The Preservation of Home Movies.
A Report from the Field

Lecture given at the Digital Film Restoration within Archives symposium held by the Österreichische Filmgalerie on 21–23 September 2011 in Krems, Austria.


The presentation wishes to distillate some expertise gathered from the field during a quarter of century. This reports from the difficulties to respect the ethical principles of conservation and restoration inside the specific field of home movies, especially with the ongoing move from analogue to digital. It illustrates the wast area of experimenting made by small gauge amateurs, and how the digital techniques give us today improved possibilities for both preservation and presentation of this heritage to a modern audience.


  • The slides are available as PDF file (2.4 MB without the illustrations).
  • An article is also available in the conference proceedings.


Graduated in mathematics, Reto Kromer became involved in audio-visual conservation and restoration as early as 1986. From 1998 to 2003 he was head of preservation at the Swiss Film Archive, in charge of cataloguing, conservation and restoration of the film collection. Since 2004 he runs his own facility,, which provides comprehensive services that encompass the whole range of moving image preservation. He is currently a lecturer at both the Berne University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lausanne.