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Renan (Sheldon) Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Accruals
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: BAMPFA Film Library
    Title: Sheldon Renan program notes, correspondence, and related Pacific Film Archive material
    creator: Renan, Sheldon, 1941-
    Identifier/Call Number: PFA.MSS.003
    Physical Description: 2 cartons
    Physical Description: 2 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1967-1975
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Description: Some of the documents were originally printed on tracing paper and are torn or heavily creased. These documents have been photocopied.
    Physical Location: UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Film Library and Study Center

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research use.


    The collection appears to be is complete. It contains all of the Sheldon Renan papers that have been stored at the Pacific Film Archive since his departure as director in 1975.


    The material is arranged into five series: Series 1 - PFA early years Series 2 - Film materials from Renan period at PFA Series 3 - Film programming materials Series 4 - Festivals and conferences Series 5 - Correspondence

    Biographical / Historical

    Sheldon Renan was born in Portland, Oregon in 1941. He graduated from Yale University in 1963 and prior to his arrival in Berkeley he wrote television commercials in New York City and then worked for film importing companies. As a recipient of a Rockefeller grant he was able to write a book about experimental films, "Introduction to American Underground Film". Renan then came to Berkeley from New York City in 1966. Renan is considered to be the principal founder of the Pacific Film Archive at the University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley. Using the model he had seen at New York's Museum of Modern Art where the film department served as archive, study center and exhibition program, Renan set out to start the same type of organization in the Bay Area. Renan began by proposing this model to the San Francisco Museum of Art and then the Oakland Museum but both institutions turned him down. However, the University Art Museum at Berkley's new director, Peter Selz agreed. Sheldon Renan was appointed the Pacific Film Archive's first director in 1967. In September 1967 film programs were presented on a weekly basis at Wheeler Auditorium on the university campus, and sometimes in a Dwinelle lecture hall. However, in its beginnings the official existence of the Pacific Film Archive was not recognized by the university administration. This situation evolved and on January 22, 1971 the PFA was given its permanent official home in the University Art Museum's new building on Durant Avenue.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Sheldon Renan program notes, correspondence, and related Pacific Film Archive material, 1967-1975. [PFA--MSS--003]. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection contains the papers of Sheldon Renan, during his professional affiliation with the Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley. This includes his early work, starting in 1967, of founding the film archive and being appointed the PFA's first director up until his resignation in 1975. Therefore the scope of the collection is from 1967 to 1975. The collection is a record of Renan's work in developing the PFA. The Renan papers in the collection include his notes and correspondence on film programming projects presented at the PFA, as well as film festivals and conference papers Renan attended while acting as the PFA director. Sheldon Renan's work represents a significant contribution to the achievements of the modern Pacific Film Archive today. This archival collection is an important part of the PFA's heritage.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Motion picture producers and directors--California
    Film festivals
    Film archives
    Motion picture theaters
    Motion picture film collections
    Renan, Sheldon, 1941-
    Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
    Renan, Sheldon, 1941-