Restoring Connections: The South Side Home Movie Project and Cultural Preservation in Chicago (Host Institution: University of Chicago)


ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants


South Side Home Movie Project


The South Side Home Movie Project collects, preserves, digitizes, researches and exhibits home movies filmed by residents of Chicago’s South Side from the 1920s-1980s. The pandemic disproportionately impacted the Project’s core community of elder film donors and South Side neighbors, and brought its capacity to preserve and share their fragile materials to a standstill. The Restoring Connections project will recover vital connections to local donor families through the preservation and digitization of their films, recording of their oral histories, and activation of their home movies across multiple public platforms. Additionally, it will re-engage the neighbors and partner organizations whose critical role as community archivists was abruptly halted, and support students whose customized cataloging work within SSHMP was suspended. Local partners include the DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago Public Library, Washington Park Camera Club, Center for Home Movies, and Mather Senior Residential Program.