This collection of films was made by filmmaker DeWitt Beall in Chicago during the 1960s. A large portion of the collection consists of elements and prints related to LORD THING, a film about a Chicago-based gang named the Conservative Vice Lords. The film was never released, but won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 1971. Various other educational films, documentaries and PSAs are in this collection, including the EARTHKEEPING series which aired on PBS in the early 1970s.
This collection of films was compiled by Jack Behrend who owned a camera equipment rental house and worked as a professional industrial filmmaker from the 1950s until the 1990s. Included in this collection are 13 reels of raw footage from an unfinished documentary of historical inns of America and time lapse footage of Grant Park, the Equitable Building and Lake Point Tower as they were being constructed. The collection includes industrial films about steel foundries, the making of railroad wheels and a film about the teachers' strike at Niles North in the 1970s. Also within this collection are films made by Gordon Weisenborn, a Chicago filmmaker who gave his films to Jack Behrend before his death. Behrend has donated the prints and rights of his films and those of Gordon Weisenborn to CFA. He has also donated 52 prints made by the National Film Board of Canada.
This collection contains the preserved and restored archival materials from 7 original 35mm nitrate reels, which contain 8 distinct rolls or "views" of THE PICTORIAL STORY OF HIAWATHA, a live pageant performed in Desbarats, Ontario by the Garden River Ojibway community in 1902 - 1903. Katharine and Charles Bowden filmed this pageant so they could screen the moving images as part of their Chautauqua Lecture Circuit presentation of the same name. The reels were discovered in the Valparaiso University Special Collections Library by Judith Miller. Clearly there are reels of the pageant that are missing.
The Chicago Public Library film collection is Chicago Film Archives' (CFA) founding collection. CFA formed in order to care for this collection of about 5,000 16mm films that the library no longer could keep. The collection contains a broad sweep of genres. A large number of films are educational and travel films, but there are also silent films, foreign and American-made theatrical films, documentaries, industrials, newsreels, sports events and children's films. Together these films comprise a rich snapshot of an educational and cultural pathway the City of Chicago built for its citizens during the mid twentieth century.
The Margaret Conneely Collection contains the films and papers of Margaret Conneely, a prolific and respected Chicago amateur filmmaker. The collection includes medical films she made as a cinematographer for Loyola University, story films she made with other local hobbyists and professional filmmakers, films made by other amateur filmmakers, such as Carl Frazier and Nora Rafferty, and commercial films that she collected. Four of her films have been preserved by the National Film Preservation Foundation and the New York Women in Film & Television sponsored Women's Film Preservation Fund. The papers include a wealth of correspondence between Conneely and other amateur filmmakers, documents and publications from amateur film and photography associations, as well as photographs of Conneely and other filmmakers.
The Robert & Theresa Davis collection primarily consists of travelogue films created by the Illinois-based husband and wife duo, Robert & Theresa Davis. Places that are filmed include: Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, Sicily and Yugoslavia. The collection also contains a few amateur short films and musical productions as well as a handful of educational films. Additionally, the collection contains extensive papers and ephemera, including scrapbooks, photos, maps and diaries that describe the Davis' career as filmmakers, lecturers and tour guides.
The Russ and Sylvia Davis Collection contains 16mm film prints and elements produced by the couple's production company, IWF Inc. The majority are from a syndicated wrestling television show from the 1950s that included wrestlers such as Verne Gagne, Gorgeous George, and Lou Thesz. Russ was a pioneering TV personality in the Chicago broadcast area at WBKB-TV. Sylvia worked as president of their company and a producer on a number of Russ' shows.
The David Drazin Collection contains both commercial prints that were created for the home market and home movies that were made at the Holy Family Academy school in Chicago between 1939 and 1946. The commercial films include educational films, a Dick Tracy cartoon, and Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 short “Behind the Screen.” The Holy Family Academy was an all-girls Catholic school on Chicago’s north side, and the home movies document nuns and young girls playing outside and on various outings in and around Chicago, as well as seasonal dance recitals.
