The Library Of Congress Just Launched A Resource To Stream Motion Pictures
by TeachThought Staff
The Library of Congress announced today that it has digitized hundreds of hours of motion pictures that will be freely available on the newly launched National Screening Room website.
Most of the content in the National Screening Room is in the public domain. Movies that the Library believes to be in the public domain are fully downloadable. Permissions were granted for the inclusion of copyrighted motion pictures, which are only available as streaming files.
This digital offering showcases the wealth and diversity of the Library’s vast moving image collections. The Library has the largest and most comprehensive archive of moving images in the world, totaling more than 1.6 million items.
The first phase of the project will feature 281 titles and new content will be added to the National Screening Room every month.
Visitors to the National Screening Room have a front row seat to sample the nation’s cinematic history in all of its forms. The films range from fiction and non-fiction to home movies and social life and customs to newsreels and actualities, covering a period of more than a hundred years, from 1890-1999.
“The goal of this digital project is to present the public with a broad range of historical and cultural audio-visual materials that will enrich education, scholarship and lifelong learning,” said curator Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section. “The National Screening Room is designed to open up the Library’s collections, making otherwise unavailable movies freely accessible to viewers nationwide and around the world.”
Other collection highlights of the existing collection include:
- 33 issues of the “All-American News” (1942-1945), a newsreel made specifically
for African-American audiences during the mid-20th century;
- 103 titles from the Library’s Paper Prints Collection, including several shorts directed by D. W. Griffith for Biograph Company;
- Historical and iconic figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, William McKinley, Frank Sinatra, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell and Art Carney;
- Titles named to the National Film Registry because of their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance;
- A selection of films about mental health released in the 1950s.
What Is The Library of Congress?
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.