Anyone who has attended one of the marvellous festivals of archive or silent film that the Italians have in such profusion will recognise Vittorio Martinelli (1926-2008). Even if you don’t know his many books of film history, he was a regular sight at Pordenone and Bologna. His death was announced recently, and there are fulsome tributes (in Italian and English) on the Pordenone website, include a fine tribute on PDF from film historian Ivo Blom. Martinelli is best-known for the multi-volume filmography of Italian silent cinema, Il cinema muto italiano, that he co-edited with Aldo Bernardini. He also wrote extensively on other national cinemas. Every nation seems to have produced these dedicated, principled documenters of our silent heritage (John Barnes, Denis Gifford, Einar Lauritzen, Henri Bousquet, Herbert Birett), believers all in the value of the accurate, comprehensive list. Will we see their like again in the next generations, or have we now the filmographies for silent film history that will sustain our subject for the future?