Susan Elam - Preservation Patron
Kenneth Belcher and Sandy Ihm - Preservation Sponsors
Susan Elam - Preservation Patron
Kenneth Belcher and Sandy Ihm - Preservation Sponsors
The JoAnn Elam collection primarily consists of films made by independent filmmaker JoAnn Elam. Elam primarily shot on 8mm film, although she did work extensively with 16mm, Super-8mm film and early video. A number of 8mm films have been printed to Super-8mm stock, and films like Rape (1977) and the unfinished Everyday People employed multiple formats (16mm, video, and 8mm). This collection also contains several historically important medical films made by James O. Elam, M.D., JoAnn Elam's father, which document his development of the "rescue breathing" technique and numerous other advances in clinical anesthesiology and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Additionally, there are at least two titles by experimental filmmakers and artists Dan Perz and Ruth Klasses. This collection is sponsored by Susan Elam, Kenneth Belcher and Sandy Ihm.
The Film Group was a Chicago commercial film production company that made television commericials and political documentaries in the late 1960s/early 1970s. This collection includes original prints and preservation elements of their political documentaries on the 1968 Democratic National Convention including AMERICAN REVOLUTION II and the educational series URBAN CRISIS AND THE NEW MILITANTS. Filmmakers associated with the Film Group include Mike Gray, William Cottle, Howard Alk, Mike Shea, and Chuck Olin.
The Robert Ford Collection consists of four short films made by Robert Ford while he was living in Chicago in the 1960s. Ford was a student at Northwestern University, and the collection includes a film made while he was a graduate student, “The High Up Doll,” a whimsical look at childhood desire that includes both live-action and collage animation techniques. Ford’s three subsequent films were produced with the assistance of Northwestern University and examine subjects including the Chicago Vice Lords street gang in “The Corner,” the rehabilitation of individuals with physical disabilities in “The Way Back,” and homing pigeon racing in "The Homing Pigeon."
Morton & Millie Goldsholl ran Goldsholl Design & Film Associates, one of Chicago’s leading graphic design studios in the 1950s through 1970s. The studio became recognized for their animations, progressive hiring practices and developing corporate branding packages for various companies. Their collection, donated to CFA in 2006 and 2010, contains commercials and industrial films that Goldsholl Associates made for their clients, experimental films and animations made by both Morton and Millie, unedited travel films shot by Morton and Millie and films (primarily animated) that the two collected over the years.
These films contain folksingers performing at the Earl of Old Town in Chicago. It has been speculated that Ed Holstein is one of the singers.
The Larry Janiak Collection contains experimental films and documentaries made by Chicago filmmaker and designer Larry Janiak. Janiak's experimental works include direct animated works (DL1, DL2) and a handful of absract short films or "sketches." Also included in the collection are two documentary works (Hale House (1965), Vedanta Temple Dedication Ceremony (1966)) made by Janiak, both of which relate to his strong ties with the Vivekananda Vedanta Society of Chicago, a branch of the Hindu Ramakrishna Order. The collection also includes two boxes of books, papers and various ephemera, including two Chicago International Film Festival Hugo awards, various books on underground film & animation, graphic design samples by Janiak and three Center Cinema Co-op distribution catalogs designed by Janiak.
In 2008, three experimental films made by Chicago-based filmmaker Don Klugman were preserved with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2008. NIGHTSONG is a portrait of the Chicago Near-North nightlife scene in the mid-1960s, centering on the struggles and romantic desires of an African American singer played by long-forgotten folk sensation, Willie Wright. I'VE GOT THIS PROBLEM traces the romantic relationship between a young man and woman (played by Klugman and Judy Harris) who meet in a downtown coffee shop. Their nonstop dialogue fluctuates between playful psycho-babble and sincere attempts to relay their innermost feelings. YOU'RE PUTTING ME ON seems to pick up the same couple (again played by Klugman and Harris) a few years later, as they attend a swinging bohemian party where they pilfer personal objects from the unsuspecting guests. The archival materials created from these three Klugman films comprise the Don Klugman Collection.
