This essay examines the contemporary restoration of legacy moving images. It argues that new technologies of restoration confront the archival profession with the need to reassess traditional methodologies and to articulate new theoretical frameworks. It introduces a range of conceptual problems including the nature and status of archival materials that require restoration and reconstitution, the desire to return moving images to their original states, and the differences between object-oriented and time- or event-oriented knowledge systems. A case study discusses three distinct archival representations of Marian Anderson's Lincoln Memorial Concert in 1939, which are symptomatic of a major shift within the moving image archival field. The paper suggests that the UCLA Film and Television Archive's experimental treatment of its archival footage of this historic concert represents an exemplary departure from the field's traditional and doctrinaire orientation toward neutrality and cautiousness. In addition to their previous role as custodians of legacy materials, archivists have now also begun to operate more openly as historical agents to fill in historical gaps by producing new works.

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