MEP is pursuing new research opportunities regarding two considerable collections of historic international WWI films at The National Archives (NARA).

One collection is roughly 1 million feet of archival WWI footage collected by the CBS television network from multiple international archives in order to produce a 26 episode prime-time network series for the 50th anniversary of The Great War during the 1964-1965 television season. This vast footage collection represents a singular instance of an inter-medial archival collection. The film materials were assembled by CBS with brief listings about the contents of each footage reel and an assignment to the original archive. As a result the collection is roughly navigable for future scholarship in relation to its complex and dynamic provenance, and therefore a boon to researchers across many disciplines interested in WWI as a transformative event of “modern” history.

The second collection is footage produced by the U.S. Signal Corps, which represents the first major motion picture endeavors by the U.S. military (1914-1936). This collection is augmented by substantial metadata, often very precisely and consistently formatted (“military grade”), which may recommend this collection as a resource for an additional regimen of new research: efforts to develop computer vision and machine learning tools for parsing moving image history.

Study participants include: