“Duck and Cover” is a 1951 U.S. Office of Civil Defense film for schoolchildren highlighting what to do in the event of an attack by atomic or other weapons.
The Library of Congress is offering film lovers a special gift during the holiday season: Sixty-four motion pictures, named to the Library’s National Film Registry, are now available online. The collection, “Selections from the National Film Registry,” is also available on YouTube.
These films are among hundreds of titles that have been tapped for preservation because of their cultural, historical and aesthetic significance—each year, the National Film Registry selects 25 films showcasing the range and diversity of America’s film heritage.
Legendary sailors Popeye and Sinbad battle in the 1936 film “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor.”
All of the streaming films in the new online collection are in the public domain. They are also available as freely downloadable files with the exception of two titles. Additional films will be added periodically to the website.
“We are especially pleased to make high-resolution ProRes 422 .mov files freely available for download for practically every title in this digital collection,” said curator Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section. “We think these films will be of particular educational and scholarly benefit as well as for reuse by the creative community.”
Highlights from “Selections from the National Film Registry” include
- “Memphis Belle” (1944)—William Wyler’s remarkable World War II documentary about the crew of a B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber
- “The Hitch-Hiker” (1953)—a gritty film noir directed by actress Ida Lupino
- “Trance and Dance in Bali” (1936–39)—Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson’s groundbreaking ethnographic documentary
- “Modesta” (1956)—a Spanish-language film produced by Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education
- “Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor” (1936)—a two-reel Technicolor cartoon
- “The House I Live In” (1945)— a plea for religious tolerance starring Frank Sinatra that won an honorary Academy Award
- “Master Hands” (1936)—a dazzling “mechanical ballet” shot on a General Motors automotive assembly line
- “Duck and Cover” (1951)— a Cold War curio that features Bert the Turtle explaining to schoolchildren how best to survive a nuclear attack
The final mission of the B-17 bomber, Memphis Belle, is the subject of the 1944 documentary “The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress.”
Last week, the Library announced a new online presentation of Abraham Lincoln’s papers from his time as a lawyer, congressman and the 16th president. The refreshed digital collection follows a multiyear project to update the Library’s previous presentation with additional features, full-color images and new material. To celebrate, we’re highlighting items from the Library’s vast […]
A love of travel inspires so many photos. A stunning group of images we’re featuring now in our “free to use and reuse” feature on the Library’s home page will take you on a century-old “grand tour” of the world. Our Photochrom Print Collection shows, in color, Europe, the Middle East, Canada, Asia and the […]
This is a guest post by Sasha Dowdy, program specialist in the Library’s Young Readers Center. Ever since I was in elementary school, books have been bridge-builders for me. I am not a native English-speaker—my first language is Russian, and my second is Japanese—so as a child, it was a challenge sometimes to connect with the […]
An earlier version of this post, written by Micah Messenheimer, assistant curator of photography in the Prints and Photographs Division, was published on “Picture This,” the division’s blog. A giant coffee pot that doubles as a restaurant, drive-in movie theaters, old gas pumps and vintage hotels: these are but a few of the examples included […]
Military brass, senators, socialites and even babies—these are a handful of Washington, D.C., subjects photographed by Charles Milton Bell (1848–93) during the last quarter of the 19th century. The Library recently digitized more than 25,000 glass plate negatives produced by Bell and his successors between 1873 and the early years of the 20th century. The photographs document […]
Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864–1952) loved beautiful gardens. From 1915 through the 1930s, she shared her enthusiasm in lectures to garden club members, museum groups and horticultural societies. No doubt her listeners valued her knowledge of gardens—but they may have enjoyed her visual examples even more. Johnston—one of the first women to achieve international prominence as […]
Settlers’ cabins, high-style mansions, jails, barns and churches. These are just a few of the properties the Historic American Buildings Survey has painstakingly documented over the past 80 plus years. The Library started digitizing the survey’s records—many of them stunning and unique—20 years ago, providing public access on its website. Known as HABS for short, […]
Faraway states, natural wonders and beautiful beaches—these are the settings that often come to mind as we start to plan our summer vacations. They also form the backdrop of hundreds of travel posters in the Library’s collections, including an assortment featured this month on the Library’s home page. The featured posters are U.S. government works, […]