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Some of the records in our database link to videos that you can watch. Click on the films below.


Boulder Dam (Arthur H. Smith , 1937)

Educational short film presenting Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam) as an example of a "wealth of the land in the form of energy."

Watch: via Archive.org


Bronx Morning, A (Jay Leyda, 1931)

An avant-garde city symphony film set in the Bronx, New York.

Watch: A Bronx Morning via YouTube


Building of “Conny”, The (Robbins Barstow , 1975)

"In 1975, Connecticut made the sperm whale its official state animal, as a symbol of conservation. The following year, a group of volunteers from the Connecticut Cetacean Society spent over 5,000 hours building a life-size, 60-foot, ferro-cement model of a male sperm whale, on the grounds of the Children's Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Director of the project was Robbins Barstow, who filmed this dramatic, home-made documentary." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Building the Santa Fe Extension (Edwin Mayer, 1928)

"Produced in the late 1920s, this amateur film documents the construction of the Santa Fe Railway extension connecting San Angelo and Sonora. In 1928, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company (Santa Fe) purchased the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway Company of Texas (Orient of Texas). In so doing, they also acquired the company’s system of track lines, 465 miles of which were in Texas. As a subsidiary of Santa Fe, Orient of Texas then began construction on a pair of extension lines: one spanning the 72 miles from Paisano to Presidio and another the 65 miles from San Angelo to Sonora. This amateur film captures early construction on the second, with a small crew using work horses to clear the route and build bridges. The San Angelo-Sonora line was completed on July 1, 1930. Santa Fe abandoned the line in 1976" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Butterfly with Four Birthdays, The (Sidney N. Laverents, 1965)

"The Butterfly with Four Birthdays is a well done documentary on the life cycle of the Anise Swallowtail (Papilio Zelicaon). The Zelicaon, often mistaken for the Monarch, lives in the Western United States and lays her eggs on the anise plant, also known as sweet fennel. From the egg comes the baby caterpillar, thirdly the pupa or chrysalis stage, and finally, on its fourth birthday, the butterfly. This film also received the MPD Nature Film Award" PSA Journal, Sept. 1965, 50.

Watch: via A/V Geeks, Archive.org


Button Ballet (Albert Noble, 1967)

"Button Ballet is a nifty little piece of animation. A number of buttons do a ballet set to Brahms music in one of the most masterfully executed animation films ever seen in this competition" PSA Journal, Aug. 1967, 36.

Watch: A digitized version of Button Ballet via EAFA


Campus Smiles (Henry Royce , 1920)

"Campus Smiles uses a playful tone to document the faculty, student body, and life at UW-Madison during the early 1920s. This documentary short is a compelling chronicle of the local culture at one of the nation’s largest universities and offers a glimpse into the undergraduate sphere of the immediate post-WWI era. In it, humorous intertitles penned in early twentieth-century American slang introduce campus personalities and comment on social events." Archive.org

Watch: Archive.org


Canada Coast to Coast (Part 1) (Julian Gromer , 1956)

"2 part edited travelogue film beginning in Ontario and working west to British Columbia, documenting the resources, landscape and recreation of Canada. Includes a large amount of natural scenery, but also diverse events such as fishing, a rodeo and water sports. Also gives a look into factories and resorts." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Canada Coast to Coast (Part 2) (Julian Gromer , 1956)

"2 part edited travelogue film beginning in Ontario and working west to British Columbia, documenting the resources, landscape and recreation of Canada. Includes a large amount of natural scenery, but also diverse events such as fishing, a rodeo and water sports. Also gives a look into factories and resorts." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Central America (H. Lee Hansen, 1960)

Kodachrome travelogue showing life and culture in Guatemala and Panama.

Watch: via UC San Diego Library


Chicago: City to See in ‘63 (Margaret Conneely, 1962)

"A “city symphony” film, produced to encourage Photographic Society of America members to attend their 1963 conference in Chicago, City to See is a surprising film. It combines footage of Chicago with a deadpan commentary that pokes fun commercial travel films: “Chicago is my town,” the narrator says wryly, “and no other town will do.”" Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Chicago: City to See in '63 via Chicago Film Archives


Circus Capers (Margaret Conneely, 1955)

"A Margaret Conneely amateur film starring St. Tarcissus’ Cub Scout Pack 3969 in a circus production. Children dress as both circus animals and performers." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: Circus Capers


City of San Francisco, The (Arthur H. Smith , 1936)

Watch: via Archive.org


Close to You By the Carpenters (David Strutzel, 1970)

"A stop-animation film set to the song “Close to You” by The Carpenters. It was made by a Chicago high school student as a hobby back in 1971. It went onto win an award from the “Young Chicago Filmmakers Festival” that same year." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Cologne: From the Diary of Ray and Esther (Raymond Dowidat , 1939)

"Filmed in 1939 by the town doctor, Cologne is a personalized portrait of a farming community that merited only a single sentence in the WPA’s 1938 guidebook to Minnesota: “COLOGNE (945 alt., 355 pop.) is a German community named for the ancient city on the Rhine.” Dr. Raymond Dowidat and his wife, Esther, arrived in 1937 for his first practice after internship, and the impulse for the film seems to have arisen from their desire to document Cologne before they moved on to his next position in Minneapolis." filmpreservation.org

Watch: Via filmpreservation.org


Columbia River Adventure (Part 1) (Julian Gromer , 1950)

"Edited travelogue footage of a trip down the Columbia River. Along with scenic views, industrial processes are documented such as harvesting grain, canning salmon, making plywood and the factory production of sweaters." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Columbia River Adventure (Part 2) (Julian Gromer , 1950)

