Now here comes the Guardian and Observer

Regulars will know that we try and keep up with the steady stream of digitised newspapers collections appearing across the world, which are opening up research into silent film (and a few other subjects besides, of course). The latest is the British newspaper The Guardian, along with its Sunday partner The Observer. This article was published recently in The Guardian‘s Media section (with thanks once again to the eagle-eyed David Pierce for alerting The Bioscope):

Every edition of the Guardian and Observer newspapers is to be made available via a newly launched online digital archive.

The first phase of the Guardian News & Media archive, containing the Guardian from 1821 to 1975 and The Observer from 1900 to 1975, launch on November 3.

It will contain exact replicas of the original newspapers, both as full pages and individual articles. and will be fully searchable and viewable at

Readers will be offered free 24-hour access during November, but after this trial period charging will be introduced.

The rest of the archive will launch early in 2008, making more than 1.2m pages of digitised news content available, with Observer content available from its launch as the world’s first Sunday newspaper in 1791.

New reports featured in the archive cover events including the 1793 execution of Louis XVI, the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815, and the 1833 abolition of the slave trade, the first and second world wars and the assassination of the US president, John F Kennedy.

“The launch of the archive will revolutionise the way in which users are able to access our historic content, whether for academic research or personal interest,” said Gerard Baines, the head of syndication and rights, GNM.

“The archive will offer historical coverage to both consumers and academics of the most important events recorded during 212 years of publishing history,” GNM added in a statement.

“With microfilm stock and paper copy in danger of degrading beyond repair, the launch of the archive ensures the preservation of the papers’ legacy.”

Silicon Valley firm Olive Software started digitising the archive in December last year.

GNM chose ProQuest CSA to be the exclusive global distribution partner for universities, libraries and corporate accounts.

Rod Gauvin, the ProQuest senior vice-president of publishing, said: “The vivid and fearless reporting by both newspapers has set journalistic standards not only in the UK, but also worldwide.

“Indeed, globally many rely on the Guardian and the Observer for unbiased, thoughtful reporting on events in their own country.”

Fingers at the ready come November 3rd…

Don’t forget Telluride

I was sent the text below about the silents shown at the recent Telluride Film Festival:

Two wonderful silent programs were featured this year at the Telluride Film Festival. The annual “Pordenne Presents” show was the gorgeous restoration from the George Eastman House of King Vidor’s THE BIG PARADE with a wonderful score played by Gabriel Thibaudeau. This powerful war epic is often taken for granted as a classic but rarely actually screens today. It confirms its reputation as a masterpiece and proves to have a contemporary resonance.

Creating equal buzz was PEOPLE ON SUNDAY the early collaboration of Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer from a script by Billy Wilder, Kurt and Robert Siodmak. Stunning cinematography by Eugen Schufftan and Fred Zinneman contribute to making this unique non-traditional narrative worth seeking out if the print from the Netherlands Film Museum makes its way to your area. Sadly, you probably won’t have a chance to experience the 6 person Mont Alto Orchestra’s lively score.

Leoanrd Maltin presented a two-hour collection of restored Vitaphone shorts with informative and humorous introductions. Legendary composer Michel Legrand and French director/film buff Bertrand Tavernier were among the audience members who couldn’t get enough.

In the Festival’s newest venue, The Backlot, dedicated to movies about movies, the new documentary THE DAWN OF SOUND was featured as was the found segment of THE STORY OF THE KELLY GANG (1906) with discussion about the restoration process from Paolo Cherchi Usai.

The lobby of The Backlot and the Brigadoon hospitality tent featured the extensive display “A Life Discovered: Unseen Material from the von Stroheim Collection” courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

For the complete program, go to


Those living in Northern California are in for a treat on October 26 & 27 when the 2nd Annual Silent Film Festival in Redding will be produced by David Shepard with live music by Frederick Hodges.

More info at: