This past summer, UNL alumna Staci Hogsett became a Collections Services Assistant at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, one of the most renowned visual arts archives in the nation.
In her very first film studies class at UNL, she listened as Professor Wheeler Winston Dixon spoke of the possibility of finding missing scenes from Fritz Lang's pioneering science-fiction epic, Metropolis, and the prospect of recovering pieces of film history is what eventually led her to pursue a career in film archiving.
Staci graduated from UNL with a B.A. in English and Film Studies in May 2011, and went on to volunteer with the Nebraska State Historical Society. There, she worked with ephemeral or sponsored films and home movies, and spent much of her time caring for the collection by clearning, repairing, and creating more detailed records for items. She soon began applying for graduate schools, and in 2013 moved to Los Angeles to pursue a master's degree in Moving Image Archive Studies at UCLA. "During my time there I had the opportunity to intern at places such as Western Costume Company, where I worked with their costume archive, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Film Archive, where I helped to inventory home movies that were on deposit from the Japanese American National Museum," she writes.
Her work with the UCLA Film & Television Archive began with a work-study position in the publicity department, which she held for two years while working towards her M.A. She eventually secured an internship at the Archive, where she helped inventory new acquisitions. She received her M.A. in June 2015, and thanks to her hard work at the Archive, she joined the Collections department as a staff member one month later.
The UCLA Film & Television Archive was founded in the late 1960s as a joint venture between the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the UCLA Theater Arts Department. As the years passed, donations and acquisitions flooded in from film and television studios such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. In 1977, the preservation and restoration program began, and the archive began working expanded its campus programs to screen films for the public, and finally, in 2002, the Archive established the UCLA Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS) graduate degree program from which Staci graduated. The program allows students to gain firsthand experience in preservation, restoration, programming, cataloging, collections processing, and other duties required of archive staff.
For more information about the ongoing work of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, visit the archive's website. English and Film Studies students interested in volunteer opportunities like the Nebraskas Historical Society, internships in their field, or graduate programs like UCLA's Moving Image Archive Studies program can schedule a meeting with their advisor to explore their options and plan a course of study.