30 Oct 2017 – We made it! Shout it from the levee, and put it up on the marquee. The Institute for Cinema Ephemera is one year old. The nonprofit that is preserving our cultural heritage in movie posters and paper has surpassed all expectations.
Our goal was to collect around 10,000 items this year. Instead, we have more than 300,000. Posters, lobby cards, stills, and press books arrived from all over the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan. That meant finding space and quickly devising systems to handle shipments that ranged from a single box to more than one hundred cartons.
A beautiful surprise is that we have over 20,000 color slides that look like new, even though some are more than 50 years old.
What’s next? We will soon release a list of 2,500 film titles in the Permanent Collection. Only a fraction of the collection has been catalogued, and about 1,000 titles are being added each month. A title may have one poster or dozens of items in different categories.
With a collection this size, there are bound to be duplicates. In addition to the Permanent Collection, we created the Lagniappe Collection. In our home base of New Orleans, Lagniappe means “a little extra”. We enlisted Heritage Auctions to make these surplus gems available to the public. More about that as additional vendors come online in the next few months.
Cataloguing and digitizing a collection this size is daunting. A permanent research center and gallery are in our future, along with collaborations with institutions that share our passion for preservation. A grant for our first exhibit is in the works.
Our advisors have been invaluable in so many ways. our consulting archivists Ed and Susan Poole, founders of LearnAboutMoviePosters.com (LAMP) are the heart and soul of the Institute. I can’t name everyone, but must thank Morris Everett, Jr. (the Everett Collection) and Morris Kahn (NOLADefender.com) for their guidance and support.
If you would like to help, donate, or learn more about the Institute, please visit www.CinemaEphemera.org.
We’re off to a great start—and it’s only getting better!