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May 2011, Week 2


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Eric Hoyt <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 May 2011 19:29:07 -0700
text/plain (150 lines)
Dear Screen-L Community:

I've been working with David Pierce on a project he launched called the
Media History Digital Library (MHDL), which is dedicated to creating online
access to media industry trade papers and fan magazines that now belong to
the public domain. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan
original materials for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover
the cost of scanning.

We've recently completed digitizing the 1922 to 1929 run of The Film Daily,
one of the leading Hollywood trade papers of the time. You can access,
search, and download The Film Daily volumes -- along with 72 issues of
Photoplay (1925 to 1930), numerous issues of Moving Picture World (1913),
and other magazines digitized by the Media History Digital Library -- at

We hope you will make use of the MHDL as it continues to expand (more
volumes of The Film Daily, Photoplay, and Moving Picture World will
hopefully go live later this year). Many of you know the experience of
ordering these same periodicals on microfilm through Inter-Library Loan,
waiting weeks for them to arrive, and then spending countless hours
scrolling through the reels to find the occasional article of direct
interest. Digitization enables greater access and keyword searchability that
will benefit many historical research projects. At the same time, we
recognize that context can be diluted through keyword searches alone, and we
have maintained the option for users to scroll issue-by-issue, page-by-page
through the magazines (you cannot scroll through issue-by-issue with such
ease, I would point out, on Variety's $600-per-year digital archive
subscription service).

We will let you know as more volumes go online. In the meantime, we hope you
will start using the years of Photoplay and Film Daily currently online, and
we welcome your comments and feedback. A more detailed announcement about
the Film Daily digitization is below.

Eric Hoyt

Eric Hoyt
Ph.D. Candidate, Division of Critical Studies, School of Cinematic Arts
University of Southern California
[log in to unmask]


Issues of The Film Daily from the 1920s Now Online

American film history for the 1920s is now available on-line with the
publication of 2,400 issues of The Film Daily, a leading motion picture
trade magazine from the classic era of Hollywood. Published out of New York,
these issues of The Film Daily from 1922 to 1929 document one of the most
prosperous periods of the Hollywood star system, culminating in the rapid
changes brought on by the change to sound film production.
The Film Daily joins other magazines scanned by the Media History Digital
Library, including 72 issues of Photoplay from 1925 to 1930, Motion Picture
Classic (1920), and numerous issues of Moving Picture World (1913),
Exhibitors Daily Review (1926 and 1928), and also from 1928, a small number
of issues of Daily Screen World, Sound Waves and The Distributor, the MGM
house publication from 1928. The Film Daily volumes and other magazines
digitized by the Media History Digital Library can be searched, read online
and downloaded through the Internet Archive at

The 22,000 pages in this release from The Film Daily include innumerable
reviews of features and shorts, news reports from throughout the industry,
occasional feature stories, and hundreds of full-page advertisements. There
are full-page ads for feature films and short subjects, color ads for
special releases (such as films of Marion Davies and Harold Lloyd), and
special color sections announcing studios' upcoming releases for the next
year (including many films that were never produced). Published six days a
week, The Film Daily did not always cover topics in depth, but it is an
invaluable resource for following the day-to-day progress of the industry or
films in production. Among the treasures from this period are special issues
devoted to the 20th anniversary of Carl Laemmle in the film business
<> ), the
opening of the Roxy Theater in New York (3/13/1927
<> ), Sound
Pictures (7/22/1928
<> ) and
Fox Film Corp. and the opening of Movietone City (6/18/1929
<> ).

The highlight of the magazine is the strong emphasis on short subjects.
While most of the other trade magazines treated shorts as space allowed,
shorts received regular reviews in The Film Daily, including for many years,
a quarterly review of short subject production and releases.
Highlights from this collection include:

Special short subject issues
<>  ­
5/11/1924 ­ 9/14/1924 ­ 3/15/1925 ­ 6/21/1925 ­ 9/20/1925 ­ 12/6/1925 ­
5/30/1926 ­ 12/5/1926 ­ 3/27/1927 ­ 6/5/1927 ­ 9/4/1927 ­ 12/4/1927
<> ­
3/4/1928 <>
­ 6/3/1928 
<> ­
3/31/1929 ­ 9/1/1929

Directors annual supplement
<> ­
6/22/1924 ­ 6/5/1925

Newsreels (8/7/1927
<> )

Color advertising sections
Fox Film Corp. 1923/24 season (7/8/1923
<> )
Selznick Distributing 1924/25 season (7/6/1924
<> ) -
with drawings by illustrator Al Hirschfeld
Fox Film Corp. 1928/29 season (5/24/1928
<> )
United Artists Talking Pictures (2/28/1929
<> )
Fox Talking Features (6/18/1929
<> )
Educational Pictures (6/20/1929
<> )
Radio Pictures (7/15/1929
<> )

This is the second release of material by the Media History Digital Library,
an initiative led by David Pierce to digitize collections of classic media
periodicals in the public domain for full public access. The project is
supported by owners of materials who loan original materials for scanning,
and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. A brochure
describing the project can be found at the Media History website

The Film Daily has been scanned from volumes in the collection of Karl
Thiede, funded by an anonymous donation in memory of Carolyn Hauer. Scanning
has been coordinated by Eric Hoyt, a Ph.D. candidate in the Critical Studies
Division of the University of Southern Californiašs School of Cinematic
Arts. The Media History Digital Library thanks Rick Prelinger and Casey
Riffel for their assistance with this group of materials. The initial
release of materials was scanned from the collections of the Pacific Film
Archive Library and Film Study Center.

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite