Some of my favorite movies are silent films, so the readings this week got me thinking about how digitization and preservation have affected the fate (and the ultimate demise) of many of those films. To that end, I found an article in Library Journal, Silent Films Preservation Study Underlines Difficulties of Film Archiving, which puts the question of what to do with old films to libraries, rather than merely to archives.
I also stumbled across this chapter from a book about the ethics of film preservation, specifically regarding silent cinema, which helps give an idea of just how complicated the long-term preservation of early films can be. For the further curious, the book is available here on campus at Memorial Library.
Lastly, here is an article from Indiana University about the difficulties of digitizing early film for preservation. Clearly there is no one easy or agreed upon solution to the problem of preserving film for posterity, but while we try to figure out what to do, time may be running out.