Rob Stone grew up in a time when films from the Golden Age of Hollywood were shown regularly on broadcast television, when pizza parlors ran loops of 16mm silent during the dinner hours, and when libraries would checkout 8mm films to run at home. This fueled an interest in movies, particularly those of Laurel & Hardy and Jerry Lewis. During his time as a business owner and then a high school teacher, Rob found himself frequenting film archives researching a book he authored on Laurel and Hardy’s solo films. Realizing that one could make a living working with old film, he then earned his MLIS degree from San Jose State University and was offered a position at the USC Warner Bros. Archive. Next, Rob worked for over a decade at the UCLA Film & Television Archive with the last several years spent as the Associate Curator. Among his accomplishments while at UCLA, Rob secured the donation of the Hal Roach Collection, he was involved in the formation of the UCLA Outfest Legacy Project and oversaw the first restoration projects conducted in collaboration with the Film Noir Foundation. Just before leaving UCLA, Rob was on the team that strategized the building and occupation of the archive’s nitrate vault facility in Santa Clarita.
Since August 2008, Rob has worked as the Moving Image Curator at the Library of Congress where he coordinates acquisitions, collection management, preservation and access. His highlights thus far include the acquisition of the Jerry Lewis Collection, creating the “Marty Stuart Sessions” (an ongoing concert series) and developing distribution agreements with film distributors (such as Kino Lorber and Undercrank Productions) to get more of the Library’s content out to the public. In co-creating the “Mostly Lost” film identification workshop, Rob was influenced by similar efforts in the past by Rob and Sam Gill (at a number of Cinecons) and MOMA’s Eileen Bowser as well as Rachel Del Gaudio’s work with AMIA and Flickr. Currently, Rob is finishing work on his forthcoming book, Pokes & Jabbs: The Before, During and After of the Vim Films Corporation and is curating the next two silent film projects to be released by the Library and Kino Lorber.