Film Preservation & Restoration

Film preservation and restoration is expensive and time-consuming, and the clock is ticking. Of all the films ever made, only 50% survive in some form. It's even worse for the silent era: a mere 15% are known to survive.

For every major film like Metropolis or Lawrence of Arabia that enjoys a lavish preservation budget, there are thousands of other important films – big and small, famous and obscure – that languish for lack of funding.

By making a donation of any size to the organization(s) of your choice, you can play a direct role in helping to save important films today.

Below are links to donation information for many archives, groups, and organizations actively engaged in film preservation work. In many cases, your donation is tax deductible. (The Sprocket Society is not affiliated with, sponsored, or funded by any organization listed here.)

Practical Film Preservation & Restoration Information

History and Politics of Film Preservation

  • Caroline Frick, Saving Cinema: The Politics of Preservation (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • Anthony Slide, Nitrate Won't Wait: A History of Film Preservation in the United States (McFarland, 2000. Originally published 1992.)
  • Karen F. Gracy, Film Preservation: Competing Definitions of Value, Use, and Practice (Society of American Archivists, 2009)
  • Giovanna Fossati, From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition (Amsterdam University Press, 2010)
  • Penelope Houston, Keepers of the Frame: The Film Archives (British Film Institute, 1994)
  • Haidee Wasson, Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Art Cinema (University of California Press, 2005)
  • These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America (Paul Mariano & Kurt Norton, 2011) – A documentary on the history and importance of The National Film Registry. Aired on the PBS series Independent Lens in Dec. 2011. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Graduate-Level Film Preservation & Archiving Education Programs