National Archives and UMD Host Gov't Film Conference April 7-9
Media Alert · Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Washington, DC

WHAT:  The National Archives and the University of Maryland will host Films of State, their first-ever live (virtual) Government Film Conference via Zoom, featuring film screenings, presentations, panel discussions, and “how-to” film research guidance.  The conference is open to academics, filmmakers, press, students, film historians, information professionals and anyone engaged in research and the re-use of government films! For the full schedule, videos, handouts, and participation info, see Films of State. Read more in the Unwritten Record post, Introducing Films of State, a Conference on Government Films.

WHEN:  Wednesday, April 7, through Friday, April 9, starting at 10 a.m. ET.                                       

WHO:  Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, National Archives Moving Image and Sound Holdings experts, film studies professors, professional researchers, and representatives from other federal institutions such as the National Museum of African American Culture and History and the National Library of Medicine. 

WHERE:  Anywhere! Join the Zoom livestream or watch the sessions online afterwards. 

HOW: Visit the webpage or follow live on Zoom. Participants can watch individual sessions, download materials, ask questions, and interact with presenters. Space for the livestream is limited–please register in advance here. Panels will be recorded and made available online at a later date.

Captioning:  Live captioning will be available online. If you have questions or require an alternative or additional accommodations for the event, please contact Dr. Oliver Gaycken at

Follow the National Archives on Twitter @USNatArchives and join the conversation using #Filmsofstate.

Background: The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the federal government. In addition to 14 billion documents including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, the agency also holds an estimated half a million reels of motion picture film–the world’s largest Public Domain film collection. The Motion Picture Preservation Lab physically handles about 2 million feet of film per year – if laid out end-to-end, it would be greater than the distance between College Park, MD, and Boston, MA!  These films belong to the American people; most were made by the federal government and, as government works, are treated as though in the public domain. They include the Apollo 11 raw footage, the Iwo Jima Flag Raising, The March on Washington, and the first color film of Yellowstone National Park! 


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This page was last reviewed on March 16, 2021.
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