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The Wanzer Archives

The Wanzer collections are divided between two archives in Southern New Mexico: The Rio Grande Historical Collections (RGHC) at New Mexico State University, which holds about 140 reels of 16mm and 35mm undocumented films, and the Institute of Historical Survey Foundation (IHSF) in Las Cruces that holds Wanzer’s personal media collection and photography. Since Julia found the project, the Wanzer collection has grown substantially: student films and photographs, letters, and correspondences, scripts, and most importantly recorded interviews of his family, students, and friends, conducted by Julia and her crew of student filmmakers.

Julia’s project has also led to collaboration between the two archives under her direction, to digitize the Wanzer collection at RGHC using the Retroscan device at IHSF. Julia is currently seeking grants to help sustain and formalize this large scale and important collaboration, but has worked over the last year to discover the films in the archive and make them available to future researchers and the public. A happy intervention, given the fragile nature of celluloid nitrate films and rusty cans, RGHC is rehousing and cleaning the films as the initiative evolves.

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16mm reel housed in RGHC
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Location of the Reel Grand Historical Collections
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Retroscan universal machine at IHSF
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Julia working on the Wanzer Collection at the IHSF
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