I am beginning to compile a list of ephemeral films (advertising,
educational, and industrial) of extraordinary cultural and historical
significance. My aim is to assemble a list of 100 to 150 titles, with
basic filmographic information and reason(s) for the importance of each
one. At the moment, I am restricting the list to productions of U.S.
In recent years, the film preservation field has begun to focus increased
attention on hitherto unappreciated genres. The new National Film
Preservation Foundation plans to focus its attention on "orphan" films not
controlled by major studios or production companies, and users of archival
material have been enthusiastically embracing ephemeral films since the
In compiling this list, my intention is to help inform and guide efforts
to identify and preserve key works in all ephemeral film genres. I would
be grateful for all suggestions, ideas, leads and opinions toward this
end. The list may well contain titles not currently known to exist, and I
am also concerned that it reflect a broad range of topical, regional,
cultural, ethnic, and stylistic interests.
Drafts of the work-in-progress will be freely available, and I plan to
solicit further comment on a continuing basis.
Prelinger Archives, New York City
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