American Memory Collections: Motion Pictures

      = Collection Connection Teaching Resources available

 

America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894-1915

Description: Work, school, and leisure activities in the United States from 1894 to 1915 are featured in this presentation of motion pictures. Highlights include films of the United States Postal Service from 1903, cattle breeding, fire fighters, ice manufacturing, logging, calisthenic and gymnastic exercises in schools, amusement parks, boxing, expositions, football, parades, swimming, and other sporting events.

The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920

Description: A multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini.

Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916

Description: This collection consists of twenty-six films of San Francisco from before and after the Great Earthquake and Fire. Seventeen of the films depict San Francisco and its environs before the 1906 disaster. Seven films describe the great earthquake and fire. The two later films include a 1915 travelogue that shows scenes of the rebuilt city and a tour of the Panama Pacific Exposition and a 1916 propaganda film.

Buckaroos in Paradise: Ranching Culture in Northern Nevada, 1945-1982

Description: This collection presents 41 motion pictures and 28 sound recordings that tell the story of life and work on the Ninety-Six Ranch and of its cowboys, known in the region as buckaroos. An archive of 2,400 still photographs portrays the people, sites, and traditions on other ranches and in the larger community of Paradise Valley, home to persons of Anglo-American, Italian, German, Basque, Swiss, Northern Paiute Indian, and Chinese heritage. Motion pictures produced from 1945 to 1965 by Leslie Stewart, owner of the Ninety-Six Ranch, are also included. Background texts provide historical and cultural context for this distinctive Northern Nevada ranching community.

Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements: Highlights from the Motion Picture Archives at the Library of Congress

Description: This collection presents a variety of television advertisements, never-broadcast outtakes, and experimental footage reflecting the historical development of television advertising for a major commercial product.

 

 

"I Do Solemnly Swear...": Presidential Inaugurations

Description: The collection brings together approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files from each of the 63 inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's in 2001. This presentation includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. The collection has been organized chronologically by presidential inauguration and an effort has been made to offer a balanced number of items for each inaugural event.

Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

Description: The collection contains 21 actuality films showing various views of Westinghouse factories in 1904. Most prominently featured are the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, and the Westinghouse Machine Company. The films were intended to showcase the company's operations. Exterior and interior shots of the factories are shown along with scenes of male and female workers performing their duties at the plants.

Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Description: This site features 341 motion pictures, 81 disc sound recordings, and other related materials, such as photographs and original magazine articles. Cylinder sound recordings will be added to this site in the near future. In addition, histories are given of Edison's involvement with motion pictures and sound recordings, as well as a special page focusing on the life of the great inventor.

The Last Days of a President: Films of McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition, 1901

Description: The twenty-eight films of this collection include footage of President William McKinley at his second inauguration; of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York; of President McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition; and of President McKinley's funeral. The films were produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company from March to November 1901.

The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906

Description: This collection contains forty-five films of New York City dating from 1898 to 1906 from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress. Of these, twenty-five were made by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, while the remaining twenty are Edison Company productions.

Origins of American Animation

Description: The development of early American animation is represented by this collection of 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which spans the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet, and cut-out animation, as well as pen drawings.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929

Description: This collection assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. It includes nearly 200 selections from twelve collections of personal papers and two collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript Division; 74 books, pamphlets, and legislative documents from the General Collections, along with selections from 34 consumer and trade journals; 181 photographs from the pictorial materials of the National Photo Company Collection held by the Prints and Photographs Division; and 5 short films and 7 audio selections of Coolidge speeches from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. The collection is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing materials and will be of special interest to those seeking to understand economic and political forces at work in the 1920s.

The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures

Description: Motion pictures of the Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine Revolution produced between 1898 and 1901 are featured in this presentation. The complete collection will include 68 motion pictures and a selection of sound recordings related to the war. The Spanish-American War was the first U.S. war in which the motion picture camera played a role. These films were made by the Edison Manufacturing Company and the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company and consist of actualities filmed in the U.S., Cuba, and the Philippines, showing troops, ships, notable figures, and parades, as well as reenactments of battles and other war-time events.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

Description: Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to have his career and life chronicled on a large scale by motion picture companies. This presentation features 104 films which record events in Roosevelt's life from the Spanish-American War in 1898 to his death in 1919. Besides containing scenes of Roosevelt, these films include views of world figures, politicians, monarchs, and friends and family members of Roosevelt who influenced his life and the era in which he lived. Four sound recordings made by Roosevelt for the Edison Company in 1912 in which he states his progressive political views are also included.