The Harvard Film Archive is committed to preserving moving image materials on their original formats when possible. This meticulous work is often performed in collaboration with filmmakers as well as with the staff of fellow film archives around the world, and is done at a small number of specialized film laboratories. Film-to-film preservation work is most often undertaken on materials within the HFA's Artists' and Exhibition Collections.
The HFA is increasingly relying on digital means to preserve and provide access to both film and analog video materials within the Research Collection in an effort to make content as accessible as possible. When legal and ethical guidelines allow, we strive to make digital materials available online. Digital content can be found embedded in Collection Profiles on the HFA website, linked to records in the Hollis and Hollis for Archival Discovery catalogs, and within the Harvard Digital Collections portal.
A sampling of preservation and digitization projects are highlighted below.
33 Yo-Yo Tricks (P. White, 1976)
Preserved with NFPF Grant.
Abigail Child Collection
16mm film-to-film preservation made possible through a grant from the Film Foundation administered by the National Film Preservation Foundation.
- Pacific Far East Line (1979)
- Peripeteia I (1977)
- Peripeteia II (1978)
- Prefaces (1981)
- Mutiny (1983)
Aldo Tambellini Collection
16mm film-to-film preservation made possible through a grant from the Film Foundation administered by the National Film Preservation
The Black Films:
- Black Is (1966)
- Black Plus X (1966)
- Black Trip #1 (1965)
- Black Trip #2 (1966)
- Black TV (1969)
- Blackout (1966)
Black projection performance films:
- Sunblack (ca. 1966)
- Black '67 (1967)
- Black Spiral (1969)
Diaries (1971–76) (Ed Pincus, 1982)
Preserved in 2019 with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation Federal Grant Program (2017).
George Kuchar Collection
The San Francisco Art Institute classroom collaborations:
- One Night a Week (1978)
- The Asphalt Ribbon (ca. 1978)
- The Power of the Press (1977)
- Motel Capri (1986)
- Club Vatican (1984)
- The Carnal Bipeds (1973)
Harvard Film Archive / Pacific Film Archive collaborations:
- I, an Actress (1977)
- A Wild Night in El Reno (1977)
Helen Hill Collection
Preserved in collaboration with Colorlab and the Orphan Film Symposium:
- Raindance (1990)
- Vessel (1992)
- World's Smallest Fair (1995)
- Scratch and Crow (1995)
- Tunnel of Love (1996)
- Your New Pig is Down the Road (1999)
- Film for Rosie (2000)
- Mouseholes (1999)
- Madame Winger Makes a Film: A Survival Guide to the 21st Century (2001)
- Bohemian Town (2004)
Preserved in collaboration with Colorlab and the Center for Home Movies:
- Helen Hill's home movies
Oidhche Sheanchais (A Night of Storytelling), (Robert Flaherty, 1934)
Preserved in collaboration with Harvard's Houghton Library and Celtic Department.
Presenting Jane & Presenting Jane - Outtakes
By John Latouche & Harrison Starr, 1953. Preserved with the assistance of Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room.
Quarry (Richard Rogers, 1970)
Preserved in 2013 with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation Federal Grant Program.
Sand, or Peter and the Wolf (Caroline Leaf, 1968)
Preserved in 2007 with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation Federal Grant Program.
Thomas Bouchard Collection
Two titles from this collection were preserved in 2016 with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation Federal Grant Program.
- Birth of a Painting: Kurt Seligmann (1950), documentation of the surrealist painter at work, filmed by Thomas Bouchard
- Fernand Léger in America: His New Realism (1945), Thomas Bouchard’s documentary on the Cubist artist’s last stateside visit