Library of Congress Receives Lost American Silent Films from Russia

WHAT: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will be presented with digitally preserved copies of 10 American silent movies considered lost for decades? from the Russian Federation, represented by Vladimir I. Kozhin, Head, Management and Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010

WHERE: Members Room, first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Media should enter through the ground-floor carriage entrance under the marble stairs.

WHO: James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress

Vladimir I. Kozhin, Head, Management and Administration of the President of the Russian Federation

Nikolai M. Borodachev, Director General, Gosfilmofond, the Russian State Film Archive

Alexander Vershinin, Director General, Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library

Patrick Loughney, Chief, Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation

BACKGROUND:

Due to neglect and deterioration over time, America has lost more than half of the films produced before 1950. In addition, more than 80 percent of movies from the silent era (1893-1930) do not exist in the U.S. In the past 20 years, the Library of Congress and others have made great efforts to locate and repatriate missing U.S.-produced movies from foreign archives.

As part of its partnership with the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, the Library of Congress will receive a gift of 10 movies that constitute the first installment of an ongoing series of "lost" films produced by U.S. movie studios that will be digitally preserved by Gosfilmofond and presented, via the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, to the Library of Congress. Preliminary research conducted by the staff of the Library's Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation indicates that up to 200 movies produced by U.S. movie studios of the silent and sound eras may survive only in the Gosfilmofond archive. Digital copies of these films will eventually be sent to the Library of Congress.

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