The Texas Film Round-Up, a preservation program presented by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) and the Office of the Governor's Texas Film Commission (TFC), is the recipient of the 2020 Texas Digital Library’s Outreach Award. The award recognizes the 2019 Round-Up held in partnership with the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, the Webb County Heritage Foundation in Laredo and Dallas Film and the Veterans Institute for Film & Media in Plano.
The Texas Film Round-Up discovers, preserves and shares the story of Texans by digitizing and providing access to their obsolete media. Since 2008, thousands of residents, businesses and cultural institutions have participated in one of the 40 Round-Up events hosted in locations across Texas. Round-Up participants receive free digitization of their Texas-related films and videotapes, including home movies, industrial films, educational films, advertisements, local television and newsreels.
The program has resulted in the digitization of more than 38,000 films and videotapes, dating as far back as 1910 and spanning through the decades of media technology. A curated collection of more than 3,800 videos digitized during the Round-Up is available at texasarchive.org. This online video-sharing platform welcomes the public to watch, explore and learn about Texas history and culture. It includes free lesson plans to assist educators in using the videos as primary and secondary source materials for teaching Texas and US History.
"We are so proud of the accomplishments that have come about through our longstanding partnership with TAMI and the Texas Film Round-Up,” said Texas Film Commission Director Stephanie Whallon. “We look forward to engaging with more communities around the state as we preserve Texas history through moving image archives. Providing free digitization of film and other media ensures that Texas’ rich history can continue to be preserved for both entertainment and education. Congratulations to TAMI and the meaningful work they do."
Highlights from the 2019 Round-Ups available on texasarchive.org include a home movie of Amelia Earhart visiting Dallas in 1931, a 1970s film of Hondo Crouch performing his poem “Luckenbach Daylight,” footage of the 1939 dedication of the McDonald Observatory, 1920s footage of the Historic Aldredge House in Dallas, a 1962 government film showing the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system and a video documenting the Webb County Heritage Foundation’s Founders’ Day Celebration in May 2003.
“Through our 2019 partnership with the Texas Film Commission, we helped hundreds of Texans preserve and share their stories,” explains TAMI Interim Director Elizabeth Hansen. “Their films can now be used for historical research, to engage K–12 students or to experience Texas culture via TexasArchive.org. We are excited to continue the program in 2020 and to discover and share more Texas stories.”
Although the Round-Up will not be held as an in-person event in 2020–2021, free digitization services will be available for Texans who mail their films and videotapes to TAMI starting in late September. More details will be released in late August.