Where does the list of lost films comes from?
Around 400 titles were submitted by contributors to the LOST FILMS Wiki (More information about the LOST FILMS Wiki is available further down). A further 3000 titles were compiled, with permission, from various sources by a small team of administrators working at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin. The remainder have been submitted by members.
Why are there films on the list that are not lost?
One of the biggest problems associated with lost films is the lack of standard definitions. Another is a lack of communication and restricted access to information (a short article about these problems is available on the Why page of the About section). As a means to combat this problem (and also to draw attention to it), LOST FILMS retains all film titles named as 'lost', even when information concerning the film's existence has been published elsewhere. This will allow for members to bring multiple strands of information together in a common space over time, thus making the combined information accessible to a wider public.
Where can I find out who submitted titles?
Where possible, the source of each submitted title is named in the corresponding entry. However, in the case of those who submitted titles to the LOST FILMS Wiki, many chose to post anonymously. Therefore, a specific name could not be attached to these entries by the administration team when migrating the information into the CollectiveAccess database. If any of the anonymous posters are reading this and wish to reclaim their entries, they are actively encouraged to get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page.
What is CollectiveAccess?
CollectiveAccess is a new, Open Source databasing software, which has been specially adapted for LOST FILMS. It was created by Whirl-i-Gig in New York, and has been developed in close collaboration with the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin. It is designed to be above all flexible and free to use in order to encourage increased collaboration and information exchange amongst users. Further information on CollectiveAccess is available at http://www.collectiveaccess.org.
What is the LOST FILMS Wiki and why can I not view it?
The LOST FILMS Wiki was set up by the Deutsche Kinemathek in the earliest stage of the project as a testing ground for collaboration on the World Wide Web. The Wiki proved successful in gathering over 400 lost film titles, which served as a started point for the present website. The Wiki was taken offline when the preview version of LOST FILMS went live in October 2008.
Which lost films are selected for the website and which are not?
LOST FILMS does not discriminate. All titles submitted by members will be presented on the website.
Which documents are selected for the website and which are not?
Again, LOST FILMS does not discriminate. Once submitted, the document will first pass to the LOST FILMS administration team, who will check its relevance and validity. Upon confirmation, the document will be immediately available to view on the website.
What does it mean if I see a question mark (?) next to the information in the film entry?
Question marks are used as a short, convenient way to mark uncertainties in the given information. If you are able to confirm or refute any of this information, please get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page.
What does it mean if I see a question mark (?) on its own in the comments section?
Stand alone question marks are used to mark the comments that were posted anonymously by users of the LOST FILMS Wiki. If the authors of these comments are reading this and wish to reclaim their posts, they are encouraged to get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page.
What should I do if I notice errors in the current listings?
Please be sure to inform a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team of potential mistakes in any of the entries via the details listed on the Contact page. Information submitted may not always be accurate so any chance to correct potential errors is very welcome. Members are encouraged not to leave comments as a way to inform the administration team of errors.
What should I do if I have discovered one or more of the films on the list?
If you are a member, please leave a comment on the relevant film entry page. If you are not a member, please get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page. Be thorough and try to mention as many details of the discovered film material as you can, so that other users may gain maximum benefit from the information.
I found a film and added a comment. Why then is the film still on the list?
It is the policy of LOST FILMS not to remove a title once it becomes known that the film is not lost. In this way, visitors will have a better-informed overview of the films that are/were believed lost, compared to the films that are genuinely lost and the ones that survive. Films that are no longer lost are marked in such a way that they can be viewed separately by visitors when browsing the LOST FILMS archive.
Why do film entries only contain a title, year of reference, country of reference and director name?
LOST FILMS was never intended by its creators to be a comprehensive, filmographic database. Its primary function is to inform and illustrate lost film titles through open, online collaboration. The list of titles provided are merely a starting point for this and as such entries are deliberately sparse.
Why have only 35 films been illustrated?
The main aim of LOST FILMS is to nurture collaboration on a global level. The six partner institutions profiled on the Who page are not responsible for illustrating all the film titles. Rather, it is hoped that members will use the tools provided by LOST FILMS as a means for illustrating film titles themselves. To provide an example of how to go about this, the partners have contributed documents from their collections to illustrate a small selection of 35 film titles available here.
Why can I not view documents in large?
Your internet browser must be equipped with flash version 8 or higher. Without this, it is impossible to view the images in large. If your internet browser is properly equipped but you are still having problems viewing certain images, then the fault could lie elsewhere. In that case, please get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page and they will try to spot the problem and solve it.
What do I do if I have, or know of, a copy of a film which could be lost but I can't say for certain as the film has still to be identified?
The Identify section has been created specifically for this purpose. Here members can submit sample images and/or video clips taken directly from the film copies for others to view and help identify. Very soon an online tutorial will become available, explaining exactly how members can go about submitting content for identification.
How can I contribute to LOST FILMS?
You can contribute to LOST FILMS by becoming a member. All visitors are encouraged to register for membership, as members have the advantage of being able to submit titles of films known or believed to be lost that are not already mentioned in the archive. Also, they are able to leave comments and upload digital documents to illustrate existing titles. Online tutorials will soon be available to help explain how members can go about submitting titles or uploading documents to the website.
What file size and format do I have to submit documents in?
CollectiveAccess accepts any of the following file formats in sizes up to and including 900 Megabytes: TIF,PNG,JPG,GIF,MPEG2 and MPEG4. For photographic images, a minimum resolution of 800 vertical pixels is preferred. For scans or photographs of text documents with very fine print, a higher resolution is requested so that the characters can remain clearly legible when viewed in close up.
Why can I not upload documents?
If you are trying to upload large documents, such as video files, it might be that the file size is too big for the CollectiveAccess database to handle. Please reduce the file size to 900 Megabytes or less and try again. If you are unable to reduce the file yourself, please feel free to get in touch with a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page and they will help you.
Where can I find more information about films, which are believed lost, online?
The Links page suggests a number of useful websites where visitors can find out more about lost films online. The list is frequently updated so please check back regularly for new additions. If you know of any other sources, which have as yet not been mentioned, please be sure to contact a member or members of the LOST FILMS administration team via the details listed on the Contact page.