Bob Koester, founder and owner of Delmark Records (http://www.delmark.com/), also owns and operates the Jazz Record Mart in Chicago. In 2006, he donated this collection of 16mm Northwestern University football films (1969-1981) to CFA. The films are not entire games, but rather highlights of games and individual players. A long-time film enthusiast himself, Bob Koester acquired these films from a camera collector years ago.
These film materials consist of news footage Frank Koza shot from the mid 1930s through the late 1980s. They contain local, national and international news events.
The Charles E. Krosse Collection contains films produced and/or distributed by a Peoria film production company, C.L. Venard Productions, a company that became known for its educational films dealing with agricultural subject matter. The collection contains both 16mm and 35mm films, a number of which may also be titles that Venard employees collected. Included in the collection are promotional and in-house training films made for Caterpillar, a fundraising film made for the city of Peoria, some soft-core erotic shorts, unrelated animated shorts, silent film comedies, and unidentified home movies.
The six films in this collection represent the early work of documentary filmmaker and Hollywood cameraman Peter Kuttner. The films include a student film made at Northwestern University, two films he made with students at Dillard University in New Orleans as part of the War on Poverty in 1965, and three kinescopes of shows he made at Chicago's public television station WTTW.
The Bob Link Collection consists primarily of 16mm work prints and camera originals of sailing footage from the 1970s, including sailing scenes near the shores and harbors of downtown Chicago and a sailing race aboard Ted Turner's American Eagle. The Bob Link Collection also includes 1 file folder titled "1977" filled with client correspondence, receipts, budget logs, audience testimonials and polaroid photographs.
The Harry Mantel Collection came to CFA via the University of Chicago and consists primarily of production elements (camera originals, outtakes and numerous magnetic & optical soundtracks) made by Chicago cameraman, producer, and journalist, Harry Mantel (1923-2007). The few distribution prints in the collection are part of a series titled "Harry Mantel's Vignettes," which were produced and directed by Mantel thanks to a grant from Encyclopedia Britannica. The series primarily includes brief portraits he constructed of the city of Chicago and its people as well as subjects and scenes shot in Iowa, Wisconsin and Ireland. Some of the many subjects Mantel explores in his Vignettes include a waitress at a former Marina City Towers restaurant, O'Hare air traffic controllers, the various manifestations of fire, Iowa square dancing, circus & zoo animals, leaves & trees, Irish culture and a suburban arts and crafts fair replete with many a macrame booth.
The Judith McBrien Collection consists of a number of reels of commercial footage and out-takes that were presumably shot for a piece focusing on the legacy and influence of Polish immigrants in the Chicago area. Featuring interviews conducted in 1964 by Polish-American radio and television personality Sig Sakowicz with local Polish-Americans community leaders, these films were most likely shot as a part of a piece Sakowicz was working on for local television broadcast. Highlights include interviews with Polish-American athletes at Comiskey Park and firefighters at the newly constructed Chicago Fire Academy, footage of a young couple on the steps of a church after their wedding, interior shots of medical and dental offices and an industrial factory, and exterior shots of a single-family housing development on Chicago’s Northwest side.
Home movies and short films shot by Chicago artist and muralist Don McIlvaine. The collection primarily features scenes from Chicago's Lawndale and Bronzeville neighborhoods, including mural works in progress and scenes from McIlvaine's "Art and Soul" classroom in Lawndale. The collection also includes home movies documenting McIlvaine's travels, including a trip to Haiti and a young Conservative Vice Lords camping trip. Also in the collection are interview films, one with Chicago Bear's football player Gale Sayers as well as a 1972 interview with American political activist and scholar Angela Davis.
The Franklin McMahon collection consists primarily of audio recordings of significant political and social events from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. These recordings include interviews, political speeches, and environmental audio captured on location at Democratic and Republican National Conventions in the 1960s and 70s. McMahon’s subjects include Richard and Pat Nixon, Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, Abby Hoffman, Studs Terkel, Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Hubert Humphrey, Ted Kennedy and Edmund Muskie. Capturing reflections on the major political events and socio-cultural issues of the time, including the Vietnam War and Women’s Liberation Movement, McMahon’s audio recordings provide a rich, acoustic record of a tumultuous period in American history. The collection also contains a few films, including one on the “Chicago Seven” conspiracy trial.
