Top of page

Film Loans from the Library of Congress: September 2018

Share this post:

Back when we were planning the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, one mantra we always kept foremost in our minds was “preservation for access.” It’s a simple concept and self-explanatory, but it also pithily illustrates an important guiding principle. Nearly every activity in this facility is in the service of access, be it acquisition, cataloging, storing in climate controlled vaults, or, yes, preservation. Our primary access point remains the Moving Image Research Center in the Library’s Madison Building and we’re also making more titles available online.

One access initiative in which we take some special pride is our film loans program. In a typical year we will loan somewhere between 350-400 titles in 35mm to venues committed to showing films on film–more than 200 world-wide to date.  We only loan titles for which we have preservation material like a negative or a fine grain master positive, meaning if a print is damaged in projection (which can certainly happen when a thin strip of plastic runs at high speed through a machine) or is lost in transit, we can replace it. Those preservation elements are almost always produced by our film lab, and since our film lab mainly preserves our nitrate holdings, the overwhelmingly vast majority of titles we have for loan are from the nitrate era, or pre-1951. In other words, please don’t ask to borrow our 35mm print of Guardians of the Galaxy that we received through copyright in 2014.

Today we inaugurate a monthly post that will list films we’ve loaned from our collection that can be seen in the weeks ahead at venues around the world. We can’t guarantee that schedules won’t change or links get broken, but this is our best information at the time of publication. One other thing to remember: every reel that we loan–and 350-400 titles translates to more than 2000 individual reels–is inspected on the way out and inspected upon return; we’ll tell you more about that process in a future post. Suffice to say that it is very time consuming and labor intensive, but necessary to ensure that our prints are being properly handled.


September 1, 2018
Yankee Doodle in Berlin (1919)
XIX International Silent Film Festival
Forssa, Finland

September 9-23, 2018
Crossfire (1947)
Craig’s Wife (1936)
Give Us This Day (1949)
The House I Live In (1945)
M (1951)
Arsenal Cinema 

Berlin, Germany

September 13, 2018
Our Town (1940)
George Eastman Museum
Rochester, New York

September 24 – October 29, 2018 
My Favorite Wife (1940)
Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942)
Cinémathèque Française
Paris, France

September 25, 2018
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
The Campus Theater (Bucknell University)
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania



September 22, 2018 
Fear and Desire (1953)
Brotfabrik Berlin
Berlin, Germany

September 26, 2018
Other Men’s Women (1931)
Chicago Film Society
Chicago, Illinois

Comments (3)

  1. Love everything about this. Nothing beats seeing a 35mm print in a theater. I’ve seen plenty of LoC prints at the Film Forim in NY, and look forward to reading about where other prints are playing, far and wide!

  2. How do I sign up my local cinema as a “borrower?”

    • Venues are welcome to contact [email protected] for more information. Please be aware that we have strict requirements for the projection of 35mm prints, such as not allowing our prints to be plattered, that silent films should be shown at the correct speed, and so on. But we’re always happy to add new theaters to our extensive list of borrowers.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.