Timeline of Historical Film Colors

The Timeline of Historical Film Colors

is a comprehensive resource for the investigation of film color technology and aesthetics, analysis and restoration, developed and curated by Barbara Flueckiger since 2012.

BFI National Archive

Established in 1935, the BFI National Archive holds one of the largest film and television collections in the world containing nearly a million titles. Using the latest preservation methods, we care for a variety of obsolete formats so that future generations can enjoy the UK’s film heritage.

View entries

National Science and Media Museum

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford explores the science and culture of light and sound technologies and their impact on our lives.  The Museum’s collections trace the history of the technical developments of both professional and amateur motion pictures.

View entries

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center acquires, describes, stores, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings.

View entries

Academy Film Archive

The Academy Film Archive was founded 25 years ago to collect and preserve significant contributions to both the art and science of the motion picture. The archive contains nearly 200,000 items and has preserved over 1,000 films.

View entries

George Eastman Museum

Founded in 1949, the George Eastman Museum is a world leader in the areas of photography, motion pictures, and their associated technologies. The Moving Image Department holds more than 28,000 films from the entire history of cinema and other materials related to the history, production, and exhibition of moving images.

View entries

EYE Film Museum

EYE Filmmuseum is the Dutch centre for cinematography, with a collection of more than 40.000 films, from silent early cinema to contemporary digital productions.

View entries

Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen

Founded in 1963, the Deutsche Kinemathek holds a large collection of films, as well as film-related materials such as advertisement material and scripts, photography, scenography, and of film apparatus from the 1900s to the present, and a library. Since 2000, the collections are also shown in a museum for film and television in Berlin.

View entries

Lichtspiel / Kinemathek Bern

The Lichtspiel / cinémathèque Berne was founded in 2000 to collect and preserve anything related to the production and reproduction of moving images. It is a unique cinematographic collection with an open cinema in the heart of the hall, an archive, a workshop and a storehouse, a mélange of cinema, museum, service station for cinematographic material and network for film aficionados.

View entries

Cineteca di Bologna

Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna is an internationally distinguished film archive founded in the 1960s. Cineteca’s activities include: film restoration, film collection, teaching programs, daily theatrical screenings, publishing (books and DVDs), a globally known restoration festival (Il Cinema Ritrovato), a library, non-film collections. Cineteca’s L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory has established its reputation in the world of film archives thanks to the restoration of many masterpieces.

View entries

DEFA Foundation

Established in 1998 as an incorporated non-profit foundation, it is the mission of the DEFA Foundation to preserve the 12,000 films made at the East German DEFA studios, to use them for the public good and in general to support and sponsor German film culture and art.

View entries

Deutsches Filminstitut DIF

The Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF in Frankfurt am Main is dedicated to the medium of film, showcasing its history and present, its aesthetics and influence. It pursues its mission to provide access to film heritage through museum exhibitions, daily film screenings, publishing activities, film education, film festivals and extensive archival collections. The film archive department conserves and makes accessible over 20 000 film elements: Vintage prints, pre-print elements, original negatives and outtakes, analogue preservation elements, dedicated rental prints and the outcomes of recent digitization projects and digital restoration efforts. A wide range of moving images is represented – dating from the birth of cinema up to the present.

View entries

Národní filmový archiv / National Film Archive, Prague

The Národní filmový archiv / National Film Archive in Prague is one of the ten oldest and largest film archives in the world. It was set up in 1943 and in 1946 it became a member of the International Federation of Film Archives – FIAF. In 1997 it became a founding member of the Association of European Film Archives and Cinematheques, ACE.

View entries

Please access detailed information on over 230 individual film color processes via the classification system on this page, display the Timeline of Historical Film Colors in chronological order, search via the tag cloud at the end of this page or directly on the search page.

Autonomous Colors (applied colors)

Mimetic processes (natural colors)

Additive Colors

Subtractive Colors

Other