RUSSIAN STATE DOCUMENTARY
FILM & PHOTO ARCHIVE
N T R O D U C T I O N
Krasnogorsk Archive's film collection documents the entire history
of Russian filmmaking, beginning with footage of the 1896 coronation
of Czar Nicholas II shot by Kamill Serf, a cameraman for the pioneering
Lumiere Brothers. Compiling another 1,000 films before 1917, the
Archive was then nationalized and became the repository of all films
documenting the October Revolution and events that followed. Known
then as the Central Film and Photo Archive, the collection was installed
on the grounds of the Lefortov Palace in 1928, and in 1936 was moved
to its present location in the town of Krasnogorsk near Moscow.
Archive has a virtually complete collection of newsreels from
1919 to 1985, documenting the politics, wars, disasters, trials,
and the disparate peoples and places of the United Soviet Socialist
Republic. Available footage covers both World Wars; the Soviet
invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Afghanistan; and the
many dimensions of the Cold War including the Cuban missile crisis,
the space race, Vietnam, and the collapse of the Communist system.
Literature, art, sports, science, and many other aspects of Russian
and other cultures of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are vividly
represented among the 38,000 films of the Archive.
Archive has a very progressive preservation plan in place, which
was followed until the changes in government in the late 1980s.
The vast collection of materials is maintained in a humidity and
temperature - controlled environment and preventative treatment
and restoration of many materials has been undertaken. The 52,000
films on nitrate stock have been duplicated except for perhaps 1%.
Of course there is continuing preservation work to be done in transferring
various other types of film currently endangered, but there are
not sufficient government funds appropriated.