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Rescued Film Project

An American WWII soldier shoots 31 rolls of film.

They sit undeveloped for more than 70 years.

Then they come to the attention of The Rescued Film Project. And the painstaking recovery and restoration process begins.

Society’s Genome deals in digital preservation, but to keep history and preserve society’s information requires analog archivists like the Rescued Film Project to find, prepare and digitize information for digital preservation. In the clip above, the archivist calmly states, “When I tell people what I do, how much time I spend, and how much money I spend on it, they don’t quite get it.”

We get it. The photos on their website are mesmerizing. They try to find original photographers, families, and those people shown in the photos. Just looking at these real images is a window into a world with a richness unmatched, even in media which tries to capture and transport.

Film, of course, is a fragile analog media, and the people who work with The Rescued Film Project are in a race to capture this media while it still can be done.

“The Rescued Film Project is an online archive gallery of images that were captured on film between the 1930’s and late 1990’s. Each image in our archive was rescued from locations all over the world, and came to us in the form of undeveloped rolls of film. We have the capability to process film from all eras. Even film that has been degraded by heat, moisture and age, or is no longer manufactured.

Every image in The Rescued Film Project at some point, was special for someone. Each frame captured reflects a moment that was intended to be remembered. The picture was taken, the roll was finished, wound up, and for reasons we can only speculate, was never developed. These moments never made it into photo albums, or were framed neatly on walls. We believe that these images deserve to be seen, so that the photographer’s personal experiences can be shared, forever marking their existence in history.”

The Rescued Film Project makes images available on its own site, plus through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr.  Prints are available for purchase through their Etsy site.

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