Mostly Lost: A Silent Film Identification Project

mostly-lost-bannerI heard about this from a piece on NPR, unfortunately too late to participate. The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA, had a workshop in July for film experts, archivists, and anyone with expertise on early silent movies, where they show films and partials that they can’t identify and hope the audience can help. This isn’t a quiet, respectful audience; this is a shout-out audience whenever someone thinks they recognize a particular actor, the model of a car, a geographic location –anything that would help pinpoint a date or help ID the work. The 3-day event is open to anyone, but one must register and be admitted in advance. I believe it happens every year, so I’m going to try to attend in 2015. I’m no big-time expert, but I have learned something from my research for my Roaring Twenties mysteries, and I might be able to supply a clue or recognize something historical that could help. Anyway, spending a couple days with other people who share my interest in silent film would be a treat!

Read more about this unusual event at

Published in: on July 26, 2014 at 11:06 am  Comments (7)  
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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This forum looks interesting!

  2. my husband is an old time car buff. we enjoy seeing old movies w/him because he tells us what the cars are. he names the year and model and sometimes extra features about them. and who he knew who had one. someone like him would be great to watch these movies.
    thanks for your post

    • Yes, people like that can help determine what year the movie was made. Everyone contributes his or her own expertise, each bit is part of the puzzle. They’ve managed to identify many old movies this way.

  3. My husband loves silent movies and watches them all the time. Is there a 2015 event? If so, how do I register? (He as a special birthday in 2015. He would be blown away if he could attend that!

    • I presume they will have the event next year. We’ll have to check in the spring with the Library of Congress and see . . .

  4. Where I went to college there was a pizza parlor which showed silent movies — I wish I had taken better advantage of seeing them.

  5. It was a great event. Like you, I read about the event too late to do anything about it, but that was a year ago. This time, I kept an eye out for it. Hope to see you next year!

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