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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exhibiting integrity : archival diplomatics to study moving images Miller, April G.


This thesis examines the concepts of reliability, authenticity and documentary form as defined by archival diplomatics and their relation to moving image records, for the purpose of exploring the possibility of using them to develop a method for the preservation of the moving image's intellectual integrity over time. To achieve this purpose, the study establishes a correspondence between the tenriinology and the theories used to express these concepts in the two fields through an examination of archival diplomatics and moving images glossaries, dictionaries and literature. Notwithstanding the different understandings of the concepts examined, the thesis finds that when moving images can be regarded as records - that is, as contextual mediated visual and aural representations compiled for the purpose.of.entering into communication - it is possible to use archival diplomatics methodology to analyze them successfully. On the strength of this finding, the thesis proceeds to establish a correspondence between the diplomatic elements of documentary form and the components of an ideal moving image record, demonstrating parallels and explaining and reconciling differences, in order to build a template for the analysis of all kinds of moving image records. This diplomatic instrument is to be used for the identification of the formal elements of a moving image that allow for the maintenance, verification and preservation of its reliability and authenticity over the long term. The necessity of such an instrument derives from the fact that the use of digital technologies for the making, exhibiting and storing of moving images will render the ability to prove their integrity and their preservation increasingly more difficult. The thesis is concluded by a discussion relating the effects of the pervasive use of digital technologies in the field of moving images, and a demonstration of the substantial threat they present for the continuing reliability and authenticity of moving images. This discussion shows the advantages of a close cooperative effort by archivists and moving image theorists in developing interdisciplinary methods for addressing such threats that are rooted in archival diplomatics and fully respect the nature of the moving image record.

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