Category Archives: Motion Pictures

Gobble Gobble: America’s Thanksgiving Turkey Tradition

While it is generally understood that venison graced the table of the first Thanksgiving celebration, the idea of Pilgrims chowing down on turkey is solidly enshrined in the American imagination. The 1930 film The Turkey Business shows how the “early explorers” … Continue reading

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An Update on Kodacolor Decoded

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives’ Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You might remember a fun little post last summer about the Yellowstone Kodacolor discovered within a National Park Accession deposited with … Continue reading

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Spotlight on Veterans: Navy Women in Parachute Rigger Training

There aren’t many schools that include jumping out of an airplane as part of your final exam, but that’s just what these women parachute riggers had to do in 1951. Women sailors in the Navy went through the same training as … Continue reading

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Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

Robert Mitchum To the People of the United States (1943) More than a decade before he terrorized children as creepy preacher Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter (1955), and two years prior to his Oscar-nominated role as Lieutenant Walker … Continue reading

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Playing Fetch with Pilot Whales: The Navy’s Project Deep Ops

Back in June, we published a post about animals in the military. It featured war dogs, bat and pigeon bombs, and monkey saboteurs. We thought we’d covered everything, but almost as soon as that post was published, we digitized a … Continue reading

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The True Story of a Blind Electrician: “Born a Man” as a Document of Disability Rights

This week we’re happy to welcome guest blogger Brian Real to The Unwritten Record. Brian recently received his PhD in Information Studies from the University of Maryland. Brian regularly visits the research room in College Park so we’re used to seeing his … Continue reading

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The Aviator, the Explorer, and the Radio Man: The 1925 MacMillan Arctic Expedition

A Little-Known Expedition If you know anything about Admiral Richard E. Byrd, you probably know that he was the first to fly over the North and South Poles, and that he led several expeditions in Antarctica. However, you probably don’t … Continue reading

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Colorful Chemistry and a Visit to Your National Parks

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If I asked you to tell me what you think of when you think of silent films, one characteristic you may mention is that silent films are black and white. While it is true that most silent films were shot … Continue reading

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The Tale of the Forgotten Films: An Archival Rescue

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Donna Anoskey and Dan Rooney contributed to this post. Years ago many government agencies, along with Hollywood and independent film makers, stored film productions with the private laboratories that provided their duplication services. In 2001, one of the premier film facilities on … Continue reading

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In Search of…Leonard Nimoy

A few months ago, I spent more time than usual with a film reference request. The film copy that came down for Clear Skies, Clean Air (1971) was 35/32mm, which meant that I had to make a print before I … Continue reading

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