Derek Lamb (1936-2005), an Academy Award winning animator, was one of the first teachers of film animation at Harvard in the mid-1960s. Lamb began working as an animator with the National Film Board of Canada in 1959, produced animated films for the BBC, taught animation courses at Harvard and McGill University, and ran an independent film production company where he collaborated on the first animation sequences for the IMAX system and created the well-known titles for the PBS series MYSTERY!. Over the course of a career spanning more than four decades where he worked as an animator, writer, director, and producer, he created both experimental and commercial films in Canada, the United States, and Europe, in total contributing to over two hundred film and video productions.
The film materials in the Derek Lamb collection were donated to the HFA by his widow Tracie Smart in 2006. The collection covers Lamb’s entire animation career, from the mid-1960s to the 1990s, and consists of almost 200 35mm and 16mm film prints and production elements, original audio recordings, including public service films made for the NFB, materials from Lamb’s production company created for PBS and the Children’s Television Workshop, as well as films made with his VES students at Harvard. Further information on specific titles and elements in this collection can be found in Harvard’s HOLLIS library catalog.