State Archives Awarded Grant to Preserve Films

[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Cultural Resources press release – you can find other news related to NC Cultural Resources here.]

A glimpse of a film of the North Carolina State Fair, one of the films to be restored as part of the NFPF grant

A glimpse of a film of the North Carolina State Fair, one of the films to be restored as part of the NFPF grant.

Few media formats are able to immerse one in a story or transport one into another reality as thoroughly as motion picture film.  A moving image complete with sound and color is indeed the next best thing to being there.  Captured on film, the past comes alive.  The State Archives of North Carolina preserves hundreds of motion picture films, many of which document historic events, people, and places – from Depression-era common folks in cities and towns across the state, to home movies depicting real lives of real families in the 1960s, to Governor Terry Sanford addressing the citizens of North Carolina upon the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Films are part of a growing and important body of historical material the Archives collects and makes available to researchers.

In July 2014, the State Archives received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve and reformat two more films, “The North Carolina State Fair” (ca. 1974), a daylong glimpse of the Raleigh-based event, including an appearance by Bob Hope; and “Scott for Lieutenant Governor” (ca. 1965), a campaign ad for Robert W. Scott’s bid for lieutenant governor. The films were produced by Century Film Productions, a Raleigh-based film studio that operated from the 1950s to the 1980s. Owners O.B. (Ollie) and Lynne Garris donated their collection of 175 films and outtakes to the State Archives in 1985. These films document mid-twentieth century North Carolina state politics and social and economic history and culture.

Volunteer and audiovisual archivist and researcher Melissa Dollman was instrumental in securing this grant. “We are so fortunate to have Melissa’s expertise in working with these films,” stated Kim Andersen, audio visual materials archivist at the State Archives. “Because of her work, the entire Century Film collection is now processed and cataloged and these specific reels will receive the preservation treatment they need and will be digitally transferred and made available online.  We are grateful to the National Film Preservation Foundation for their generosity in making this possible for us here in North Carolina.”

View films from the collections at the State Archives on its YouTube channel:


About the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina State Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county, and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. For more information about the State Archives, visit


About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.  Learn more at