)

Spotlight on North Texas

FAIN: PY-234324-16

University of North Texas (Denton, TX 76203-5017)
Laura Jean Treat (Project Director: June 2015 to August 2017)

A one-day digitization event to preserve moving-image-related resources related to the history of Denton, Texas, which was a vibrant commercial and amateur film community in the early to mid-20th century. Free, online access to the digitized material would be available via the Portal to Texas History. Public programming at venues across the state would be developed in collaboration with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI). Through public screenings and discussion events, an exhibit on Texas media history, and the Web portal, the project would contextualize the historical materials and prompt audiences to consider the cultural importance of historical preservation, with a special emphasis on home movies and commercial films.

The University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries seek $11,840 to provide access to the rich visual histories of Denton, Texas.  This project will support the digitization of community materials related to the motion picture history of Denton, TX including 40,000 feet of film, 300 hours or videotape, and 1,000 documents. The project will support access and education by providing unrestricted online access to digitized content and public programming that will situate Denton with Texas’s film history.  Denton has a long but unexplored history of commercial and amateur film production dating to 1913 when the city funded a film about their town, Denton: City of Education.  Unfortunately, this history has not been preserved or collected.  By focusing on materials related to our filmic past – home movies, amateur film, advertisements, posters, and photographs – we will illuminate the value of locally created records and redefine how small towns like Denton contributed to film history.

Media Coverage

NEH Grant Supports "Spotlight on North Texas" Program (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Laura Treat
Publication: Southwestern Archivist
Date: 2/1/2016
Abstract: This article introduces the "Spotlight on North Texas" program made possible by the NEH Common Heritage program to the Society of Southwest Archivists.

The University of North Texas Library Invites Denton County Residents to be Part of Film History. (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Laura Treat
Publication: Retrospect
Date: 3/18/2016
Abstract: This article promotes the Spotlight on North Texas community digitization event to be held on April 30, 2016.

Denton film archivist's find leads to grant (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Philip Townsend
Publication: WFAA8 ABC
Date: 5/3/2016
Abstract: WFAA reporter Philip Townsend came to UNT to interview project director Laura Treat about "Spotlight on North Texas."

UNT Library Converting HOme Movies to Digital for Free Saturday (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Brian Scott
Publication: NBCDFW Channel 5
Date: 4/29/2016
Abstract: Reporter Brian Scott came to the UNT Media Library to interview project director Laura Treat about "Spotlight on North Texas."