RALEIGH, NC July 28, 2014 – Few media formats have the power to transport a person to another reality or immerse one in a story as thoroughly as motion picture film. Captured on film, the past comes alive. The State Archives of North Carolina preserves hundreds of motion picture films, many of which document historic events, people and places.
Examination of North Carolina State Fair film before preservation
Recently, the State Archives received a grant from The National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve two additional films in its collection, “The North Carolina State Fair” (ca. 1974), a daylong glimpse of the Raleigh-based event, including appearances by Bob Hope; and “Scott for Lieutenant Governor” (circa 1965), and a campaign ad for Robert W. Scott’s bid for lieutenant governor.
The films were produced by Raleigh-based Century Film Productions that operated from the 1950s to the 1980s. Owners O.B. (Ollie) and Lynne Garris donated their 175 film collection to the State Archives in 1985. The films document mid-20th century North Carolina politics, social and economic history, and culture.
Audiovisual archivist and researcher Melissa Dollman, a volunteer, was instrumental in securing the grant. “We are so fortunate to have Melissa’s expertise in working with these films,” observed Audio Visual Materials archivist Kim Andersen.
“Because of her work, the entire Century Film collection is processed and cataloged. These specific reels will receive the preservation they need and will be digitally transferred and made available online. We also are grateful to the National Film Preservation Foundation for their generosity,” Andersen concluded.
Films are part of a growing and important body of North Carolina historical material the State Archives collects and makes available to researchers. From Depression-era common folks in cities and towns to home movies depicting real lives or real families in the 1960s to Gov. Terry Sanford addressing the citizens of North Carolina upon the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Archives chronicle the state’s history.
For more information, please call (919) 807-7436. The State Archives is within the Office of Archives and History of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the State Archives of North Carolina
The State Archives of North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. For more information about the State Archives, visit http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov.