posted December 15, 2022
United States Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry. Inducted films are selected for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic importance. The 2022 selections date back 124 years in filmmaking to an 1898 film of the “Mardi Gras Carnival” parade in New Orleans. The film was long thought to be lost but was recently discovered in a museum in the Netherlands. The most recent film added to the registry is 2011’s Pariah, directed by Dee Rees.
posted September 12, 2022
During those interminable family movie nights you were made to sit through, you probably never thought the media form would one day be desirable among collectors. But it did, and now, in a significant development in this new appreciation of home movies, several archivists from around the U.S. and Europe are at work creating a Home Movie Handbook, a practical guide that covers key topics and provides case studies relating to the accession, cataloging, and exhibition of the films.
posted August 24, 2022
The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced the winners of its 2022 federally funded grants. 28 institutions will use the awards to preserve 61 films or sets of films. They include the first true cowboy movie star, lecture reels of Dian Fossey’s mountain gorilla research, a short silent comedy, and much else. Also among the titles that organizations around the United States will preserve are narrative films, a silent melodrama, documentaries, home movies, and industrial and educational films.
posted December 20, 2021
Among the films just added to the National Film Registry is an extraordinary document from Indianapolis. The 3-minute actuality recording of the arrival in the city in 1902 of the Ringling Bros. Circus. leaps from the screen. It’s well worth watching on as large a screen as you can.
posted December 15, 2021
The US Library of Congress has announced its annual selection of 25 influential motion pictures to be placed on the National Film Registry. Films in the registry are selected for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic importance. This year’s selected films date from 120 years ago to 2008 and were made by Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers, documentarians, and even film students.
posted November 29, 2021
To show what life has looked like in Israel since its founding in 1948, the Israel Film Archive at the Jerusalem Cinematheque has reached a significant milestone. It has completed work on providing English subtitles to all the newsreels in its online collection. It is doing the same for its feature films, which show what creative minds have made of the country.
posted July 1, 2021
In a startling about-face, Australia’s center-right government has announced that it will provide modest funding for emergency maintenance of the country’s National Archives.
posted June 28, 2021
Australia’s National Archives is 1,400 years behind schedule if it is to preserve even its current holdings. Its users are not happy. More than 150 prominent cultural figures have addressed an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, urging his government “to stop the neglect of the National Archives and protect the nation's history.” They have been met by seeming scorn.
posted June 10, 2021
After a wildfire destroyed or severely damaged vast amounts of library holdings at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, librarians and archivists — not just from UCT, but also from around the world — joined an effort to recuperate the losses, to whatever extent is possible. The losses included much of one of the largest collections anywhere of books, films, photographs, and other primary sources relating to African history, including a largely irreplaceable collection of journalists' film and other records from the Apartheid era.
posted April 1, 2021
The civil rights era in the United States was a time of great upheaval, of continuing and at times intensified injustice, and of both triumph and tragedy. Now the Boston-based American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has released a new online exhibit – Freedom Song: Interviews from Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965 – that explores what went into making the groundbreaking 1987 television series, Eyes on the Prize, which famously depicted the era.