posted March 3, 2020
Film restoration is a painstaking endeavor. It involves much careful observation of archival film, repair of any damage, and preservation from future ravages of time. The tools for doing all that are increasingly sophisticated. Specialists certainly can relate as much, but it may interest the general film enthusiast to hear a little about what the modern-day process of digital restoration entails.
posted January 9, 2020
Collections relating to public-broadcasting and other audiovisual collections are among 18 projects that have been granted 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards from The Council on Library and Information Resources.
posted December 12, 2019
United States Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the annual addition of influential American motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Twenty five films are being added for their cultural, historic, and aesthetic importance: Among them are blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, and independent films.
posted September 10, 2019
Suddenly, the realistic but concocted moving images known as “deep fakes” are very much in the news. Those are versions of existing footage that has been jerryrigged to look very like the originals, but to convey something different, often with great plausibility. What challenges will they pose to archivists, and how ready are archivists for their onslaught? Less so than they probably should be.
posted August 23, 2019
The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced grants to 35 institutions to save 74 films. Since Congress created the NFPF in 1996, the agency has provided preservation support through grants and collaborative projects to 304 institutions to preserve 2,478 films. The preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, home movies, avant-garde films, and endangered independent productions that are unlikely to be preserved by commercial programs.
posted July 2, 2019
As the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo moon landing approaches, Australia’s national science agency has donated one of only three known official copies of television film footage of the event to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. It is the only copy held outside the United States.
posted June 13, 2019
In January 1972, a 29-year-old Aretha Franklin, already renowned in soul behind five Grammys and 11 No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts, returned to her roots with two evenings of riveting gospel worship in the run-down New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles. The soaring celebrations of faith became legendary moments in popular-music history. They also produced a long, confused saga of film loss and retrieval.
posted June 3, 2019
The Danish Film Institute has launched a major effort to preserve and disseminate the country’s silent-film output. With 30 million Danish kroner (about $US4.5-million) from three foundations, the Institute has begun to digitize the whole of the remaining early movie heritage. That amounts to some 415 titles from the “golden age of Danish silent film” — about 350 hours of viewing — that archivists at the Institute are digging out of storage to restore, preserve, and disseminate through screenings and online postings.
posted May 2, 2019
The Council on Library and Information Resources, an independent, nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Virginia, that works to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institution, and communities of higher learning, has awarded its Recordings at Risk grants to 20 institutions. Among the 20 awards, 9 relate to audiovisual collections, and they range in value from $10,908 to $50,000.
posted April 13, 2019
To publicize a film-archive service, a well-written, attractively presented blog may serve as well as a paid advertisement. The Huntley Film Archives, based in rural Herefordshire, has recently begun to take that route to spreading the word about its holdings, and its blog — The Voice from the Vaults — makes for fascinating reading whether or not you are looking to buy film clips.