Film Preservation 101: Scratch Hazards and Fixes

For those working with archival films, encountering film scratches is just part of the job. At the National Archives we care for films that range from pristine camera negatives with not a scratch to be seen, all the way to beat-up projection prints that look like they were rubbed with sandpaper. Scratches can be black … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Scratch Hazards and Fixes

A Moving Image “Newspaper”: Universal Newsreels at the National Archives

Before the advent of televised network news programs and the 24 hour news cycle on cable and the internet, newsreels were one of the main sources people had for news.  One of five major newsreel companies, Universal Studios produced and released newsreels which were shown in movie theaters, twice a week, from 1929 until 1967. Each release usually … Continue reading A Moving Image “Newspaper”: Universal Newsreels at the National Archives

The Preservation and Restoration of John Huston’s “Let There Be Light”

Today's post is by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives' Motion Picture Preservation Lab. In honor of Veterans Day, we are proud to share the National Archives' digital restoration of John Huston’s Let There Be Light, the groundbreaking film about the treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) of soldiers returning … Continue reading The Preservation and Restoration of John Huston’s “Let There Be Light”

A WWII Training Film in Action: Recognition of the Japanese Zero Fighter

As a follow-up to last week’s post on the Army Air Force’s First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU), this week I am focusing on a title that is arguably the most significant training film produced by the unit. Considered as a federal record, Recognition of the Japanese Zero Fighter (1943) is an important historical document of the training … Continue reading A WWII Training Film in Action: Recognition of the Japanese Zero Fighter

From Top Secret Vault to Open Stacks: Declassification of Moving Images

Have you ever wondered how moving images and sound recordings get declassified? The process isn’t as simple as you might think. Because our records are media based - film, video or audio - the review process takes a few extra steps. Agencies transfer classified moving images and sound recordings to NARA according to Records Control … Continue reading From Top Secret Vault to Open Stacks: Declassification of Moving Images

Protecting Your Past–It’s What We Do Here: The Preservation and Restoration of The March

Today’s post is from Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, which is responsible for performing conservation and preservation work on motion picture records held across the National Archives. Recently, she completed a digital restoration of The March. The March, the James Blue film documenting the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs … Continue reading Protecting Your Past–It’s What We Do Here: The Preservation and Restoration of The March

Making The March

Today's post is from Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, which is responsible for performing conservation and preservation work on motion picture records held across the National Archives. Recently, she completed a digital restoration of The March. On August 10th, 1963 The U.S. Government, under the auspices of the … Continue reading Making The March

Preserving Curious Alice

We discussed Curious Alice in a previous blog post and explained why, although it’s beautifully animated and contains some fantastic imagery, it fails at communicating an anti-drug message. Read on to find out how we preserved this title! In the Motion Picture Preservation lab, we’re enthralled by the film preservation stories that make headlines just … Continue reading Preserving Curious Alice

The Curious Case of Curious Alice

Even before the DVIC accession brought How to Succeed with Brunettes to light, I had a special place in my heart for quirky government film productions. When I first saw a beat-up, faded print of Curious Alice, it was clear that whatever anti-drug sentiment the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) was trying to convey, … Continue reading The Curious Case of Curious Alice

Don’t Walk Like a Man: Be the Best WAC that You Can Be

Today’s guest blogger is Heidi Holmstrom.  Heidi works in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, which is responsible for performing conservation and preservation work on motion picture records held across the National Archives. In addition to The Pleasure of Your Company, the Women’s Army Corps’ (WAC) Military Etiquette and Grooming series (1970) featured two more films, each … Continue reading Don’t Walk Like a Man: Be the Best WAC that You Can Be