posted December 22, 2017
Fluid migration has long shaped the Southwest of the United States — certainly since well before the U.S. fashioned the region from large tracts of Mexico during a military invasion in the 1840s, and certainly ever since. Unfortunately, even after the invention of moving film, audiovisual records of Mexican-American life were rare; but the Library of Congress has just designated a collection of home movies from border life during the 1920s as worthy of permanent preservation.
posted December 16, 2017
What did Hollywood do, when Nazis came calling? Efforts by Nazis to influence Hollywood during the decade before World War II have long occupied historians of the period, resulting in numerous studies. Two new books have in recent months joined that parade, and have cast fresh light on an enormous controversy that arose in 2013 when two other books appeared that dealt with Hollywood’s confrontation with Nazism.
posted December 13, 2017
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today (13 December) announced the 2017 selections to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Each year, films are selected for their cultural, historic and/or aesthetic importance. Films in the National Film Registry are selected not as the “best” American films, but as works of enduring importance to American culture. The Librarian of Congress makes the annual selections to the Registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library film curators and members of the National Film Preservation Board.
posted December 12, 2017
To mark the holiday season, the U.S. Library of Congress has made 64 motion pictures that are on its National Film Registry freely available. The films in "Selections from the National Film Registry,” which are available online on the Library’s website, as well as on YouTube, are among hundreds that the Library has designated as worthy of permanent preservation due to their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance.
posted November 15, 2017
Jayson Wall bills his podcast, Into the Archives, as “a lively discussion with leading archivists and preservationist with their stories on saving film, television, and music of the 20th century.” Since August 2017, the longtime film-restoration insider has been hosting lively discussions with archivists and preservationists, and he has been living up to his pledge by eliciting from his subjects many tales from the trenches of film preservation as well as film production and distribution.
posted October 26, 2017
Today (27 October) is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. The 2017 theme is "Discover, Remember, and Share." Sharing is what many archives around the world are doing, in varied activities, to bring members of the public and film-archive specialists together to mark the contributions of audiovisual-preservation professionals and institutions. The many, varied events illustrate the range of activities that archives undertake.
posted October 23, 2017
The Huntley Film Archives, based in rural Herefordshire, holds a collection of more than 80,000 film titles, which makes it one of the largest commercial film libraries in the United Kingdom. Huntley licenses items to broadcasters and film-production companies, dated from 1895 to the present, in such fields as social history from Britain and around the world in such areas as advertising, architecture, art, education, entertainment, fashion, food, history, industry, media and technology, medicine, public personalities, religion, science, and transport.
posted September 25, 2017
The major earthquake that struck Mexico City and surrounding areas on September 19 caused loss of at least 319 lives, and destroyed many buildings including thousands of homes. Among structures seriously damaged by the tremor was Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive, the only independent film archive in Mexico specializing in the collection and preservation of popular films. It is located in Tepoztlán, the epicenter of the quake, an hour from the capital.
posted September 18, 2017
The VHS tape was such a clunky medium that it almost invited disdainful treatment. Never the archivist’s or librarian’s first choice of format, it nonetheless won out in the “videotape format wars” of the late 1970s and 1980s, and became the medium of choice. Now, in the era of digital recording and online streaming, those VHS tapes are slowly but surely deteriorating. Will Section 108 of the US Copyright Act save the day?
posted August 29, 2017
The days of college students poring over books in library stacks, seeking inspiration in leaps within and among Dewey Decimal System categories, are virtually gone. That’s not how students now access information. The new media of choice are all digital, and that includes in the audiovisual realm. There streaming video has come rapidly to dominate.