Since the Videoport collection was bestowed upon us at the Library, you, the Incredibly Strange Public, have been asking for the Incredibly Strange Movie collection. And now, at last, we are making it available. The official date is August 1, 2018, when we will be adding some selections to our shelves at the Main Branch and making the rest available for request from the Annex. However, you, as an alert reader of our blog, do not have to wait–you can access the Incredibly Strange collection right now.
What makes a movie Incredibly Strange? We’re not sure; not everything on the list strikes us as Incredibly Strange, but as a category, it sounds more tantalizing than, say, Sort of Strange, or Somewhat Quirky, does it not? Consider the limited appeal of a collection called Shocking When It Was First Released But Now Rather Tame, Maybe Even Quaint. No, Incredibly Strange covers a variety of oddities that may or may not be shocking but are certainly unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Unique. Unusual. Unconventional. How else to categorize a movie as bizarre as Harmony Korine’s Gummo, or as brilliantly peculiar as Don Coscarelli’s Bubba Ho-Tep? In your wildest Shark Week dreams, have you ever seen a movie more over-the-top than the Roger Corman-produced Sharktopus? Has the style of a movie ever matched its subject as perfectly as The Filth and the Fury, Julien Temple’s documentary about the Sex Pistols?
Trey Parker’s Cannibal! The Musical is in this category, along with multiple seasons of his South Park cartoon series. Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 will rejoice at the number of episodes in the collection, and let’s not even speculate as to how John Waters fans will react to the availability of his oeuvre.
So, if you had a favorite Incredibly Strange Film from the Videoport collection, you can find it now at the Library. If the collection is new to you, just type the words “Videoport Incredibly Strange” into the keyword search box and browse the list.
For a list of incredibly strange and wonderful films to start you off, click here.
The collection comprises archival artifacts such as postcards, photographs, cemetery records, scrapbooks, periodicals, maps, reports, audiovisuals (including sound recordings and books by Ruth Sargent), and Peaks Island printed material spanning from the early 20th century- up to the present. More than 4,500 scans were made.
Above: An original photograph of Forest City Landing.
Below: Some examples of Peaks Island postcards.
Processing (arrangement, description, archival rehousing), digital scanning, and web uploading was accomplished between October 2017 and January 2018, in the PPL’s Portland Room, by a production team consisting of Portland Room staff and Peaks Island volunteers. We are grateful for the supporting generosity of the Peaks Island Fund and the Casco Bay Islands Alliance in making this project possible.
Nancy, Monica, and Abraham- processing the Peaks Island collection, and building the electronic Finding Aid, in the Portland Room.
Cindy, Eric, and Sarah- digitizing the Peaks Island scrapbooks, using a special Zeutschel book scanner at the Main Library.
PPL archivist Abraham scanning, encoding, and uploading back issues of “Nor’ by East” to PPL’s Peaks Island Archives Digital Commons page.
The original archival material, now preserved and digitized, will return to the Peaks Island Branch Library, later this year. Happy Browsing!
All the archival materials are processed and rehoused in preservation enclosures, as well as digitized.
During Portland Public Library’s first annual maker fair in 2015, Catherine Fisher, personal historian, asked attendees of the fair and fellow exhibitors to sit for a brief, recorded audio interview about making. Fourteen participants sat down in the gloriously noisy and jam-packed auditorium to talk about what they make, and why and how and where. These interviews are now available on PPL’s Digital Commons. Have a listen here as painters, poets, podcasters, and others engage in discussions about making.
And mark your calendars for PPL’s next maker fair — Saturday, April 28, 10:00am – 2:00pm.