Association of Moving Image Archivists

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Association of Moving Image Archivists
Association of Moving Image Archivists logo.svg
Abbreviation AMIA
Formation 1990
Type 501(c)(3)
Legal status Articles of Association
Purpose Professional Body
Headquarters Los Angeles
Region served
1,017 (as of Nov, 2015)
Official language
US English
Andrea Kalas
Main organ
Board of Directors
200 approx.

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established to advance the field of moving image archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials.


Since the late 1960s, representatives from moving image archives have recognized the value of regular meetings to exchange practical information and experiences.[1]Over the years, this group of archivists originally known as the Film and Television Archives Advisory Committee (F/TAAC) expanded from a handful of participants to several hundred archivists from over 100 national, regional and local institutions. In 1990, the name of the group was changed to the Association of Moving Image Archivists. In 1991, AMIA voted to formalize as an individual-based member-based professional association, the only one of its kind in the moving image archival field. Although AMIA's office is based in the US, its membership is now drawn from across the world. Further information on the origins and history of AMIA can be found here.[2]


Membership is open to anyone who has an interest in the preservation of moving images and associated sound recordings: in practice, most of the membership are professional archivists (both public sector and commercial) and people working in associated professions, e.g. librarianship, the film and television industry or academics in related fields. AMIA offers both individual and institutional membership.

Governing structure[edit]

AMIA is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected by the membership on a two-year cycle, and chaired by a president. The Board oversees and ratifies the work of the sub-groups through which the work of the organization is undertaken. The last significant changes to the governing structure were undertaken in 2009, when the present structure of committees and task forces was introduced.

Current President[edit]

  • 2016-2017: Andrea Kalas

Former Presidents[edit]

  • 2012-2015: Caroline Frick
  • 2009-2011: Wendy Shay
  • 2005-2009: Janice L. Simpson
  • 2003-2005: Milt Shefter
  • 1999-2003: Sam Kula
  • 1997-1999: Linda Tadic
  • 1996-1997: Andrea Kalas
  • 1995-1996: Maxine Fleckner Ducey
  • 1994-1995: Eddie Richmond
  • 1993-1994: Ernest Dick
  • 1992-1993: Chris Horak
  • 1991-1992: Bill Murphy

Committees and Task Forces[edit]

AMIA is a volunteer based organization and projects rely on work done by its members in Committees and Task Forces. More information about AMIA's Committees can be found here.

  • Committees of the Board carry out the core management and policymaking functions of AMIA, e.g. running elections and organizing the conference. Chairs are appointed directly by the Board of Directors, and although their members are volunteers drawn from within the wider AMIA membership, the rosters of Committees of the Board have to be approved by the Board.
  • Committees of the Membership are the bodies through which AMIA's professional presence in the field exists. They develop expertise, advocacy and education in the different topics and activities related to moving image archiving, e.g. preservation, copyright and cataloguing. Their rosters are volunteers from within the AMIA membership, and they elect their chairs directly.
  • Task Forces are created by the Board of Directors to carry out a specific projects which does not fall squarely within the remit of an existing committee, and are dissolved on completion of that task.


Delegates at the 2006 AMIA annual conference, held in Anchorage, Alaska

Annual Conference[edit]

One of the principal activities undertaken by AMIA is the annual conference, which takes place each fall at a different city in North America. Recent conferences have occurred in Austin, Texas, Seattle, Washington, Richmond, Virginia, Savannah, Georgia, and Portland, Oregon. For more information see here:

The Reel Thing Technical Symposium[edit]

Dedicated to presenting the latest technologies in audiovisual restoration and preservation. The Reel Thing brings together a unique line up of laboratory technicians, archivists, new media technologists and preservationists. The Reel Thing Technical Symposium is organized and coordinated by Grover Crisp and Michael Friend.

Since 2008, The Reel Thing: Los Angeles has offered two days of presentations and screenings each August. In addition, a half day event is held in conjunction with the AMIA Annual Conference. For more information:

Digital Asset Symposium (DAS)[edit]

DAS offers in-depth, real world information on an ever-advancing technology. Case studies offer a broad mix of institutions, providing a unique opportunity to compare approaches in different communities. This real-life approach brings together content creators, caretakers and vendors to address the realities with which we are all faced, what works in theory, and what works in the real world.

AMIA Online[edit]

AMIA's online continuing education series are intended to further education in the archival moving image profession, as well as to provide introduction to these topics to the broader libraries and archives community.

Festival of the Archives[edit]

AMIA's Festival of the Archives celebrates the work done by media archives in their efforts to preserve history and cultural heritage. The festival offers attendees quality films that highlight preservation and restoration efforts a wide spectrum of archival materials - feature films, documentaries, animation, historical footage, and commercial video. The inaugural festival was held in December, 2012 in conjunction with the SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle, Washington.

E-mail Discussion List and Online Forum[edit]

AMIA operates an E-mail discussion list, known as AMIA-L to facilitate professional communication within the field. Subscription is open to AMIA members and non-members, and is free of charge. Topics that frequently arise in online discussion include news stories and media coverage related to moving image archiving, technical issues, requests for information about specific films or archive footage for re-use in TV productions, copyright and media history in general. The AMIA-L generates approximately 10-15 postings a day. All AMIA-L postings are archived online and available for public access. AMIA also operates a member list-serv to which only its members may subscribe.

DEEP FOCUS: A Directory to Moving Image Resources[edit]

Developed by AMIA's Access Committee, the DEEP FOCUS portal is an inclusive outreach tool designed to provide academics, archivists, artists, curators, educators, exhibitors, filmmakers, programmers, researchers and students with a user-friendly and centralized means of global discovery – interconnecting a disparate labyrinth of invaluable moving image catalogs, services, resources, websites and related information.

