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 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


Remembering Ned Comstock of the USC Cinema-Television Archives—the GOAT!

https://www.lukaskendall.com/post/remembering-ned-comstock

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   neumation   (Member)

I’ve always heard about how Ned truly understood the importance of curating the collections and facilitating research. USC cares little about that now, in my experience. Ned’s departure was a big loss. Steve Hanson told me that he despised having to “clean up after Ned,” which is a cruel and tasteless thing to say about a man living with cancer, especially one who actually helped people. Condolences to Ned’s loved ones.

 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 11:43 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

So very sorry to learn of Ned's passing. A fine fellow and an invaluable asset to and participant in the preservation community.

 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Sir David of Garland   (Member)

I have many memories of Ned. He was only 67. frown

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 12:16 PM   
 By:   Doc Loch   (Member)

Thirty years ago when I was working on a book project I was having trouble finding any information on some of the films I was writing about. A colleague told me I should contact Ned Comstock at USC because if anyone could find anything it would be Ned. So I wrote to Ned and almost immediately he got back to me with the information I needed (as I recall he FAXed it to me back in those days when the Internet was in its infancy and the FAX machine was our primary way of sharing information). Like so many other authors and researchers I included a special thanks to Ned in the acknowledgements of the book. I referred to him as "the amazing Ned Comstock" and its an adjective that has come up in every discussion I've ever heard about Ned. Truly a remarkable person and the absolute best at what he did. He was also a reminder of how valuable reference librarians and archive workers are. Unfortunately many of them are disappearing as a result of budget cuts and restructuring at a lot of universities and educational institutions. We need to show our appreciation for those individuals who are still doing this important work.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2024 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   MMM   (Member)

Ned was absolutely the very best archivist out there. He cared as much about your projects as you did. And he was always a pleasure to work with, not just because of his knowledge and expertise, but because he was just a genuinely wonderful person. Irreplaceable.

When I first started dealing with USC's archives, it was an absolute nightmare because those in charge had no idea what was involved with ownership of intellectual property and they made me do some of the stupidest things in order to be given access to some of their collections. I actually had to talk to some companies and ask them to please write a letter of permission to USC even though they had nothing to do with the ownership of a given project because USC claimed they were an owner. So they wrote things like "We don't care if David accesses this material" because they couldn't actually give me permission due to the fact that they had no ownership rights. Fortunately, after endless arguments with those in charge, Ned was assigned to me, and from that point on, everything went so incredibly smoothly. One of the things I most looked forward when working on a project was when I'd have to go down to USC, because I had confidence that Ned would find anything I needed as well as many things I didn't even know existed. And he would trust that I would treat the material properly and not lurk over my shoulder every second I was there to make sure I didn't breath on things too strongly.

I miss him as much as a friend as the preeminent archivist in his field that he was.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 31, 2024 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   j_heise   (Member)

Worked with Ned a lot during over twenty years of freelance research work and he always managed to find the most amazing things that you more than likely did not know you needed but would be so much worse off without it. To quote Alfonso Bedoya from THE BIG COUNTRY, "A man like him is very rare."

RIP, Ned, Say hello to Bill Everson, Walter Kerr, Herman Weinberg and Lotte Eisner for us.

 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2024 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

Ned was a rock and in the 30 years I knew him his genuine passion for research never waned. The one thing I want to be sure to share is that he LOVED all of the soundtrack label projects, kept them in the library, and he told me that he very often directed students to them for research, not only for the music but because the annotators for the soundtracks offered the best possible resource for information on many, many films. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

 
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