The Case of Lena Smith, 1929, Josef von Sternberg


Since 2008, the Deutsche Kinemathek - the Museum of Film and Television in Berlin has been running the demanding Project LOST FILMS, which the Film Museum is actively involved in.
The international platform LOST FILMS helps identify films and search for films long considered lost. The Film Museum first took on this topic in 2007, the same year it became the first institution to publish an extensive monograph on a "lost film": Josef von Sternberg. The Case of Lena Smith. 
Early in 2010, the Film Museum contributed two enlarged frames as well as a short clip belonging to two unidentified films to the LOST FILMS database. An online user identified one of these films as Sparrows (starring Mary Pickford) in July 2010.
The publication of such information is important for collectors and researchers of all disciplines. Moreover, a platform combining the aforementioned knowledge reaches out to the general public and raises awareness of the relevance these film documents have for the scientific community. It appeals to the public to entrust any discoveries to institutions such as the Film Museum in Vienna or that in Berlin so that they can be studied and identified.
The Schlemmer Frame Collection housed in the Austrian Film Museum is another example of making "lost films" accessible. Although many film archives hold such collections, it was the first case of a historical frame collection of this kind that received detailed attention from researchers, followed by a full digitization and presentation to the public in 2007. The collection is distinguished by the innovative methods employed as well as by its content: many of the represented, i.e. "excerpted" films from the 1910s and 20s are now considered lost.