Real vs. imaginary users: measuring the impact of home movie collections on historical scholarship
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In the past thirty years, a growing community has emerged to advocate for the preservation and recognition of home movie collections based on their historical significance. Despite the significant cost of preserving and providing access to these collections and the myriad challenges they pose to archivists and researchers, no substantive research exists that evaluates their actual scholarly use or impact. Through a publication analysis and a survey of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, I sought to determine if there is a difference between whom archivists think should be using home movie collections and who is actually them. Though my findings suggest that home movies have yet to impact the scholarly work of historians, I offer recommendations for future research and professional development that may encourage increased scholarly use as well as increased collaboration between archivists and historians.