University of Arizona

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The Films of Andrew Ellicott Douglass

Astronomer, Archaeologist, and Father of Tree-Ring Dating

Dendrochronologist and founder of the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Andrew Ellicott Douglass, was an early adopter of amateur moviemaking technology. From the 1920s through the 1950s, Douglass used 16mm and 35mm film to document significant breakthroughs in scientific practices and research as they happened. Recording his academic undertakings in astronomy, climate science, and especially the tree-ring record, he illuminated the chronology of human settlement in the southwestern United States. 

The University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections was awarded a prestigious Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Libraries and Information Resources to preserve and digitize films created by Douglass.  

To celebrate the opening of the online collection, The Films of Andrew Ellicott Douglass: Astronomer, Archaeologist and Father of Tree-Ring Dating, Special Collections presents a panel discussion about preserving these unique materials and their importance to both the study of science on film and the scholarly fields in which Douglass was an innovator.

Panelists include:
Dr. Oliver Gaycken, Professor, English and Film Studies, University of Maryland
Amanda Howard, Archival Assistant, University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections 
Dr. Charlotte Pearson, Associate Professor, University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research 
Trent Purdy, Multimedia and Digital Collections Archivist, University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections

Dr. David Frank, Director of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, will moderate the discussion.

Register for the event here.

For questions or requests regarding disability-related accommodations, contact Maggie Verebelyi.

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