Pictured above, co-editor Rachael Stoeltje (left) stands with Christophe Dupin, Senior Administrator with the International Federation of Film Archives (fiaf) with copies of the newly published book, Tales from the Vaults.
Written by guest journalist Barb Berggoetz
One hundred vivid tales of iconic, unique, and historically significant cinematic devices from around the world fill a new bilingual coffee table book co-edited by an IU Libraries director.
“Tales from the Vaults: Film Technology over the Years and across Continents," published in June 2023, is a collection of stories written by archivists, film preservationists, and scholars interested in cinema. "Authors from 37 countries detail a wide range of pre-cinema, cinema, video, and digital devices developed since the late 1800s," said co-editor Rachael Stoeltje, director of IU Libraries Moving Image Archive.
“I think the book is for anybody interested in film history, inventors, technologies, early cinema, and cinematic history,” said Stoeltje. “These are little gems, 700 words.”
One tale describes the 8mm home movie camera, owned by Dallas resident Abraham Zapruder, who filmed President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. "Another depicts the first motion-picture film cameras in the world created by the Lumiere Brothers in 1895 in France," said Stoeltje. She also points out several articles: one about mounted cameras on rifle butts used by Russia soldiers in World War II; another delves into Cambodian projectors used by the government to spread propaganda in the 1970s; and another concerning a recreation vehicle in Mexico with a pop-up projector that traveled the countryside bringing cinema to the masses.
According to Marion Frank-Wilson, associate dean for collection development and archival collections at IU Libraries, Tales from the Vaults is just the most recent example of the impact of Stoeltje’s international reputation. She said, “Rachael is brilliant. Her deep expertise in film preservation is recognized internationally, and she has held leadership positions in all major film preservation associations, most notably as president of the Association of Moving Image Archivists. It is largely through her personal efforts that IU’s film archive is recognized by researchers from around the world.”