Digital Collections Spotlight #49: Mixed Media AV Items

Posted February 23, 2024 in Digital Access

Digital Collections Spotlight #49: Mixed Media AV Items

Last year we presented an unusually shaped map of the area around the Hope Conference and Renewal Center, also known as Camp Hope, a Moravian Church facility operated in Blairstown, NJ, that hosts events such as retreats and summer camps [1]. Here we have another group of items related to this location, specifically a set of multimedia material that was used to advertise the summer camp around 1960.

In this photo you can see the contents of a shipping box which according to the labels was sent from Tremont Terrace Moravian Church in New York City to the archives in 1967. These contents are examples of materials that would have been sent to Moravian congregations to facilitate presentations with the aim of advertising the camp and encouraging children to want to attend. They consist of a 35 mm film strip, 33 ⅓ vinyl record, an audio tape reel, and two scripts. Interestingly, when these items were recently cataloged it was discovered that there is material from two different Camp Hope advertisements. The labeling on the box, record, audio reel, and the partial script in the upper left all are labeled as “Rejoicing in Hope” and are dated to 1961. However, the undated script in the upper right refers to a program called “Camp Hope Opens its Doors” and to a tape and slides that are not present. While we cannot be certain it seems likely that when the package was prepared to be sent to the archives any materials relating to Camp Hope that were found at the church were transferred together.

We can confirm that the script for “Rejoicing in Hope” was intended to accompany the film strip, by visually matching the photos on said film strip with the text of the script as well as the numbers in the left margin that serve to match the photos and relevant text. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the equipment necessary to play either the vinyl record or audio reel so we cannot confirm that they are a recording of this script. However, the other script suggests that this is the case as it begins with technical information on the referenced tape and slides and instructions on how to keep the two synced, while the text of the presentation also includes numbers referencing the relevant slides. The content of both scripts shows how these programs were intended to appeal to both children, describing all the fun activities at the summer camp, and their parents, emphasizing the educational value and safe environment.

Currently, we have improved the cataloging and storage of these items, while going forward we hope to be able to digitize the audio-visual materials included so that they will be preserved and accessible alongside the printed material, allowing researchers easier access to these interesting resources.

[1] Digital Collections Spotlight #37: Hope, New Jersey