Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

For National Medal of Honor Day, observed on March 25 every year, the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch of the National Archives wanted to honor Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr., the only combat photographer to receive the honor after "gallantly giving his life for his country" as stated in his Medal of Honor … Continue reading Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

This post was written by Ivy Donnell, a technician in NARA's Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You may have recently seen Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 documentary, featuring archival film from the National Archives’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) holdings. The film footage of Apollo 11 makes the July 16, 1969 launch and subsequent Moon … Continue reading Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

Falling Down an Archival Rabbit Hole: Following the Trail from Finished Film Back to the Research that Inspired It

We’ve written here before about the 2007 rescue of a treasure-trove of government films from a shuttered film laboratory. Archivists from the National Archives recovered many films produced across the Federal government so they could be preserved and made accessible to the public. You may be familiar with the anti-drug film Curious Alice, but I … Continue reading Falling Down an Archival Rabbit Hole: Following the Trail from Finished Film Back to the Research that Inspired It

NARA Film Preservation Unit Serves State and City Level Colleagues

Today’s post is written by Larry Shockley, Archives Specialist in NARA's Office of Innovation. One of the more rewarding aspects of working for an institution such as the National Archives is our ability to serve archival colleagues at state and local levels. A recent trip to the West Virginia Archives and History provided one such … Continue reading NARA Film Preservation Unit Serves State and City Level Colleagues

Dreaming in Technicolor: “The Shoemaker and the Hatter”

___________________________________________ The Shoemaker and the Hatter, 1950  [111-MSA-1134] ___________________________________________ Do you ever find yourself dreaming of a land filled with peace and prosperity where collaboration and cooperation always triumph? Have you ever longed to demolish the barriers and abolish the restrictions that only seem to stand in the way of realizing such worthwhile bliss? If so, … Continue reading Dreaming in Technicolor: “The Shoemaker and the Hatter”

Film Preservation 101: Is Nitrate Film Really Dangerous?

Is Nitrate Film Really Dangerous? Nitrate film is a material we don’t often encounter at the National Archives for obvious reasons. After the devastating 1978 nitrate vault fire, the agency quickly copied any remaining nitrate to acetate or polyester safety film and disposed of the original reels. When we do come across a reel in … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Is Nitrate Film Really Dangerous?

Disaster Strikes the National Archives: The 1978 Nitrate Vault Fire

This post was written by Andrew Smith and first posted to the National Archives Internal Collaboration Network. Andrew was a records analyst at NARA before departing for another agency. Explosions at the Federal Center Around noon on December 7, 1978, staff of the National Archives and Records Service (NARS) were eating lunch inside the offices … Continue reading Disaster Strikes the National Archives: The 1978 Nitrate Vault Fire

“The Camera Tells the Truth”: Camera Rolls from the Battle of Tarawa

Five days before Thanksgiving 1943, American forces bombarded a tiny, Japanese-held island in the Tarawa Atoll. Eighteen thousand Marines would land on the shores of Betio, and over 1,000 would lose their lives there. On November 23rd, the United States claimed victory. Recording the Battle Three men of the 2nd Marine Division landed on Betio … Continue reading “The Camera Tells the Truth”: Camera Rolls from the Battle of Tarawa

Captured on Film: Armistice Day 1918

This Veterans Day, November 11th, is the 100th anniversary of the armistice of World War I. The armistice was not an official surrender by Germany, which would come several months later with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, but was essentially the beginning of the end of the war. The Great War, as it is … Continue reading Captured on Film: Armistice Day 1918

Home Movie Day 2018: Henry Ford’s Home Movies

In honor of Home Movie Day, we’re featuring the home movies of Henry Ford. Home Movie Day is an annual event to raise awareness of the importance of home movies and encourage their preservation. This year’s Home Movie Day is Saturday, October 20th, but your local event may be held at any time throughout the … Continue reading Home Movie Day 2018: Henry Ford’s Home Movies