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Please join us in welcoming May Hong HaDuong to the UCLA Library as director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive (FTVA). FTVA, a division of UCLA Library, is the world’s largest university-held collection of motion pictures and broadcast programming and the second-largest repository of moving images in the United States, after the Library of Congress.

Although her first name is May Hong, which means “pink cloud” in Vietnamese, she prefers to be addressed as May. We asked May a few questions about herself and her professional aspirations.

What goals do you have for this year as director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive?

As director, I look forward to working with the Archive staff to begin implementing FTVA’s strategic goals, including working to:

  • Formalize and expand our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Expand research and programmatic initiatives
  • Strengthen our digital infrastructure for preserving, storing, and accessing digital collections

Building on the great work of FTVA staff, I will strive to deepen our connections with communities and partners to better serve the users of this incredible collection.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?

Prior to my appointment at UCLA, I served as senior manager in access at the Academy Film Archive, where I oversaw access to the collection. This role afforded me the opportunity to work with individuals engaged in the rhythmic lifecycle of a moving image – including content creators, collectors, archivists, researchers, and consumers. Fostering these relationships and serving the needs of many is at the core of my work. My goal is to ensure that our actions convey our values and for our work to intentionally reflect the needs of all of our audiences.

What projects will you be tackling first?

With the Library’s Digital Initiatives and Information Technology Division, I look forward to advancing the process of establishing a media asset management system, an essential step for the conservation and access of our digital collection. In addition, focusing on FTVA’s strategic goals will create a strong foundation for our work ahead. I look forward to spending time connecting with staff, stakeholders, and partners in these next few months. FTVA is an important resource for film lovers, researchers, and the general public, and as director, it is incumbent upon me to engage mindfully, serving our current constituents while developing connections with new audiences.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’ve been listening to a few podcasts, including Hidden Brain, 99% Invisible, Call Your Girlfriend, Throughline, Code Switch, and Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. I just watched Minari, which moved me to tears for its complex portrayal of intergenerational relationships. Jamila Wignot’s documentary Ailey, which recently premiered at Sundance, made me appreciate how archival materials can serve as beautiful instruments for inspired storytelling.

I enjoy nature, art galleries and museums, dancing, cooking, spending time with my family and chosen family, and hanging out with my parrot, Ginseng.

We are delighted to have May at the UCLA Library.

Image courtesy of Ashley Kenney/Daily Bruin.