DEEP FOCUS welcomes a diverse range of entries into the directory. If your institution or company collects or works with moving images and/or provides services related to the field, your entry is integral to the success of the portal. You can find DEEP FOCUS here


The AMIA Newsletter is published electronically four times per year. It provides up-to-date information about the association and its activities, as well as regular columns and features and resources of interest to moving image archivists.

The Moving Image is a peer-reviewed academic journal that explores topics relevant to both the media archivist and the media scholar. The Moving Image deals with crucial issues surrounding the preservation, archiving, and restoration of film, video, and digital moving images. It is edited by Susan Ohmer and Don Crafton and published by University of Minnesota Press.

The AMIA Global Supplier Directory, is published electronically four times per year and available on the AMIA website. The Supplier Directory is intended as an international resource guide for anyone working with audiovisual media.

Scholarship and Internship Programs[edit]

The training of moving image archivists is central to AMIA's role as a professional organization and essential to the long-term survival of our moving image heritage. To this end, in addition to workshops and symposia, AMIA offers annual scholarships for students in education and training programs geared to the profession. In addition, AMIA offers the Image Permanence Institute Internship in Preservation Research, offering a student of merit who is committed to the preservation of moving images the opportunity to acquire practical experience in preservation research.

Professional Programs[edit]

AMIA supports a number of public and professional programs to promote education and foster cooperation and communication among the individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, preservation, description, exhibition, and use of moving image materials.

As an international organization, AMIA offers two programs to encourage professional exchange and enhance professional development to professional archivists from the developing world. More information can be found here:

The Your Archive Deserves Advocacy! initiative offers three annual awards in an effort focused on promoting the people and stories behind archives as well as providing resources that support advocacy.

Community Travel Grants were established to pay tribute to the work of AMIA members, and offer colleagues, friends and families a way to honor contributions to the moving image field. The Fund provides travel funding for the AMIA Annual Conference.

AMIA provides workshops covering a range of archival activities. Workshops are offered primarily in conjunction with the annual conference, but AMIA also offers regional hands-on workshops when possible. Recent workshops have covered: digital programming basics; cataloging & metadata; safeguarding audio visual assets; archival film presentation for projectionists, a writers workshop, access copy production for archivists, copyright, and an annual Hackday! and Community Archiving Workshop.

Screenings and Events[edit]

In addition to the three key events listed, AMIA organizes a number of special screenings and workshops that celebrate the preservation and restoration work done by archivists worldwide.


As an NGO (non-governmental organization) AMIA has consultative status with UNESCO and has coordinated on international events and presented at UNESCO events - most recently at the Memory of the World Programme Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.[3]

In addition, AMIA is affiliated with, and undertakes joint activities with, a number of organizations and projects worldwide. As the current chair of the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Association, AMIA works with other international audiovisual archives associations to promote the work done by archivists and to influence the development of public policy on issues of importance to the preservation of our audiovisual heritage.

On October 27 each year AMIA members participate in and promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. In 2006 at its 33rd session the General Conference of UNESCO declared 27 October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.[4] It is a unique occasion to raise awareness of the importance of sounds and images as a source of history of the last 150 years and of the importance of preserving them and making them accessible to whoever is interested in their content.

AMIA participation also includes the following: a founding member of NAANICA (North American Archival Network), a branch of ICA; a founding member of the United States Committee of the Blue Shield, a branch of International Committee of the Blue Shield; representation on the National Film Preservation Board; a member of the Digital Promise coalition; and maintains relationships with more than a dozen organizations with similar missions.


AMIA Awards recognize outstanding professional achievement in and contributions to the field of moving image archiving.

  • The Silver Light Award recognizes outstanding achievement over the course of an archivist's career.
  • The William S. O'Farrell Volunteer Award recognizes significant contributions to AMIA and to the field through their work as a volunteer.
  • The Alan Stark Award honors individuals who have made a significant contribution through their efforts on a special project or in project management that contributes to, and supports, the work of moving image archives and/or the operations of AMIA.
  • The Carolyn Hauer International Fund exists to enable archivists from the developing world to take part in AMIA's activities, and in particular to attend the conference.
  • The James A. Lindner Prize recognizes, encourages and financially assists researchers of merit who offer the greatest potential to further the technology needs of moving image archivists and AV preservation. The Prize is given in conjunction with two other international organizations - IASA and SEAPAVAA, the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archives Association.

Travel Grants[edit]

AMIA provides travel grants to its annual conference. These travel grants are awarded based on criteria including financial need, as well as how attendance at the conference will contribute to professional development.

  • The San Francisco Silent Film Festival Travel Grant was established to help develop new media archivists, the caretakers of our film heritage. The Grant provides travel funding for the AMIA Annual Conference.
  • AMIA Community Fund accepts donations in honor of or in memory of colleagues who have made contributions to the moving image world. Monies from the fund provide travel grants to the annual conference. The number of travel grants each year is based on funds received.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For further information on the emergence of formal representation for the audiovisual preservation sector in the United States, see Anthony Slide, Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States, Jefferson, NC, McFarland (1992), pp. 81-84.
  2. ^ See also Tom McGreevey and Joanne L. Yeck, Our Movie Heritage, New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press (1997), pp. 63-64.
  3. ^ Frick, Caroline. "AMIA Presentation at 2012 Memory of the World Conference" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "UNESCO's World Day for Audiovisual Heritage". Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Association

External links[edit]