These films were once part of Minnesota State's Memorial Library Collection. The collection includes shorts, features, and educational films whose subjects range from sexual behavior and drug experimentation to the history of dance and design.
The Morrison-Shearer collection is an extensive collection of dance films, most of which were shot by Helen Balfour Morrison. Sybil Shearer and Jerry Lev, a Shearer Company dancer, shot a small number of the films. Most films were shot in Northbrook, IL at Shearer’s dance studio and the surrounding environs that include the neighboring golf course, Green Acres Country Club. Some of the 8mm films were shot in New York City. The collection features solo performances by Sybil Shearer, Shearer with her dance company, interviews with Sybil Shearer and some rehearsal footage.
This collection consists of the orphaned "orphan" films and is named after William O'Farrell, a Canadian moving image archivist and champion of the neglected, lost film and regional archives in general. He was truly instrumental in shaping CFA in its early days. During 2004, O'Farrell, the Chief Moving Image and Audio Preservation Director at the National Archives of Canada, was on leave of absence as he recovered from an illness. He gladly stepped in to give CFA a hand as our fledgling organization found its legs. As humble as they come, O'Farrell was brilliant in every aspect of moving image preservation and in management of a small archive. This collection contains films O'Farrell purchased off of ebay (such as reels documenting 1968 Indianapolis 500 race) as well as Midwest films he wrestled from other collectors' arms to deposit with us. The William O'Farrell collection will become the home of those cast-off films and anonymous donations that from time-to-time come through CFA's doors.
The Chuck Olin Collection is comprised of films, videotapes and ephemera made by Chuck Olin from his work at two Chicago area film production companies from the mid-60s to the late 1990s: first with the Film Group/Mike Gray Associates and after 1974 with his own Chuck Olin Associates. Included are political documentaries made by the Film Group on the 1968 Democratic National Convention; television commercials for a variety of clients including Sears, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and politicians running for election; sponsored films for the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Medical Association, and Eli Lilly; educational films for Encyclopaedia Britannica; and a documentary by Olin on the Jewish Brigade in World War II.
National Endowment for the Arts
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board
National Endowment for the Arts
Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board
This collection documents the dance legacy and artistic circle of choreographer, Ruth Page, named by the Dance Heritage Coalition as one of America’s 100 Irreplaceable Dance Treasures. As the largest collection of moving image materials related to Ruth Page, this is a worthy complement to the vast manuscript collection that resides at the Jerome Robins Dance Division of the New York Public Library and the Newberry Library in Chicago. The collection contains rehearsals and performances that date back to 1922 including footage of Rudolph Nureyev soon after his defection from the Soviet Union, Balinese dances filmed during Page’s 1928 Asian Tour, and performances of The Merry Widow on the Ed Sullivan Show. It also contains the original and master tapes of numerous interviews with dance critics such as Clive Barnes and John Martin, dancers such as Larry Long, Delores Lipinski, Anne Kisselgoff and Maria Tallchief, and a comprehensive series of interviews and oral histories with Page herself that date from 1957 through 1987. Among the dozens of Ruth Page ballets contained in this collection is an original 35mm nitrate print of Bolero danced in 1928 at Ravinia in Highland Park, IL. This collection is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Spanning 5 decades and a wide range of subjects and styles, the Rhodes Patterson Collection documents the rapidly developing city of Chicago during the mid-century and the fascinating life of Rhodes Patterson, a designer, cinematographer, photographer and writer. Patterson’s diverse subject matter and style reflect the interconnected communities of industrial and graphic design, commercial and industrial film production, fine art, and architecture in Chicago during this period. Whether made “just for fun,” as documentation, or for commercial purposes, Patterson’s films reflect his humor, interest in art and design, imagination and creativity. The collection includes footage of Mae West from 1938; numerous films Patterson shot while stationed as a WWII reconnaissance photographer on the Island of Tinian; the construction of the Marina City Towers, Playboy building and various skyscrapers in Chicago; films made during the early development of the Aspen Institute; commercial footage shot while Patterson was working at the Container Corporation of America; documentation of the construction of the Playboy West complex and grotto; early Playboy footage and burlesque films; footage of Lincoln Park, Lake Michigan and people on the streets of Chicago; and various home movies, commercial projects, and amateur and personal films.
