Comstock's magazine 1118 - November 2018 - Page 93

more images at IN THE ARCHIVES Under an ultraviolet-free lamp in a workshop tucked in the back of the 20,000-square-foot Center for Sacramento History archive building, specialists Chad Williams (lower left) and Mahlon Picht (lower right) process archival film requests from major television networks and documentarians around the globe. The Golden State and Zodiac killers are both popular requests. Footage relating to the Golden State Killer, aka the East Area Rapist, has been in high demand since a suspect’s arrest in April 2018. Deputy Historian and Manuscripts Archivist Dylan McDonald says the film archive gets “a lot of macabre requests.” Wearing cloth gloves to reduce scratches, Picht assembles requested reels by splicing clips and labeling each segment of the film. He monitors the film through a Moviola film viewer. Williams digitizes a 16mm reel of Zodiac Killer footage. To digitize, he must watch in real time an entire length of film to listen for abnormalities in the reel and adjust the film exposure. The center owns between 12-16 million feet of film reels; most of the collection is local news footage from the 1950s to 1980s. “There are very few places in the country who have access like this,” McDonald says. While other large archives exist, he says that few own the copyrights from the networks to license the material, as the center does. n November 2018 | 93