-Contributed by Arlie Belliveau.
The CHP is happy to welcome Arlie Belliveau back for a month-long practicum! Last summer, Arlie came on board as a temporary intern, helping to digitize and organize parts of the CHP Moving Image Collection.
Sitting in the basement at the Center for the History of Psychology, I quietly watch the 1960s child development films of Stanford University neonatal psychologist Dr. Anneliese Korner. The projector is running smoothly today, and I’ve found a good setup for the digital camera. Sitting silently on its tripod, the camera captures the clicking projector but more importantly the images of the children on the screen. I wind the film onto an archival core and seal it away in the stacks. It is my job to record an access copy that will be available to future researchers and to create robust metadata that patrons will be able to access online. This is the task ahead of me as I sit and watch the tiny infants on the screen.
The research films I am working with this spring document the first few hours of the lives of 32 full-term infants. Made as observational aids for Dr. Korner and her collaborators (Bernadine Chuck, Soula Dontchos, and later Dr. Evelyn Thoman), they were used to corroborate notes taken on the innate behavior of infants, before they’d had a chance to learn actions or responses from their mothers. The child currently projected upon the screen is crying. Soon it will be sleeping, or thumb-sucking, or kicking and crying again. There are 69 of these 16mm polyester films for me to go through during my month-long research practicum. I look forward to blogging about the experience as it unfolds.
Arlie R. Belliveau is a doctoral student in York University’s History & Theory of Psychology program. She studies the earliest uses of motion picture film technology by psychologists in their research. You can read about Arlie’s previous adventures in the CHP film collection here, here, and here.