If you’ve visited the library recently and come away feeling a little starstruck, you’re not alone. That’s because Langsdale is featured extensively in the buzzy new true crime documentary The Keepers on Netflix, about the 50-year-old mystery of a slain Baltimore nun and the tragic sexual abuse scandal that erupted in its wake.
|Special Collections front and center: opening shot of episode 6, The Keepers|
|Top: Abbie wrestles with our analog machinery in a |
screenshot from The Keepers;
Bottom: the culprit (file photo)
While it’s not unusual for documentary filmmakers to enhance the narrative in their movies by using photos, documents, film, and ephemera obtained via archival research, The Keepers takes the unusual step of showing their subjects actually digging up the data. The series provides a sort of road map for what in-depth, thorough, creative, tenacious archival investigation looks like, and how libraries-- both public and academic-- play a huge role in what that entails. Ms. Schaub and director Ryan White visited Special Collections repeatedly throughout a 2-month period in 2015 to sort through a box of videotapes of raw news footage from local TV news stations in order to find a “smoking gun” regarding a suspect in the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik.
|The Catherine Cesnik file from our Archives of Maryland Polonia|