Posts by Annika Joyce Pattenaude

Behind the Scenes: Collections About Film

newspaper sheet with columns of text and photo of Holly Fine

As I thumbed through letters between Danny Kaye and his sweetheart Holly Fine, I couldn’t help but imagine the ginger-haired actor twirling Vera-Ellen in his arms and singing “The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing.” We often think about film as a moving media––people and objects flickering across screens––but film archives, like those of the Special Collections Library, contain the material, tangible objects that accompany the making of films. These materials tell rich stories!

"Not all who wander are lost:" Assessing Unprocessed Collections at the University of Michigan

Photo of shelves with boxes

There's a moment of suspense every time I remove the lid of an archival box. What will I find inside? Folders of nineteenth-century correspondences in French? A civil war diary with a bullet hole in its leather cover? A pile of pamphlets about applying makeup for transwomen? A random letter signed by J.R.R. Tolkien? (Yes, I really did find one!) After five weeks in the archives unit of the Special Collections Library, I have come to realize that I never really know what I will find...