Rick Prelinger  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Rick Prelinger (born 1953, Washington D.C., U.S.) is an archivist, writer and filmmaker, and founder of the Prelinger Archives, a collection of 60,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002 after 20 years' operation.

Rick has partnered with the Internet Archive to make 1,970 films from Prelinger Archives available online for free viewing, downloading and reuse. With the Voyager Company, a pioneer new media publisher, he produced fourteen laserdiscs and CD-ROMs with material from his archives, including Ephemeral Films, the Our Secret Century series and Call It Home: The House That Private Enterprise Built, a laserdisc on the history of suburbia and suburban planning (co-produced with architect Keller Easterling).

He worked at the Comedy Channel from its startup in 1989 until it was merged into the comedy network HA!, and then worked at Home Box Office until 1995. Rick has taught in the MFA Design program at New York's School of Visual Arts and lectures widely on American cultural and social history and on issues of cultural and intellectual property access. He sat (2001-2004) on the National Film Preservation Board as representative of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, was Board President of the San Francisco Cinematheque (2002-2007), and is currently Board President of the Internet Archive.

His feature-length film Panorama Ephemera, depicting the conflicted landscapes of 20th-century America, opened in summer 2004. He is co-founder of the Prelinger Library (with spouse Megan Shaw Prelinger), an appropriation-friendly reference library located in San Francisco.

He wrote The Field Guide to Sponsored Films (2007) which "describes 452 historically or culturally significant motion pictures commissioned by businesses, charities, advocacy groups, and state or local government units between 1897 and 1980." It is available as a book and as a free PDF from the National Film Preservation Foundation. He recently (2005-2007) worked at the Internet Archive on a large-scale texts digitization project and recently helped organize the Open Content Alliance.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rick Prelinger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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