Audiovisual Garage Sale and Upcoming Events

Hi all! With reading week now upon us, it’s time for a check-in on AMIA @ U of T’s plans for the rest of the semester. You can also hear about these at our next meeting, November 13th at 5pm in BL 520.


Earlier this month, we joined forces with ACA – U of T Student Chapter for a tour of the Archives of Ontario and the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University! If you went on the tour and would like to share a recap or photos on our blog, send us an email at

Our next tour will be at Vtape, Canada’s leading artist-run, not-for-profit distributor of video art, on November 12th. Spots are filled but you can still add yourself to the waitlist here.

AV Garage Sale

We’re very excited for November 21st when we’ll be holding our Audiovisual Garage Sale from 9am to 5pm in the Bissell 2nd floor lobby! We are currently accepting donations of audiovisual and related material, such as VHS tapes, DVDs, vinyl, and books on AV topics. If you have anything you’d like to donate, give us a shout at and we’ll be happy to take it off your hands!

Film Screening

Our last event of the Fall semester will be a film screening on December 6th. We’ll be showing a film from the Media Commons 16 mm collection, which you can view through the Classic Catalogue search here (select ‘Media Commons’ as library and ‘Film – all formats’ as type). Let us know of any requests or recommendations and we’ll vote on the film soon!

Next Semester

We have more events planned for the Winter semester, including several exciting workshops, so stay tuned for those in the new year! Hope to see you out at any or all of our events and as always, if you have an audiovisual-themed post or review you’d like to share on our blog, feel free to get in touch!

Happy Reading Week!




Elections Now Open!

Thanks to all who came to our meeting yesterday! We got a lot of enthusiastic pitches for what you’d like to see this year!

We also announced that our Fall election period is now open, running until October 9th when we’ll hold a meeting to vote on our new executives. Available positions include Vice-President, Secretary, and Social Media Coordinator.

AMIA Elections 2018

To nominate yourself, email us at with the position(s) you’re interested in and why you think you’d be a great fit! All U of T students are welcome to run, regardless of program or concentration.

Those unable to attend the October 9th meeting can still run as long as you email your statement of interest beforehand.

As AMIA at UofT is a recognized student chapter of the larger association, all executives must be members of AMIA. You can find more information about joining and fees here: (fees in USD). You don’t need to be a member to participate in our events or meetings but you can check out what they offer and see if it’s something you’d be interested in!

We’ll announce some of our scheduled events here soon but if you’d like a hand in planning them, be sure to apply!

Join our mailing list at to stay up to date on all our events



AMIA@UofT 2018-2019 Year

Hope everyone had a great summer and is ready for a fun year exploring AV archives!

AMIA @ U of T already has a lot of exciting events planned for the upcoming year, including a video preservation workshop through iSkills (watch your email to sign up!), film screenings, and an AV petting zoo coming up next month!

All students are welcome to join, no matter your concentration, and we have a number of open positions so this is an excellent chance to get some student group experience and fill out that resume! You can come check us out at the MISC Clubs Fair on September 21st from 4:30 – 6:30 to learn more about us and our events.

Our next meeting is September 25th at 5pm in BL 520. Hope to see many new and returning faces as we kick this year off!

Join our mailing list at to stay up to date on all our events

AMIA@UofT March 2018 Events!

AMIA@UofT had lots going on this March!

First up was our The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917) screening on March 8th at the Media Commons. This woman-centric production was chosen to align with International Women’s Day!

Some fun facts about this movie:

  • This film is based on a play of the same name written by Eleanor Gates. Gates founded the Liberty Feature Film Company in 1915, which is said to have been the only film company owned and managed by women at the time.
  • The screenplay was written by Frances Marion, the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards.
  • Mary Pickford, the star of this film, is from Toronto! Pickford (despite being Canadian) was known as “America’s Sweetheart” at the height of her film career. She plays an 11-year old in this film (despite having been 25 when the movie was made!)
  • Pickford would go on to co-found United Artists along with Charlie Chaplin and others. UA was an important independent film distributor that veered from traditional studio theatre. ownership

Next up was the Digitization Workshop on March 12. This free workshop was held at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives!

This workshop was intended to:

  • help participants learn more about digitization across multiple formats (VHS, cassette, CDs, etc.)
  • give participants some useful tips and tricks for digitizing their own personal collections as well as digitizing in archival institutions

CLGA archivist Lucie Handley-Girard gave the workshop participants helpful demonstrations about digitizing: VHS, cassette, photographs and film. AMIA@UofT President Mairead Murphy shared her experiences with digitizing CDs.

Here are a few tips from the workshop:

  • Check your archival object before trying to digitize it–make sure it’s in good shape (clean, not deteriorating, etc.) so that the digitization process won’t damage the object or the player!
  • Don’t edit/alter preservation copies of digitized material! Editing may be a good idea for access copies, however.

That’s all for now!

Ceremonial Handover of the AMIA@UofT Sign


Mairead, Maria, and Jefferson receiving the sign from Lucie and Elizabeth [Credit: Rachel E. Beattie].

A week ago today we did a ceremonial handover of the AMIA@UofT sign to the new executive!

Please welcome our new president, Mairead, our new social media executive, Maria, and our new secretary, Jefferson; Rachel remains as vice president temporarily.

Thank you to Lucie and Elizabeth for all their hard work!

