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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