Welcome to Rick Prelinger and Prelinger Archives' almost-all-text website.


Current and future events

2016-01-10: Roundtable on "Archival Practices" at the Modern Language Association in Austin, Texas. My intervention will address the linguistic divide between archives as places where the labor of recordkeeping takes place, and the archive as a theoretical construct.

2016-02-15 through 2016-02-19: Visiting artist at Duke University's MFA/EDA (Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts) program.

2016-03-02: Lecture and screening at Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, Calif. The lecture's entitled "The Philosophical Concept of Unrestricted Access to Moving Images," and the screening will be some version of my 2014 compilation Lost Landscapes of Oakland.

2016-03-09: Panel, "Authorship and the Promises of Digital Dissemination," UC Davis Innovating Communication in Scholarship Project, Davis, Calif.

2016-04-06 through 2016-04-09: Orphan Film Symposium X, Library of Congress, Culpeper, Virginia. Stay tuned.

2016-05-05: Screening, Lost Landscapes of San Francisco X, Officers Club, Presidio of San Francisco.



Rick Prelinger is an archivist, writer, filmmaker and educator. His collection of 60,000 ephemeral films was acquired by Library of Congress in 2002. Beginning in 2000, he partnered with Internet Archive to make a subset of the Prelinger Collection (now 6,500 films) available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. His archival feature Panorama Ephemera (2004) played in venues around the world, and his new feature project No More Road Trips? received a Creative Capital grant in 2012. His Lost Landscapes participatory urban history projects have played to many thousands of viewers in San Francisco, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhere. He is a board member of Internet Archive and frequently writes and speaks on the future of archives and issues relating to archival access and regeneration. With Megan Shaw Prelinger, he co-founded Prelinger Library in 2004. He is currently Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz.


Films, videos, screenings and moving-image-based events







Ancient links dating from 2001-2013:

Upcoming Events

Prelinger Archives: Active Film Collection Title List (rev. August 6, 2010)

Prelinger Library, an appropriation-friendly collection of books, periodicals and print ephemera, open to the public in downtown San Francisco

In search of archival or stock footage? Please look at our Archives FAQ here first.

Blackoystercatcher blog

View or download Panorama Ephemera (2004), a feature-length collage film

News of Panorama Ephemera

6,534 titles (actually fewer, as some are duplicates) from Prelinger Archives are online at the Internet Archive.

My "Points of Origin" piece, published in The Moving Image 9 (No. 2, 2009) here:

Prelinger Collection Acquired by Library of Congress

The Landscape Coin Project and my spouse Megan Shaw Prelinger's website

What's New (updated 14 July 2004; my blog is much more current)

Archives FAQ (updated October 2008)
Link to the
Internet Moving Images Archive
One-page list listing approximately 1,969 Prelinger titles presently available from the Internet Moving Images Archive, suitable for searching or browsing.
Access to Products
Intellectual Property Issues
About Ephemeral Films

Watch the Prelinger Archives official orientation video:

Public Domain Dedication
The work referred to below is in the Public Domain.

View or download This Is Prelinger Archives (2001)
Producer: Prelinger (Rick)
Sponsor: Prelinger Archives
Official Prelinger Archives corporate video, describing its contents and mission. With excerpts of many films in the collection and rare scenes shot inside the New York vaults.
Descriptors: Motion pictures: Ephemeral;  Motion pictures: Archives;  Prelinger Archives
Run time: 10:45   Color/B&W: B&W/C   Silent/Sound: Sd

Contact information:
Rick Prelinger
Prelinger Archives
P.O. Box 590622
San Francisco, CA 94159-0622


December 23, 2015