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Roberta Cantow papers, 1965-2018
14.75 linear feet (18 boxes) 525 Megabytes (archived website)
Collection number: SSC.MS.00559

Abstract:
Filmmaker. Biographical information, personal writings, artwork, photographs, awards, and psychic readings (audio tapes), photographs, correspondence, email, publicity, and other documents pertaining to the production and distribution of Cantow's films, as well as Cantow's thoughts on issues and circumstances covered in the films, including: the documentary Clotheslines, Dr. Clown (about Patch Adams, M.D.) The Book of Laughs, If This Ain't Heaven, and Illuminada.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Roberta Cantow has retained copyright during her lifetime in her films donated to Smith College. After her death, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College.

Roberta Cantow has placed the following additional restriction on copying of her films donated to Smith College: "film materials may be made available for research but not copied for any use other than research."

To the extent that she owns copyright, Roberta Cantow has assigned the copyright in her non-film works to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators.

For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Roberta Cantow, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Sophia Smith Collection

Biographical / Historical

Filmmaker Roberta Cantow was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Janet Leah Wohfield and Lawrence Albert Cantow, M.D. She earned an A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1969, and an M.F.A. from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in 1972. From 1969 to 1970, she studied at the Etienne Decroux School of Mime in Paris, France. She is the founder of Buffalo Rose Productions (1982), Original Digital (1997), and One Of A Kind Video Portraits (1993-2003).

She has produced, directed and edited numerous independent films and videos, including The Book of Laughs (1988), If This Ain't Heaven (1984), Clotheslines (1981), Moon Festival (1994), Mosaics (1994), and Doctor Clown (1992).

Cantow often presents and discusses her work in public forums, and has served as an educator among multi-ethnic populations in community college, adult education, and youth-oriented museum and artist-in-residence programs. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, and has garnered many honors and awards for her work.

Scope and Contents

The Roberta Cantow Papers are comprised of biographical information, personal writings, artwork, photographs, awards, and psychic readings (audio tapes), photographs, correspondence, email, publicity, and other documents pertaining to the production and distribution of Cantow's films, as well as Cantow's thoughts on issues and circumstances covered in the films.

Audiovisual materials include original prints and copies in various formats (16mm film, video tape, DVDs, soundtrack, audio tapes, and audio CDs) of Cantow's films and performance pieces. The films are documentary and include Clotheslines, "an homage to women and their daily work,...a lively and humorous look at the relationship that women have with the chore of cleaning the family clothes.... In this documentary, layers of emotions come to the surface as the commonality of women's work is exposed." Other films include Dr. Clown, about Patch Adams, M.D.; The Book of Laughs, about the shared memories of two sisters; If This Ain't Heaven, the reminiscences of a fifty-year-old African American man; and Illuminada, a visual impression of Mexico. There are smaller amounts of materials pertaining to other films and film possibilities that Cantow pursued, e.g. a script for TThe Revolt of the Mother, based on the novel by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. There are also recorded interviews by Cantow of herbalist, Susan Weed, and Goddess scholar, Karen Tate.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

To the extent that she owns copyright, Roberta Cantow has retained copyright during her lifetime in her films donated to Smith College. After her death, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College.

Roberta Cantow has placed the following additional restriction on copying of her films donated to Smith College: "film materials may be made available for research but not copied for any use other than research."

To the extent that she owns copyright, Roberta Cantow has assigned the copyright in her non-film works to Smith College. Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators.

For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by Roberta Cantow, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Roberta Cantow papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection

Roberta Cantow began donating her papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 2006.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request the creation of and access to digital copies. Some, but not all, of the audiovisual records have already had digital surrogates made.

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Other Finding Aids

This online finding aid does not include container lists for accessions received prior to September 2017. Please contact specialcollections@smith.edu to request copies of these contents lists.


Contents List
2017-S-0057. Roberta Cantow's websites
Captured Aug 18, 2017
4 website(4 archived websites)

Four archived websites relating to Cantow's film projects,with video clips, trailers, reviews, and additional documentation: "Accordions Rising" (http://www.accordionsrising.com); Bloodtime Moontime Dreamtime Trilogy" (http://www.originaldigital.net/bmd); "Not a Still Life" (http://www.originaldigital.net/notastill-life/); and "Original Digital" (http://www.originaldigital.net), Cantow's film company. The sites were captured in August 2017; none of the sites are currently being added to by Cantow.

Accordians Rising website

1 website

Bloodtime Moontime Dreamtime Trilogy website

1 website

https://wayback.archive-it.org/6150/*/http://www.originaldigital.net/notastill-life/. Not a Still Life website

1 website(1 archived website)

https://wayback.archive-it.org/6150/*/http://www.originaldigital.net/. Original Digital website

1 website(1 archived website)

2018-S-0004. Roberta Cantow papers addition
1990-2018
1 Linear Feet(2 legal size document boxes)

Scope and content:

Correspondence, notes, reviews, marketing, and viewer responses to several of Cantow's recent videos: "Clotheslines," "If This Ain't Heaven," "Bloodtime, Moontime, Dreamtime," "Not a Still Life," "Scapes," and Accordian Rising." Also a small amount of personal correspondence and writings.

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use with following restrictions on access: use copies of A/V materials will need to be made.

Restrictions on use:

o the extent that she owns copyright, Roberta Cantow has retained copyright until her death, in her works donated to Smith College. After her death, copyright in these works will transfer to Smith College.] Copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, or which may regard materials in the collection not created by [donor], researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Provenance:

Donated by Roberta Cantow.

Most recent correspondence: Clotheslines and If This Ain't Heaven
2018

Box 1
Bloodtime, Moontime, Dreamtime: proposals, marketing, and correspondence
2001-2009

Box 1
Scapes: original proposal
1990

Box 1
Accordions Rising: Promotional, comments, ephemera
2016-2017

Box 1
Not a Still Life: correspondence, feedback, work in progress
2011-2013

Box 1
The Magnificent Leap: notes and DVD
2017

Box 2
Body Writing Retreat journal
n.d.

Box 2
Accordions Rising: collected ephemera and pre-production, including correspondence
2010-2017

Box 2
Original proposal: Accordions Rising, work shop title: Accordions Alive and Kicking
2014

Box 2
Clotheslines and Birthing the Crone: reviews
2016-2017

Box 2
Poster: Accordions Rising
2016

Box 3
DVD: Accordions Rising
2015

Box 3
CDs (2): radio interview on WIOX, disks 1 & 2
18 Nov. 2016

Box 3
VHS tapes (1 Betacam and 1 DVcam): Not a Still Life
2013

Box 3

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Adams, Patch, 1945-
  • Buffalo Rose Productions
  • Cantow, Roberta
  • Cantow, Roberta
  • Documentary films -- United States -- Production and direction
  • Housekeeping -- History
  • Housewives -- History
  • Independent filmmakers -- Biography -- Sources
  • Laundry -- History
  • Motion pictures -- United States -- Production and direction
  • Women motion picture producers and directors -- Biography -- Sources

Genre terms
  • Audiotapes
  • CD-Roms
  • Computer media
  • DVD video discs
  • Electronic mail
  • Interviews
  • Motion pictures
  • Notes
  • Sound recordings
  • Videotapes
  • Web archives
  • correspondence
  • photographs


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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