© The contents of this finding aid are the copyright of the University of Chicago Library
© 2006 University of Chicago Library
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Motion Picture Stills. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
The Motion Picture Stills Collection features a group of approximately 30,000 black and white photographs of movie stills, production shots, and portrait photographs of actors. The first half of this collection consists of these 8" x 10" photographs. The second half of this collection includes over 180 scrapbooks devoted to individual film stars, a group of marquee cards, and a set of glass lantern slides announcing the "Coming Attractions" from Pathe and other movie studios. These materials are all dated between 1920 and the mid-1930s.
The collection is divided into seven series.
SERIES I: ACTORS AND ACTRESSES
This series includes portrait photography for publicity, as well as film stills highlighting approximately 2800 individuals. The majority are professional actors, but they also include performers such as dancers and singers, as well as European aristocracy, American debutants, and other members of formal society. These items date primarily from 1924 to 1934.
Each performer is represented by a separate file. These files contain newspaper and magazine clippings, black and white publicity shots, portrait photographs, and movie stills featuring the actor or actress. An asterisk (*) at the end of the name indicates that the file contains at least one original film still or studio publicity photograph; some files consist exclusively of clippings. Most major film stars, such as Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, or Mary Pickford, are represented in this collection, as are many more minor studio actors.
Folders are organized alphabetically according to the individuals last name; in the case of groups, the folder is alphabetized under the leaders last name (Tal Henry and his North Carolina Orchestra is filed under "Henry.") Formal titles such as "Princess," "Duke," etc., follow the name in parentheses. In the case of teams (for example, "Gamby and Doug," "Lang and Healy"), the list should be checked under the last names of each actor.
See Index Card Boxes A-D for additional biographical information on each actor.
SERIES II: MOTION PICTURE STILLS
This series consists of 8" x 10" black and white photographs taken from the sets of approximately 1700 films made between 1924 and1934. Most films are represented by multiple stills, which are organized alphabetically according to film title.
Information written by the original collector on each folder indicates the director, cast, crew, and studio responsible for the film; in some instances, this notation also includes running time and date of release. Most major studios are represented in this group, including Columbia, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M.G.M.), R.K.O., and Warner Brothers.
See Index Card boxes E-F for additional production information concerning each film.
SERIES III: SCRAPBOOKS
This series features 187 scrapbooks, each of which contains black and white portrait photographs and film stills, along with magazine and newspaper articles tipped or pasted in. Most major actresses of the period between 1920-1930 are represented, many by multiple scrapbooks; Clara Bow has three; Betty Compson has four; Corinne Griffith has five; Marion Davies has six; Dorothy Mackail has eight. Only one male actor, Chester Morris, is represented in this group.
This series is divided into two categories-
Subseries 1: Scrapbooks; Individual Actors and Actresses
Scrapbooks dedicated to individual actors. These are arranged alphabetically by last name.
Subseries 2: Scrapbooks; Film Stills
Scrapbooks containing miscellaneous actors and various film stills. Due to the mixed content, these are unsorted. Two movies-"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," and "The Sign of the Cross"-each have a separate scrapbook, and are located at the end of this series.
SERIES IV: VITAPHONE STILLS
This section contains 8" x 10" black and white photograph stills from 48 motion pictures produced by the Vitaphone Company, from the mid-1920s-mid 1930s. Each film is represented by multiple stills. See Index Card box D for additional production information concerning individual films .
SERIES V: LARGE FILM STILLS AND MARQUEE CARDS
small number of film stills and portrait photographs are 11" x 14" or larger. These include movie stills from American movies as well as stills from three French movies. One item is an oversize scrapbook, "The Desert Song."
group of over 100 11" x 14" marquee cards in color, representing 55 films, are included in this group.
SERIES VI: "COMING ATTRACTIONS" GLASS LANTERN SLIDES
A set of approximately 160 glass lantern slides announcing "coming attractions," arranged alphabetically by title. About half of these are comedies produced at Pathe; the rest represent coming attractions from other studios. Some slides are duplicates.
SERIES VII: DUPLICATE FILM STILLS
SERIES VIII: INDEX CARDS
A set of index card files accompany the collection. The divisions in the card files correspond to the current divisions of the collection, although the correspondence is not exact. These card files appear to have been prepared by the original collector and sometimes include extensive biographical and career information on individual actors.
These boxes have been alphabetically identified as boxes "A" through "F," in order to distinguish them from the regular boxed collection. The index card files are located at the end of the main collection. They are available for consultation upon request.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
This section is comprised of 8 x 10 glossy photographs from the sets of various films made between 1924-1934. They are organized alphabetically according to film title. Most films are represented by multiple stills. Information written by the original collector on each folder indicates the cast, crew, and studio responsible for the film.
This section consists of scrapbooks, apparently assembled by the same individual. Each scrapbook contains 8" x 10" glossy portrait photography and film stills, as well as magazine and newspaper clippings, pasted in. This section is divided into two subseries. Subseries 1 includes scrapbooks dedicated to individual actors. These are arranged alphabetically by last name. Subseries 2 contains scrapbooks which include multiple actors and films.