distribution catalogs

Talk about the work of collecting, restoring and preserving our film heritage here.
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Unread post by Frederica » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:00 pm

Rob Farr wrote: It's a shame no one has digitized the Washington Evening Star, because for most of DC's history that was the #1 paper of record with the Post a perennial second. At least until a botched break-in was assigned to Woodward and Bernstein.

I asked...someone, can't remember who, some newspaper poobah, or perhaps a librarian?...about continued digitization projects of other major urban newspapers. For the era we're all interested in, the teens and twenties mainly, most cities had many newspapers--five dailies in Los Angeles, five dailies in San Francisco, and that's not counting the little weekly papers, things like the Hollywood Citizen, etc. They had morning newspapers, afternoon newspapers, evening newspapers, late night newspapers, several I've run into even had "Sports Editions!" which I assume came out right after all the games had finished so the sports fan could be completely up to date. And each one of them was different. Those people read their newspapers.

But said poobah was not hopeful about massive digitization efforts, he seemed to feel that one paper per city was sufficient. I hope not, because that ain't the case. Not to mention there are cities and newspapers that haven't been offered up to us yet, papers like the Cleveland Plain Dealer and...has the Kansas City Star been digitized? St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, Seattle, Minneapolis? None of the major San Francisco newspapers has yet been digitized (although I hope the Chronicle at least is eyeing their own archive with dollar signs alight in their eyes).


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Unread post by Furrvis » Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:06 am

Variety and Billboard are both microfilmed going back to before 1907 although neither really give much attention to film before then. Variety doesn't even pay much attention to film until well after 1907 as it is still vaudeville focused. Billboard (or The Billboard as it then was) focuses more on distribution issues than films themselves--again, it's mainly vaudeville and while there are discussions of film, it isn't their primary interest so you'll have to wade through a lot of paper before issues like projector bulbs, film rentals, new locations of exchanges etc. come up.

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Location: Michigan

Unread post by Detroiter » Thu Apr 10, 2008 3:49 pm

I've found everyday, garden variety interlibrary loan to be amazingly helpful.

Both my local suburban Detroit public library and a nearby community college library are able to get essentially anything that was on microfilm: Moving Picture World, Motion Picture News, Exhibitors Herald / Motion Picture Herald, Universal Weekly, Kine Weekly, Bioscope, Hollywood Reporter, and Film Daily so far. While you can't walk out with the microfilm, most of these places have film readers that copy. It helps if you tell your library's ILL department what you're doing ("You're researching what? How interesting!") and make their job easier by telling them where they can find the film.

Twenty years ago, of course, you could get the original bound copies through ILL. Them days are gone, it would appear.

F Flood

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