R. Sumi Matsumoto

Archival Experience

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

I am the Digital Archivist for Jacob's Pillow. I am in charge of both born-digital assets as well as digitizing projects. I work to build and maintain the archive's digital assets, as well as connect with all departments in the organization to standardize digital file storage and retention.

Merce Cunningham Trust

I was the Audiovisual Archivist for the Merce Cunningham Trust. My primary duty was to maintain the digital archive (Cantemo MAMS) and the Dance Capsules. I also handled video requests and helped curate digital programming. As part of these duties, I performed video editing and transcoding. I pursued new acquisitions and appraised materials to be added to the collections. I also managed copyright permissions and liaised with external IT services. I primarily worked independently, but also collaborated with other staff on larger projects.

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

I was a page in the Dance Division for nearly a year. I worked independently to measure, rehouse, and barcode about 1000 linear feet of scrapbooks in 3 months. This project is more thoroughly discussed in the Division's Annual Report FY20 on page 36. While working remotely, I researched collection materials for various projects including education, remote access, and budgets. I also edited finding aids, rehoused collections, answered reference questions, performed basic mat repairs, and did basic cataloguing.

World Arts West

As a Dance/USA Fellow in Dance Archiving and Preservation, I worked with World Arts West. I created a relational database to store and organize the information in World Arts West's archives, focusing on maintaining unique cultural identities. Currently the database covers dance genres, companies, individual performers, dance works, performances, audition information, photographs, and videos. Working with data from 15 festivals, I populated the database with 438 dance works, 262 companies, over 5000 artists, and 455 performances. I also created a metadata schema, based on existing standards, that suits the needs of user groups with varying familiarity of the material. I researched and tested multiple DAM services to assess efficacy of use by a presenting arts organization, and wrote a report of my recommendations.

Read more about my experiences working with World Arts West on my Dance/USA blog (Part 2) (Part 3).

Jacob's Pillow Archives

During the summer of 2019, I worked as an Archives / Audience Engagement Intern at Jacob's Pillow. During my time there, I started to process a 14-box collection of materials donated by Kitty Cunningham, a dance enthusiast and critic. I surveyed the collection and wrote a processing plan. After approval of the plan, I arranged the materials and wrote folder-level descriptions. After arrangement, the collection was housed in lignin-free boxes.

I co-curated a mini-exhibit about historic, international dance artists at Jacob's Pillow, pulling materials from the photograph collection as well as the Ted Shawn/Jacob's Pillow Correspondence Collection. During the festival season, I acted as a reference librarian for patrons, research fellows, and dancers. I catalogued accessioned and newly created objects: primarily moving images, books, and programs.

Limón Institute Archives

I was a volunteer in the Limón Institute Archives for over a year. I edited and created DVD copies of moving images from master files to add to the viewing library. I also cross-referenced the moving images with program information to identify performers and performance dates. Additionally, I organized several boxes of unprocessed materials and catalogued performance programs.