Category Archives: Motion Pictures

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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A Bike Like No Other

How do you get around when you live on a 1.2 square-mile island with no privately owned vehicles? If you live on Kwajalein Island, bicycles are the answer. But these aren’t just any bicycles. Kwajalein Island is a part of … Continue reading

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Taming the Mississippi

This post was written in collaboration with Ellen Mulligan. The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the worst flood in U.S. history. Following the mass destruction caused by the flood, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanded the existing levee system to more … Continue reading

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Wealth Comes in Many Forms: William Greaves’ USIA Films

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  I’m fortunate that my job allows me to make a difference every day. Most days it’s because I’ve preserved a piece of … Continue reading

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When Slates Attack: A Shark Week Surprise

In most cases, film slates provide basic information about the scene that follows. In our military holdings, the slates tell us the unit, who the cameraman is, and the film’s subject. Sometimes the camera model is identified and the location and date are … Continue reading

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Happy July Fourth! John Huston’s “Birthday Present” to America

“All films are created equal. I don’t think there is such a thing as a small film. We’re not pulling any punches here. Scene for scene, everything is being done to the best of our abilities. Each scene as we … Continue reading

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Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 3rd Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. This quarter’s list includes a film from a series of … Continue reading

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