"Edited travelogue footage of a trip down the Columbia River. Along with scenic views, industrial processes are documented such as harvesting grain, canning salmon, making plywood and the factory production of sweaters." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Come with Us to China! (Robbins Barstow , 1985)

"In September 1985, Robbins Barstow and his wife Meg, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA, went on a four-week tour of China. This personalized travelogue includes visits to Shanghai, Beijing, the Great Wall, Xian, Guilin, and a cruise down the Yangtze River." Archive.org

Watch: via A/V Geeks (Archive.org)


Crater Lake In June (Arthur H. Smith , 1936)

Watch: via Archive.org


Crystal Clear (Joseph J. Harley, 1948)

"Crystals While You Wait is a record of the triumphant climax of long scientific research for a crystal substitute. Desperately needed as a filter in expanding telephone transmission lines, the final perfection of this synthetic crystal could not have been more exciting electronically than is this study of it esthetically. To it, Joseph J. Harley has brought creative imagination, absolute accuracy and a rich sense of this drama in a laboratory. Ethylene diamine tartrate (known to electrical engineers as E.D.T.) is the hero of this scientific saga. And a colorful one it is in this record of its synthesis into electrically usable crystalline form. From its provocative lead title assembly — double exposed on a dynamic pattern of back lighted crystals — through its smoothly integrated sequences of laboratory procedures, to its triumphant and stirring climax, Crystals While You Wait is a moving marriage of science and cinematics." Movie Makers, Dec. 1948, 475.

Watch: Crystal Clear via AT&T Archives


Curaçao (H. Lee Hansen, 1971)

"Hansen gives to Curacao, a Caribbean territory of Netherlands, a visit. He films the industrial, residential, and commercial areas of Willemstad." UC San Diego Library.

Watch: via UC San Diego Library


Dancing Colors (Sol Falon, 1968)

"An amateur experimental film made by Sol Falon and distributed by the Society of Amateur Cinematographers (SAC)." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Day of Horror, A (Ramon Galindo, 1964)

"This amateur horror film, made by longtime Austin resident Ramon Galindo, follows a group of kids as they go fishing. When one girl falls and injures herself, she is taken by a Frankenstein-esque villian to an abandoned, rural house where he prepares a potion to give her as she lays on skeleton bones. When the girl makes a run for it, her friends and a sheriff’s officer join in to help rescue the girl and capture the villain. This film was made in 1964 with children from Austin’s Travis Heights neighborhood. Austin local Chris Crow plays the villain and commissioned the music for the film locally. It was shot in Hays County between Kyle and San Marcos, Texas" Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

Watch: via Texas Archive of the Moving Image


Day with the Young Martins, A (John Martin, 1936)

"To make a family film of youngsters that is entertaining to a stranger is quite an achievement, but to make a family picture that is, at the same time, an almost perfect record of the really human qualities of children and parents is a truly notable accomplishment. This is what John Martin has done in his picture, A Day with the Young Martins. His theme is the "from dawn to dusk" story of the Martin family, and he wisely has avoided emphasizing the clock or other obvious methods of holding the picture together. Instead, the story seems to tell itself, and the little episodes that must have been planned, or they could not have been caught with the aid of lighting equipment and camera, have a natural, sincere quality that is very welcome. The picture rates chiefly because of its delightful treatment, but technically it is entirely adequate." Movie Makers, Dec. 1936, 542.

Watch: via East Anglian Film Archive


Dear Jim (John R. Kibar, 1952)

"It stars a young boy, named Bill, who writes to his friend Jim, reflecting on their times together the previous summer. Title cards of the boy’s handwritten letter are interspersed with images of their summer highlights, including scenes of fishing, automobile stunts of “Bob King and his Devil Drivers,” and a motorcycle hill climb competition." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


Dear Little Lightbird (Leland Auslender, 1968)

"Dear Little Lightbird was entered as an experimental film by Leland Auslender, who also won one of the four top awards in the Class C category. He has a way with color, light and angles, and this talent easily put his film in the Top Ten. It's a story of a little boy born with an incurable disease, and how his three years of life brought into focus all the wonders of nature and this world around us. Perhaps this 18-minute film could be shortened somewhat, but it doesn't seem to matter for the film surrounds you with unusual shots of the simple things most of us miss in the helter-skelter of everyday life" PSA Journal, Oct. 1968, 49.

Watch: via YouTube


Death Valley (Arthur H. Smith , 1939)

Kodachrome travelogue of Death Valley, California.

Watch: via Archive.org


Deerslayers, The (Thomas Archibald (Archie) Stewart, 1926)

"Structured around a hunting trip to Maine made by Archie Stewart and Howard Kendall. The two men travel to Perry, Maine, from New York state by train, then drive a car to a lake where they transfer their luggage to a motor boat on Grand Lake Stream and ride through heavy fog on rough water to West Grand Lake. They then carry a canoe to Lower Sysladobsis Lake, load the canoe with their rifles and supplies, and paddle off. After reaching their camp along the lake's shore, they check their rifles and eat before hunting." oldfilm.org

Watch: Via Northeast Historic Film


Disneyland Dream (Robbins Barstow , 1956)

"In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur documentary film tells the fabulous story of their fun-filled, dream-come-true, family travel adventure, filmed on the scene at Walt Disney's 'Magic Kingdom' by Robbins Barstow." Archive.org

Watch: via Archive.org


Do Family: New Americans for the 80’s, The (John Sanner, 1980)

"An amateur documentary film about the arrival of a Chinese-Vietnamese family to Deerfield by way of a refuge camp in Hong Kong. The Zion Lutheran Church of Deerfield sponsored the family’s arrival." Chicago Film Archives

Watch: chicagofilmarchives.org


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