FFDW Works with Prelinger Archives to Make Rare Historic Films More Accessible Using the Decentralized Web

Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) is proud to announce its collaboration with Prelinger Archives, a San Francisco-based historical film archive, to make rare and one-of-a-kind films accessible to the general public. The Prelinger Archives will use the award from FFDW to digitize a vast collection of archival 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film footage held by both Prelinger Archives and Internet Archive and make these materials broadly accessible to the public through both Internet Archive and the decentralized web.

Founded in 1983, Prelinger Archives has collected advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films — films that contain rich and vital records of daily life, culture, and industry. Recently it has been working to collect and preserve amateur films and home movies, unique records of lived experience and community activities that have not been archived elsewhere but still hold historical significance. The Prelinger collection itself holds over 30,000 items, with around 8,500 already available on the Internet Archive website. The organization’s collaboration with FFDW will enable the Archives to dramatically expand this online collection by digitizing thousands of hours of physical film stored offline — film that when digitized will be stored on the decentralized web and available to everyone for viewing, research, and reuse.

As a part of this undertaking, FFDW will help support Prelinger Archives in uploading the data onto a decentralized repository in order to increase the resilience and longevity of digital preservation.

“We’ve been making historical film available online for over twenty years through our partnership with Internet Archive,” said Megan and Rick Prelinger, co-directors of Prelinger Archives. “Now, through our partnership with FFDW, we’re excited to scale up this work and vastly accelerate our digitizing and distribution. Our growing collection will serve media makers, scholars, educators, and members of the public, daylighting archival films that have never been seen or used. Decentralized storage increases the odds that digital media will survive and be available for the future, and that historical awareness can persist over time.”

“FFDW’s mission is to preserve humanity’s most important information,” said Marta Belcher, president and chair of Filecoin Foundation and FFDW. “We are delighted to support the work of the Prelinger Archives to preserve these precious films into the future using the decentralized web.”