I seem to be a verb…*

The Heart of It

“Maybe my passion is nothing special, but at least it’s mine.”
― Tove Jansson, Travelling Light

I am a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in American Studies. Work experience includes: footage researcher, cataloguer, audiovisual archivist, intern, volunteer, adjunct faculty, and exhibit developer for documentary filmmakers, cultural heritage institutions, and universities including Women In Film Foundation, UCLA Film and Television Archive, Academy Film Archive, Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, State Archives of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University. I have presented at numerous conferences and symposia as well as written short pieces for the journal The Moving Image, and a chapter on privacy and home movies in Amateur Movie Making: Aesthetics of the Everyday in New England, 1915-1960 (Indiana University Press, 2017). My first videographic essay about a history of women in 1970s public access television, Cue the Women (2015), was cablecasted on public access television in North Carolina. In my current essay, Gone Estray, in [In]Transition (January 2019), I complicate the joy of repurposing found home movies. orcid.org/0000-0002-0852-5499

Recent projects include “Showing Your Work” (2017) where I employ video annotation tools to facilitate documentation of archival labor and citation of audiovisual primary materials in evidentiary works. And my digital dissertation project explores a public relations campaign of mid-20th century women’s travel director for Shell Oil. It involves prosopographical, as well as distant and close textual, analysis of data and media.

In November of 2016 I joined the Association of Moving Image Archivists’ Board of Directors, and was re-elected to serve a second term in 2018. I hope to be of much service to the membership and the association’s overall future-facing needs.

In March 2017 I joined colleagues at the University of Arizona on renovating the American Indian Film Gallery, as the new Tribesourcing Southwest Film Project (in-progress).

Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content


“Popular perception looks for simplicity. Hence, the archivist is the person who looks after archives, retrieving the papers or files. The librarian is the person behind the loans desk or putting books on the shelves. The sound archivist or film archivist does not yet, perhaps, present so obvious or distinctive an image.” — Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Principles, Ray Edmondson, UNESCO report, 2004

— Cliff Kuhn, “A Historian’s Perspective on Archives and the Documentary Process”

CONTACT: msdollman [at] gmail.com 

* Buckminster Fuller