Memphis Belle: The 75th Anniversary of the 25th Mission

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. The statistics were overwhelmingly against them.  With a million German troops and 40,000 anti-aircraft guns waiting the odds were roughly 50-50 they’d make it home alive.  Completing 25 bombing runs lowered those odds to less than 25%.  Not to … Continue reading Memphis Belle: The 75th Anniversary of the 25th Mission

Gettysburg: Civil War Monuments, Nuclear Arsenals, and Dreams of Peace

The Battlefield at Gettysburg is primarily known for two things.  First, over three days, July 1 through July 3, 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place there.  Second, it was the site of The Gettysburg Address, the famous speech that President Abraham Lincoln delivered four and a half months after the battle on … Continue reading Gettysburg: Civil War Monuments, Nuclear Arsenals, and Dreams of Peace

African-American Filmmaker William Greaves on Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. William Greaves was a prominent African-American filmmaker and producer, working from the 1960s through the 2000s. Greaves began as an actor, becoming a member of The Actors Studio in 1948. He won an Emmy Award for the groundbreaking TV newsmagazine series Black Journal and … Continue reading African-American Filmmaker William Greaves on Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

Forensic Film Archiving: Who Raised the Flag on Iwo Jima?

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. We rely on film and photographs to tell stories every day – from the latest blockbuster, our favorite television series, videos we take and stream, to the cherished photos in our homes. But, sometimes what we see isn’t … Continue reading Forensic Film Archiving: Who Raised the Flag on Iwo Jima?

Record of a Homecoming: Preserving Interviews with Doug Clower and John McCain

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. Sometimes you just never know what you’re going to find in a can, or in this case, four cans. What I did know is that it wasn’t going to be good, at least physically, because I could smell … Continue reading Record of a Homecoming: Preserving Interviews with Doug Clower and John McCain

When a Workprint is the Only Print

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss Kovac is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. It’s not uncommon for NARA to receive less-than-perfect material for films created by federal agencies. One of the types of elements we sometimes receive is called a workprint. Workprints are like a rough draft for a film. The editor would … Continue reading When a Workprint is the Only Print

FDR’s “Four Freedoms” Speech

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss Kovac is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation in the 153rd State of the Union Address. Known more popularly as the “Four Freedoms Speech,” he proposed four fundamental freedoms that all people should have … Continue reading FDR’s “Four Freedoms” Speech

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 NARA in 2012. The Yellowstone Kodacolor is one 453’ reel of 16mm “reversal.”  An early … Continue reading An Update on Kodacolor Decoded

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 history, made something accessible for research, or contributed to the archival community. It’s rare, however, … Continue reading Wealth Comes in Many Forms: William Greaves’ USIA Films

Restoring Nine from Little Rock

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  The Restoration Nine From Little Rock was commissioned by George Stevens, Jr., head of the United States Information Agency (USIA), and directed by Charles Guggenheim. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short on April … Continue reading Restoring Nine from Little Rock