“In the early part of the twentieth century, most people, even those in the film industry, considered movies to be only a cheap and disposable form of entertainment. Now we realize that a moving image is many things: a form of entertainment, an art form, an historical record, a cultural artifact, a commodity and a force for social change.

More than a reflection of society and culture, moving images are primary documents that can serve a wide range of research purposes. The director Sydney Pollack has said that cinema is “the most vivid and valuable record of who we were and what we were, and what we thought and what we believed. And it continues to be that.” As our culture is increasingly shaped by visual images in the digital age, historians may soon rely on moving images as much as on the printed word to understand 21st century culture. In a sense, by relying more and more on moving images to understand the times in which we live, society is increasingly reverting back to its roots grounded in oral tradition.

Whether it’s classic Hollywood feature films, 20th century newsreels, documentaries, classic television or home movies of Billy’s fifth birthday, it is important to preserve our visual heritage.” -MIC