Film, the Living Record of Our Memory

Film, the Living Record of Our Memory

Film Preservation (˝Get Involved˝)

What is Film Preservation?

FILM PRESERVATION: For many years, the term preservation was synonymous with duplication. When archivists inquired if a film had been “preserved”, they generally were asking if it had been duplicated onto new and more stable film stock. However, a broader definition of preservation has gained acceptance. Increasingly it is understood as the full continuum of activities necessary to protect the film and share the content with the public. Film preservation now embraces the concepts of film handling, duplication, storage, and access. Film preservation is not a onetime operation but an ongoing process. Even duplication must sometimes be repeated as techniques and standards improve. Like other museum objects and library materials, film needs continuing care to extend its useful life.

CONSERVATION: Conservation is the protection of the original film artifact. Film has value as an object and as a carrier of information. Many organizations guard the original from unnecessary handling by creating surrogate copies to carry the content. The copies are used for exhibition and research. The film original can then be stored under conditions that slow physical decay.

DUPLICATION: Duplication is the making of a surrogate copy. Preservationists consider film fully safeguarded only when it is both viewable in a form that faithfully replicates its visual and aural content and protected for the future by preservation masters from which subsequent viewing copies can be created. When making a preservation copy, preservationists generally try to work from the material that most closely represents the film as it was originally shown.

RESTORATION: Restoration goes beyond the physical copying of the surviving original materials and attempts to reconstruct a specific version of a film. Ideally this involves comparing all known surviving source materials, piecing together footage from these disparate sources into the order suggested by production records and exhibition history, and in some cases, enhancing image and sound to compensate for past damage. Film restoration, unlike art or paper restoration, always involves duplicating the original artifact.

ACCESS: Access is the process through which film content is shared with the public. Depending on the institution, access embraces a range of activities, from support of on-site research to exhibition on the Internet. In museums, libraries, and archives, the most common access media at this time are film and video.
(Source: NFPF The Film Preservation Guide, 2004 -

Film Preservation: Continuum of activities necessary to protect film for the future and share its content with the public.

Film Restoration: Reconstruction of a specific version of a film.
(Source: NFPF The Film Preservation Guide, 2004 -

Film Preservation Programs (Training/Education)

Audiovisual Archiving - Charles Sturt University (Australia)

Biennial Audiovisual Archiving Summer School (BAVASS) - FIAF/ IULMIA (Bloomington, USA)

Collaboration: Université de Lausanne / Cinémathèque Suisse (Switzerland)

Conservation and Restoration - Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (Germany)

Conservation of New Media and Digital Information - Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (Germany)

Digital Archives Summer School - Film University Babelsberg / FIAF / Deutsche Kinemathek (Germany)

Diploma in Audiovisual Preservation and Restoration, DiPRA (Argentina)

Eye Filmmuseum Traineeship: Film Restoration / Film Collection (Netherlands)

FIAF Summer School / L’Immagine Ritrovata (Bologna, Italy)

FIAF Winter School - FIAF / La Cinémathèque française / Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé

Film and Photography Preservation & Collections Management, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada)

Film Colors. Technologies, Cultures, Institutions - University of Zürich (Switzerland)

Film Preservation and Restoration Workshops (India)

Film Preservation Studies - Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (Donostia-San Sebastián)

Film Programming & Curating (Birkbeck, University of London)

Frame Training Course (INA / FIAT-IFTA / EBU)

Goethe Universität (Institute for Theater, Film & Media Studies) / DFF - Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)

Graduate Institute of Studies in Documentary and Film Archiving - Tainan National University of the Arts (Taiwan)

L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation - George Eastman Museum (Rochester, NY)

Master Program in Film Heritage (Filmkulturerbe) - Film University Babelsberg (Germany)

Master Program: Audiovisual Heritage. History, Restoration and Management - Complutense University of Madrid (Spain)

Media Archival Studies (MAS), Library & Information Science (MLIS) - UCLA (Los Angeles)

Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) - NYU (New York)

Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image - University of Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Training - AV Preservation by

University of East Anglia / East Anglian Film Archive: Research Fellowships (Norwich, UK)

The Living Record of Memory
A Spanish/Canadian co-production by El Grifilm Productions and Filmoption International

Canadian Film


Quebec tax credit

Filmoption international

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