Preserving Motion Pictures Toolkit

By Maureen A. Taylor Premium

Five steps to save your home movies from Toni Treadway, a technician at the Rowley, Mass., film-to-tape transfer studio Treadway and Brodsky <>:

1. Don’t throw away the original.

2. Don’t project the original unless it’s in good condition.

3. Make sure your hands are clean before handling film.

4. Store in a cool dry place, not in the attic, basement or garage.

5. Record the oral history of the film. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Care, Handling and Storage of Motion Picture Film

<>: Guidelines from the Library of Congress’ Preservation Directorate.

Digital Fridge

<>: Free online community to share your photographs and videos.

Film Decay and How to Slow It

<>: Article from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

General MacArthur’s Home Movies

<>: Watch the famous general’s family in action.

Home Movies: The Family Historian’s Perspective

<>: Online history of home movies for genealogists.

<>: Share your videos online.

Making Great Home Movies

<>: Tips on how to make your home movies or videos more interesting.

National Film Preservation Foundation

<>: Film preservation information from professional conservators.

Northeast Historic Film

<>: A New England-focused archive that collects movies and lends films.

Preservation of Processed Film

<>: How composition, processing and storage contribute to film’s life expectancy.

Preserving Your Precious Home Videos

<>: Find out how to care for the videos in your home collection.

Saving Your Family Treasures: Home Movies

<>: Tips from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ My History Is America’s History project.

Caring for Your Family Treasures by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long (Heritage Preservation), with a chapter on home movies

Home Movies: A History of the American Industry, 1897-1979 by Alan Kattelle (self-published), <>

The Book of Film Care (Kodak Publication No. H-23) edited by Paul L. Gordon (Eastman Kodak Co.), order from (800) 847-8755

The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs: Traditional and Digital Color Prints, Color Negatives, Slides and Motion Pictures by Henry Wilhelm and Carol Brower (Preservation Publishing Co.)

Reel Families — A Social History of Amateur Film by Patricia R. Zimmermann (Indiana University Press)
Motion Picture Timeline


Kodak black-and-white standard 8 mm film first sold.


RCA-Victor’s 16 mm sound-on-film camera can record the operator’s voice.


Home Movies, a monthly magazine for amateurs, launched.


Kodak publishes How to Make Good Movies, a guide for the home-movie enthusiast.


Kodak agrees to stop selling its film with a processing charge included as part of an antitrust suit brought by the US government.


Using a home-movie camera, Abraham Zapruder films the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


Kodak introduces Super 8 color film and Fuji issues Single 8 color film. Sony makes a 30-pound video camera for amateur use.


Kodak develops a combination video camera-recorder.
From the June 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine