The NATIONAL SCREENING ROOM from the Library of Congress features movies from the library’s digital collections.
The project contains nearly 300 videos with 18 from the 19th century. Almost half of the collection are in the category of nonfiction while 50 are fiction. In addition, over 100 are silent films.
The project also includes articles and essays that provide a context for the films including an exploration of mental health films and persuasive films. The National Film Registry is a list of films considered to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Librarians will find this collection useful in teaching about the history of film along with providing fascinating primary sources across the curriculum. Ask students to watch a film from the National Film Registry and write about why they think the film was included for special recognition.
While many of the items are in the public domain, others are copyrighted. Keep in mind that the moving images reflect the time period when they were created, so be sure to talk with youth about changes in perspectives and beliefs over time.
To visit the website, go to https://www.loc.gov/collections/national-screening-room.