History in High Definition

by Corey Ayers, Video Production Specialist

In December of 2011 the Oklahoma Historical Society purchased two telecine machines that allow for the transfer of 16 and 8mm film to full 1080p digital files. The digital conversion allows film of all ages to be seen in their original state but enhanced by high definition resolution. The use of these machines has ushered in a new era for the film and video department at the OHS. We are now digitizing and cataloging entire film collections giving moving images not seen for 80 years a new life and the public a rich new source for research. For example, the Haskell Pruett Collection documents community events such as parades and rodeos as well as leisure activities of an Oklahoma family from 1929 to the late 1960s. These films present a visual testament of life in Oklahoma at the time. This is only one of many collections in film storage at the Oklahoma History Center and the beginning of a new era for the use of film in research at the Historical Society.

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