- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Dartmouth College and the University of Maine are working together on a project to allow scholars to study historically important films and television programs being digitized in archives around the world.

Two Dartmouth film professors, Mark Williams and John Bell, have been awarded a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Working with University of Maine colleagues, they plan to create a plugin for media players that will allow scholars to access media clips and notes other users have generated about the films they’re viewing.

The films themselves will remain in their respective archives but will be available for streaming, while the annotations will live on servers maintained by Dartmouth.

Williams says the tool could help researchers better track the rise of early film stars such as Florence Lawrence and Mary Pickford, whose careers began before actors were routinely given credit by name.

“The great thing is we both see this as an interdisciplinary project - it’s not a film project that needs tech support or a tech project that’s searching for content to justify its existence,” said Bell. “It’s interdisciplinary work that draws ideas from many fields to create something new.”

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