Film, Video Ken Burns' "The War" Press Conference

About this Item

Ken Burns' "The War" Press Conference
The Library of Congress and the Veterans History Project held a joint press conference with PBS and Florentine Films to announce a partnership in connection with "The War," Ken Burns's World War II documentary television series.
Event Date
April 17, 2007
-  After earning his bachelor's degree at Hampshire College, Brooklyn-born Ken Burns pursued a career as a documentary filmmaker. At age 22, he formed Florentine Films in his home base of Walpole, N.H. Dissatisfied with dry, scholarly historical documentaries, Burns wanted his films to "live," and to that end adopted the technique of cutting rapidly from one still picture to another in a fluid, linear fashion. He then pepped up the visuals with "first hand" narration gleaned from contemporary writings and recited by top stage and screen actors. Burns' first successful venture was the award-winning documentary "The Brooklyn Bridge," which ran on public television in 1981. While he was Oscar-nominated for his 1985 theatrical release "The Statue of Liberty," Burns' work has enjoyed its widest exposure on television: such films as "Huey Long" (1985), "Thomas Hart Benton" (1986) and "Empire of the Air" (1991) (a bouquet to the pioneers of commercial radio) have become staples of local PBS stations' seasonal fund drives. In 1990, Burns completed what many consider his "chef d'oeuvre": the eleven-hour "The Civil War," which earned an Emmy (among several other honors) and became the highest-rated miniseries in the history of public television. "Civil War" was the apotheosis of Burns' master mixture of still photos, freshly shot film footage, period music, evocative "celebrity" narration and authentic sound effects. In 1994, he released his long-awaited "Baseball," an 18-hour saga which, like "The Civil War," was telecast at the same time as the publication of a companion coffee-table book.
Related Resources
Veterans History Project:
Running Time
1 hours 1 minutes 55 seconds
Online Format

Rights & Access

While the Library of Congress created most of the videos in this collection, they include copyrighted materials that the Library has permission from rightsholders to present.  Rights assessment is your responsibility.  The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. There may also be content that is protected under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations.  Permissions may additionally be required from holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights). Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. However, the information we have may not be accurate or complete.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Ken Burns' "The War" Press Conference. 2007. Video.

APA citation style:

(2007) Ken Burns' "The War" Press Conference. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Ken Burns' "The War" Press Conference. 2007. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

More Films, Videos like this