Earth’s Last Frontier: Moving Images of the Navy’s SEALAB Project

While space is famously described as “the final frontier,” it only narrowly beats out the oceans of our own planet. Nearly three-quarters of the Earth is made up of ocean, yet only a small portion has been explored or mapped. In the 1960s, a group of Navy divers, led by Dr. George F. Bond, attempted … Continue reading Earth’s Last Frontier: Moving Images of the Navy’s SEALAB Project

Lincoln Memorial Link Roundup

All this month, the National Park Service is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the completion and dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. Here at the National Archives, we hold literally thousands of records related to the iconic landmark, including several thousand that are digitized and available in the online Catalog.  Photograph of the Abraham Lincoln Statue … Continue reading Lincoln Memorial Link Roundup

Carl Louis Gregory, Founder of Film Preservation at NARA

Before the National Archives held more than half a million reels of film, nearly 200,000 videos, and over 300,000 sound recordings originating from dozens of government agencies (and decades before the existence of the National Archives) Carl Louis Gregory was a motion picture cameraman dedicated to the evolution of the field. Staff identification card for … Continue reading Carl Louis Gregory, Founder of Film Preservation at NARA

Veterans Day Military History Link Roundup

Veterans Day is observed every November 11th in the United States. It marks the end of fighting in World War I, the war that was supposed to end all wars, and honors our nation’s military veterans. Here at the Unwritten Record, we share a lot of records related to military history and those who have … Continue reading Veterans Day Military History Link Roundup

“Edited by Laura Thornburgh,” Pioneer of Motion Picture Education

Today, we take for granted that moving images are used to educate. Generations of school children grew up with teachers turning down the lights, rolling in a film projector or television and flipping a switch or pressing a button to start the show. It might be surprising to learn that there was a time when … Continue reading “Edited by Laura Thornburgh,” Pioneer of Motion Picture Education

50 Years Makes a Difference! How Film Research Has Changed Since the 1972 Conference on Audiovisual Archives

You may have heard that the National Archives is partnering with the University of Maryland Cinema and Media Studies Program to present Films of State, an online conference on government-produced moving images (if not, check out my last blog post for more background). What you may not know is that the National Archives sponsored a … Continue reading 50 Years Makes a Difference! How Film Research Has Changed Since the 1972 Conference on Audiovisual Archives

Introducing Films of State, a Conference on Government Films

Today I am thrilled to tell you about something we’ve been working on: Films of State, a three day online conference focused on government films and NARA’s holdings, scheduled for April 7-9, 2021. We’ve partnered with the University of Maryland Cinema and Media Studies program and gathered an international slate of scholars to discuss some … Continue reading Introducing Films of State, a Conference on Government Films

Image of man in army fatigues setting up a television camera. There are two buses behind him that are labeled "MOBILE TELEVISION"

Spotlight: Finding Footage for National History Day Projects

In recent months, the National Archives' Education Updates blog has posted a series of pieces focusing on award-winning National History Day documentaries. National History Day is an annual contest for students in grades 6-12 to produce a variety of project types, including exhibits, websites, papers, performances, and documentaries. NARA’s Education Specialists have covered three fantastic … Continue reading Spotlight: Finding Footage for National History Day Projects

Searchable Stock Shots: 306-LSS Films Now Online!

A couple of years back, the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab started seeing an uptick in researcher reference requests for one specific series of films: 306-LSS, a group of more than 400 black and white reels of stock footage that ended up in the hands of the United States Information Agency (USIA). As the … Continue reading Searchable Stock Shots: 306-LSS Films Now Online!

Film Preservation 101: Why does this film smell like vinegar?

Film Preservation 101 is an occasional series in which we answer our most frequently asked questions.  You may have heard that old films can be dangerous, and potentially even explosive (we covered this topic in Film Preservation 101: Is Nitrate Film Really Dangerous?) and you’re worried about your grandfather’s home movies that you keep in … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Why does this film smell like vinegar?