-Maria Sokulsky-Dolnycky, Social Media Executive AMIA@UofT


AMIA @ UofT Lends a Helping Hand at the 2017 Toronto Silent Film Festival

AMIA @ U of T President Elizabeth Carroll, along with alumni Member at Large Sean Hayes, recently volunteered on behalf of AMIA @ U of T at this year’s Toronto Silent Film Festival, which was held at various cinemas throughout Toronto, April 6-11, 2017.

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Elizabeth and Sean (and Buster Keaton) helping out at the Revue Cinema [Credit: Maureen Nolan – Silent Revue]


AMIA @ U of T President Elizabeth Carroll [2016-2017] poses in the ticket booth of the historic Fox Theatre [Credit: Sean Hayes]


The TSFF kicked off at the Royal Cinema on April 6th with the Canadian restoration premiere of Sherlock Holmes (1916), starring William Gillette as the consulting detective.


William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes (1916) (Credit: BBC)

April 7th brought the Canadian restoration premiere of When Knighthood Was In Flower (1922), also at the Royal — an epic romantic action-comedy starring Marion Davies.


When Knighthood Was In Flower (1922) (Credit: IMDB)

On Saturday April 8th, AMIA @ U of T’s own Christina Stewart was given a shout out by acclaimed silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model during Model’s Accidentally Preserved comedy shorts showcase.

Model praised Stewart’s role in the discovery of the lost silent film Secrets of the Night (1924)which was recently located among a large donation of films at the University of Toronto Media Commons Archives.


Silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model (Credit: TSFF)

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Christina Stewart speaks at the March 29, 2017 premier of Secrets of the Night (1924) (Credit: CBC)

The highlight of the Accidentally Preserved screenings was surely the recently restored Buster Keaton shorts (The Blacksmith, 1922) and Laurel and Hardy comedies (Battle of the Century, 1927).  There were also several other fun surprises pulled from Model’s personal film collection, and popular Accidentally Preserved DVD releases — including a shot in Toronto workplace safety film from the 1960’s starring a late career Buster Keaton.


Buster on the big screen! The TSFF celebrates 100 years since Buster Keaton entered the film business with a screening of the recently restored Keaton short, The Blacksmith (1922). The evening’s comedy shorts screenings took place at the Revue Cinema. [Credit: Sean Hayes]

April 9th saw a capacity crowd in attendance at the Fox Theater for the long believed lost Chicago (1927), which was located and restored in 2006.


Phillis Haver as Roxie Hart in Chicago (1927) [Credit: Wikipedia]

April 10th and 11th brought screenings of Beyond the Rocks (1922) at Kimbourne Park United Church, and L’Inhumaine (1924) at Innis College, U of T.


Beyond the Rocks (1922) (Credit: Wikipedia)


L’Inhumaine (1924) (Credit: The Red List)

The Toronto Silent Film Festival was proudly co-sponsored this year for the first by AMIA U of T.

Chapter members Rachel E. Beattie and Nathan Moles were also in attendance for many of the screenings to lend their support and enjoy the festivities.

AMIA @ U of T and the Toronto Silent Film Festival will be co-presenting the Canadian restoration premiere of Little Annie Rooney (1925), starring Toronto’s own Mary Pickford, Sunday, April 23 at the Fox Theatre, 2236 Queen Street East!


Mary Pickford in Little Annie Rooney (1925) (Credit: TSFF)


Sean at the Fox [Credit: Elizabeth Carroll]

AMIA @ U of T is very much looking forward to once again co-sponsoring and lending a helping hand at the 2018 TSFF!

See you at the movies.

Sean Hayes

AMIA @ U of T

April 12, 2017


Special thanks to festival organizers Shirley Hughes, Susan O’Hara, and Marc Wonnacott.

For more information on the TSFF visit

Visit from AMIAUR!

For the second year in a row we were delighted to host some students from AMIA chapter at the University of Rochester (AMIAUR).  It was great to see some of our friends from last year again and to meet some new people!

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Mark showing the 2 in. video player. Photo by Rachel E. Beattie

On Friday we did an exhaustive tour of the Media Commons. All the Media Commons staff, Brock Silversides, Mike Hamilton, Joan Links, Christina Stewart, myself, and Mark Pellegrino as well as TALint students Elizabeth Carroll and Aaron Campbell spoke to the group about what they do and showed off all the various aspects (both the lending and archival collections) of the Media Commons. Everyone was especially excited about the digitization room and the tour Mark gave us of the history of magnetic media through the Media Commons’ playback machines.

mike film

Mike showing off a film inspection unit. Photo by Elizabeth Carroll

We had a quick stop to admire the atrium at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and then we went to Innis Library and Kate Johnson (their librarian) gave us a tour of the space and then spoke to the group about what she does and how the library works. She also gave out some excellent advice on networking and getting a job after graduation.

We capped Friday off with a pub night where some of our friends from AMIA at Ryerson joined us!

pub night

On Saturday TIFF was very generous to open their doors to us. Jessica Lam, a coordinator in the Adult Learning department, gave us a tour of the Lightbox and then we went to the Film Reference Library where Librarian Rachel Beattie gave us a tour that concluded with some wonderful items from the Special Collections.

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Jessica Lam explains the design of the Lightbox. Photo by Elizabeth Carroll

We followed the tours with a screening of a digital restoration of early film pioneer Lois Weber’s “The Dumb Girl of Portici”.

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Overall it was a wonderful weekend of film and great times with old and new friends from Rochester!

by Rachel E. Beattie, vice-president AMIA@UofT