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April 1994


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BRIAN TAVES <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 14 Apr 1994 15:01:15 GMT
text/plain (58 lines)
          As the ScreenL subscriber in  the Motion Picture Division at  the
          Library of Congress, I should have posted this notice a couple of
          days  ago,  but unfortunately fell several days behind on reading
          all the notices.
             Bob Stewart gave a most helpful response to Amy Dean's inquiry
          about searching Library motion picture holdings through internet.
          The only other suggestions are  that individuals may  be searched
          for by a simple "find p jeremy butler;f=av", or  a corporation or
          a collection by a "find c butler productions;f=av", or a subject,
          genre  or  form  by  "find  s gangster;f=av" (sorry  'bout  that,
          Jeremy). At times, a simple "find jeremy butler;f=av" will  yield
          additional items if not qualified by the t, p, or s. Ignore notes
          that say "Not in LC Collections", which was used in a project for
          Libraries abandoned many years ago. Also, items in the Prints and
          Photographs Division  are unfortunately included  in  the  "f=av"
          qualifier. (If searching for  books, drop  the  "f=av" qualifier;
          for books published before 1966, try adding "f=premarc".) I  will
          be happy to answer additional questions.
             Regrettably, John Hiller's posting  was seriously misinformed.
          The cataloging for the Division's holdings have been going online
          since 1986  and  are added to every day. Prior  to  going online,
          movies and television were cataloged on cards, and  some  of  the
          information, even  a  few  newer items, continue to  remain  only
          accessible through this backlog. An internet search that fails to
          turn up  an item hardly means that it  is not at  the Library; it
          may well be  in one of the other internal or manual databases. As
          a result, for a definitive answer as to whether the Library has a
          particular film, and a copy that can  be viewed, it  is necessary
          to  write  the Motion Picture Reference Room, Library of Congres,
          Washington, D.C. 20540, 202-707-8572.
              The  two publications Hiller referred  to  without  name  are
          actually five  books  that  give information on  several specific
          collections. These  are,  in  roughly chronological order,  Early
          Motion Pictures:  The  Paper  Print Collection at  the Library of
          Congress; The Theodore Roosevelt Association Film Collection; The
          George  Kleine Collection (foreign and domestic films distributed
          through  the  teens  by Kleine); Three Decades  of Television:  A
          Catalog  of  Television  Programs  Acquired  by  the  Library  of
          Congress,  1949-1979  (however,  since   that  publication,  many
          additional  shows  have  enormously  enlarged  the  Library's  tv
          holdings from that era); and  most recently, The African-American
          Mosaic:  A Library of Congress Resource Guide for  the  Study  of
          Black History  and Culture. The  latter  volume,  a collaborative
          effort   published  earlier   this   year,   includes  historical
          perspectives I  authored on  both  black filmmaking and Hollywood
          product  concerning  African-American  issues,   based   on   the
          Library's enormous (and  again, ever-growing) collection in  this
             All  of  these  volumes  are  helpful  for  those  studying  a
          particular portion of  film history, but  new receipts arrive  at
          such  a  pace  that  contact  with  the  reference staff  remains
          essential to fill any particular interest in titles, individuals,
          studios, genres, subjects, and  so forth--as well  as  to confirm
          access and make viewing appointments.
          Brian Taves, Motion Picture-Broadcasting-Recorded Sound Division
          Library of Congress