Filmic find from the archives to be shown Monday

Posted April 7th, 2009 at 2:04 pm.

May Day 1972. Photo by Katrina Thomas, courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections.

May Day 1972. Photo by Katrina Thomas, courtesy of Bryn Mawr College Library.

Next Monday, April 13, the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library will sponsor the world premiere of a film that was completed 37 years ago but never released. Eight of the film’s subjects— Bryn Mawr professors  who were interviewed on campus in the spring of 1972—will attend the screening and an informal conversation to follow, in Wyndham House’s Ely Room from 7 to 9 p.m.

Photographer and documentarian Katrina Thomas ’49 made the film, which is titled “What Makes a College” after a history of Bryn Mawr published by Cornelia Meigs in 1956. Thomas will be on hand for the screening, along with Professors Frank Mallory and Bob Washington and Emeritus Professors Bill Crawford, Weecha Crawford, Barbara Miller Lane, Nick Patruno, Judy Porter, and Brunilde Ridgway.

Bryn Mawr CIO Elliott Shore, who is also the Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries and Professor of History, found the footage in the College’s archives while researching the syllabus for a course on the history of the College that he is teaching this spring.

According to Shore, none of the people who appear in it ever saw the film. “They don’t even remember being interviewed,” he says. Thomas herself “had forgotten all about it” until Shore recovered it. “She thinks it was commissioned for a capital campaign.”

Shot in what Shore calls “luminous 16mm black-and-white,” the fully edited and finished 40-minute film features “interviews, classroom and outdoor scenes,” and “captures the thinking of faculty and administrators about the College.”

The screening is free and open to the public.

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