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Studios failed to archive early films properly leading to huge losses due to fire and deterioration

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Most of the feature-length films made by Hollywood during the golden age of silent movies have been lost forever, according to a new study by the Us Library of Congress.

Only 14% of a total of around 11,000 movies made between 1912 and 1930 exist in their original format, with a further 11% available to view in foreign language versions, or in a lower quality format. Around 70% are completely lost. The failure of the early studios, in most cases, to maintain silent era archives has been described as an "alarming and irretrievable loss" to America's cultural record by officials.

Historian and archivist David Pierce, who conducted the extensive two-year study, said the silent art form retained a rare resonance. "It's a lost style of storytelling, and the best »

- Ben Child

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