Smiley library preserving ‘life in motion’ from home movies

Smiley library preserving ‘life in motion’ from home movies

During the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Redlanders documented life with 8mm, 16mm and Super 8 home movies.

Thanks to a donation to the A.K. Smiley Public Library, the library’s Heritage Room is able to digitize home movies using cutting edge technology to preserve them as part of the City’s historical record.

“The Smiley Library’s Home Movie Preservation Project saves life in motion in Redlands,” said library archivist and head of special collections Nathan Gonzales.

The sophisticated equipment, operated by Heritage Room staff, reads each frame of 8mm, 16mm or Super 8 home movies, preserving it as digital files.

After receiving the donation, Gonzales said Heritage Room staff went back to home movies that had been donated to the library, finally discovering the rich record of parades, civic life, development and day-to-day life preserved there.

Now the library is seeking other home movies of life in Redlands “hiding in a cupboard, dresser, closet or garage” to digitize and preserve for their collection.

Original home movies can be returned after they are digitized, or donated to the library’s collection.

Anyone interested may call the Heritage Room at (909) 798-7632 or email Learn more at