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Film Preservation 101: This 80 Year Old Film Printer Still Contributes to Preservation

This week we celebrate the National Archives’ 80th birthday. For the motion picture lab, this anniversary was an opportunity to look back to the beginnings of the organization, when the Archives was still in its teen years and William T. Cooper, Jr. posed for photographs with the Depue optical reduction film printer. The photos, taken […]

A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day

Jack Lieb went to Europe in 1943 with two movie cameras: He brought his 35mm black and white camera to film war coverage for Hearst’s News of the Day newsreels and his 16mm home movie camera to shoot color film to show to his family back home. After the war, Lieb edited the color footage […]

Restoring The True Glory

This post was written by Criss Kovac and Harry Snodgrass. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab. Harry recently joined the Motion Picture Lab and is working on a project to preserve and digitize World War I and World War II films and photographs. When the U.S. Office of War […]

With Strings Attached: Rice, Murder, and Awkward Communist Puppets

This post was written by 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. Let’s suppose you have a child, and that child loves puppet shows. You might decide to introduce your child to The Muppets Take Manhattan […]

“Bottle cap livin’, bottle cap dead”: A Day in the Death of Donny B.

When I first encountered A Day in the Death of Donny B. (1969), it seemed like the perfect counterpoint to the hilarious and beautiful Curious Alice (1971). Unlike Curious Alice, which misfires so completely that it makes drugs look like they might be fun, Donny B. is a scary documentary-style portrait of a heroin addict […]

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