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Michelle Aubert (1942-2016)

Photograph: Jacques Meny


With great sadness we inform you that Michelle Aubert, former President of FIAF and a FIAF Honorary Member since last June, died on 14 November at the age of 74.
 
Michelle Aubert has to her credit a long and distinguished career supporting the  conservation, restoration and promotion of films and non-film archives, in two historical Members of FIAF: firstly, at the British Film Institute, where she was Chief Cataloguer in the library (1969-1975), then Head of the Stills Department (1975-1985), and finally David Francis’s deputy at the National Film Archive (1986-1989); secondly, at the Archives françaises du film du CNC in Bois d'Arcy, where she worked as Curator until her retirement in 2007.
 
From her arrival at the CNC in 1989, she undertook radical changes by opening the collections, promoting international exchanges, undertaking joint restorations between archives and organizing the repatriation of films to their countries of production. We owe Michelle Aubert the setting up of a "Plan for the restoration and protection of old films" (also called the "nitrate plan") that has saved over 12,000 French films. In addition, she led the general inventory and restoration of the entire film heritage of the Lumière brothers, through an international call that helped restore almost the entire initial catalogue.
 
The passion and determination she has shown in these two great FIAF-affiliated institutions has also guided the impressive work she accomplished within FIAF over three decades. In the early 70s, she was one of the initiators of the Periodicals Indexing Project (P.I.P.). She was later a very active Head of the Documentation Commission from 1988 to 1991, before joining the Executive Committee that year. She was finally elected President of the FIAF during the Los Angeles Congress in 1995. During her two terms as President, she worked on FIAF’s geographical expansion (thanks to her initiative, several archives and cinematheques from underrepresented regions – Africa in particular – joined the Federation). Her presidency also coincided with the arrival of Christian Dimitriu as Senior Administrator. Under her supervision, information systems (computerized database) and modern communications (website, email) were introduced, which revolutionized the working methods of the Secretariat, made necessary by the rapid expansion of the Federation during the 1980s and 90s. It was also during that period that the move of the Secretariat to its new offices in Rue Defacqz took place, as well as the incorporation of the P.I.P. team (previously based in London) into the Secretariat. It was also under her stewardship that the FIAF’s Code of Ethics was drafted, discussed and approved by the General Assembly.
 
Michelle Aubert remained close to our concerns after leaving the CNC for her active "retirement" in her village in the South of France, and those who know her know that she maintained a friendly and professional relationship with the Federation (including the Secretariat), regularly providing valuable advice and never hesitating to raise her own questions about the future of our sector.

Michelle's funeral took place in Manosque on 17 November. FIAF was represented at the ceremony by its President.


Christophe Dupin, FIAF Senior Administrator, and the FIAF Executive Committee

Michelle Aubert (1942-2016)

Photograph: Jacques Meny


With great sadness we inform you that Michelle Aubert, former President of FIAF and a FIAF Honorary Member since last June, died on 14 November at the age of 74.
 
Michelle Aubert has to her credit a long and distinguished career supporting the  conservation, restoration and promotion of films and non-film archives, in two historical Members of FIAF: firstly, at the British Film Institute, where she was Chief Cataloguer in the library (1969-1975), then Head of the Stills Department (1975-1985), and finally David Francis’s deputy at the National Film Archive (1986-1989); secondly, at the Archives françaises du film du CNC in Bois d'Arcy, where she worked as Curator until her retirement in 2007.
 
From her arrival at the CNC in 1989, she undertook radical changes by opening the collections, promoting international exchanges, undertaking joint restorations between archives and organizing the repatriation of films to their countries of production. We owe Michelle Aubert the setting up of a "Plan for the restoration and protection of old films" (also called the "nitrate plan") that has saved over 12,000 French films. In addition, she led the general inventory and restoration of the entire film heritage of the Lumière brothers, through an international call that helped restore almost the entire initial catalogue.
 
The passion and determination she has shown in these two great FIAF-affiliated institutions has also guided the impressive work she accomplished within FIAF over three decades. In the early 70s, she was one of the initiators of the Periodicals Indexing Project (P.I.P.). She was later a very active Head of the Documentation Commission from 1988 to 1991, before joining the Executive Committee that year. She was finally elected President of the FIAF during the Los Angeles Congress in 1995. During her two terms as President, she worked on FIAF’s geographical expansion (thanks to her initiative, several archives and cinematheques from underrepresented regions – Africa in particular – joined the Federation). Her presidency also coincided with the arrival of Christian Dimitriu as Senior Administrator. Under her supervision, information systems (computerized database) and modern communications (website, email) were introduced, which revolutionized the working methods of the Secretariat, made necessary by the rapid expansion of the Federation during the 1980s and 90s. It was also during that period that the move of the Secretariat to its new offices in Rue Defacqz took place, as well as the incorporation of the P.I.P. team (previously based in London) into the Secretariat. It was also under her stewardship that the FIAF’s Code of Ethics was drafted, discussed and approved by the General Assembly.
 
Michelle Aubert remained close to our concerns after leaving the CNC for her active "retirement" in her village in the South of France, and those who know her know that she maintained a friendly and professional relationship with the Federation (including the Secretariat), regularly providing valuable advice and never hesitating to raise her own questions about the future of our sector.

Michelle's funeral took place in Manosque on 17 November. FIAF was represented at the ceremony by its President.


Christophe Dupin, FIAF Senior Administrator, and the FIAF Executive Committee