Motion Picture Stills on Videodisc
The Library's collection of 92,000 8"x10" publicity stills (from
about 6,700 motion pictures) can be viewed on videodisc in the
Motion Picture and Television Reading Room. A printed title index
provides the videodisc frame numbers which, when entered, retrieve
the series of stills for a particular film. For each film there
is a title frame that includes original title, alternate title,
when known, and year of release. Cross-references for alternate
titles are incorporated into the index.
The bulk of the collection falls into three chronological periods:
- 1942-1945: During this period, the Library participated with
the Museum of Modern Art in New York in a project to analyze
the content of American films and to recommend that selected
titles be acquired for the library's collections through the
mechanism of copyright deposit. The stills were given to the
Library as part of the information assembled for the project.
- 1950-1956: Stills from this period were donated from the National
Screen Service in the early 1970s.
- 1968 to 1981: In 1968, the National Screen Service began to
deposit their publicity packets with the library on a regular
basis. The stills from this period are from this material.
Most of the stills are black and white images from American features,
but several hundred foreign features are scattered throughout, many
of them British. An occasional documentary will be found, and more
rarely, stills from television shows, theatrical serials and theatrical
The duplication and sale of copies of most of the stills may
be done after the patron has obtained written permission from
the copyright owner. Stills from the early silent period may be
of copyright restrictions--thus permission from copyright owners
will not be required.