The Rainbow Productions Collection consists of unedited B-roll footage from three travel films made by filmmaker Dirk Wales, founder and president of Rainbow Productions. Formed in 1972, Rainbow Productions was a Chicago-based industrial production company that specialized in educational, documentary, medical and sponsored films. The footage in the Rainbow Productions Collection was shot by Wales in California, New Orleans, and New England, with the intention of creating a travel series on these regions, but the project was never completed.
The Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan (REMC) was founded in 1969, operating through the intermediate school district structure to provide various educational programs and services locally as well as collaborating on statewide programs. This collection consists of 16mm instructional and educational films produced by Coronet, McGraw-Hill, EBE Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation and multiple other production companies. These films span diverse subject matter including but not limited to health and safety, science, history, geography, social guidance and youth, and would have been available to teachers for classroom use.
The Roland Rives Collection consists of three films documenting Dartmouth College students on a Cunard Line European tour in the 1920s. These films feature scenes shot on the Cunard ocean liner, as well as various destinations in western Europe. The fourth film in the collection, “The Cunard Line Oceanews,” is a promotional film that showcases various features and attractions of the ocean liner, including dining, entertainment and sports facilities.
This collection contains 16mm films produced by Chicago-based child psychiatrist, Dr. Jerome L. Schulman, in the 1960s and 70s. The films relate to the interaction of illness and emotions, particularly in children and were intended for professional and non-professional audiences.
The Charles Dee Sharp collection consists of five 16mm films, including a short Christmas themed narrative film, two promotional films for the Illinois Institute of Technology and two short documentary films, one about a Kibbutz in Israel titled The Kibbutz, and another about Russia after Stalin, titled The Iron Curtain Lands: The Post-Stalin Period. All films are Cameras International productions. All films are written and directed by Charles Dee Sharp, except for Symbolic Control, which is written and directed by David A. Tapper for the IIT.
The Society of the Divine Word is an international congregation of male Catholic missionaries based in Techny, a northwest suburb of Chicago. The Society was founded in 1875 to preach in countries with insufficient or no foundation of Catholicism and to provide support to communities where the local Church is not yet viable. CFA acquired this collection in 2006 when the Robert M. Myers archives of the Society of the Divine Word deaccessioned a number of 16mm films that were not made by SDW in their collection. The collection consists predominantly of sermon films. According to the archivist at the Society of the Divine Word, these films were probably used in the classroom or for entertainment for students. It is unclear whether these works were produced in Chicago.
Chicago Film Archives acquired this collection from the Southern Illinois University library, located in Edwardsville, Illinois. The library deaccessioned their entire 16mm film collection in 2007, and CFA selected sixty-three films from over 3,000 titles. These works span across genres, from experimental shorts to feature documentaries to educational and instructional films. The McGraw-Hill Book Company and the Encyclopedia Britannica distributed a substantial number of these films, and others are still currently in distribution by the National Film Board of Canada, California Newsreel, and Maysles Films. Highlights of this collection include works by Millie Goldsholl (another CFA collection), the documentary Coalmining Women, about the history of women in the United States Coalmining Industry, and Skater Dater, an amusing educational film assessing male rivalry and teen sexual awareness.
This collection was donated to CFA by Steven Olderr, a librarian at St. Paul’s Episcopal Parish in Riverside, Illinois. The films were left over from a white elephant sale at the church and the original owner is unknown. The collection includes Castle Film’s News Parades news reels, home movies and classic studio animations such as Popeye and Mickey Mouse.
The films in this collection were collected by Chicago area film critic and filmmaker Bill Stamets. It includes 3 films made by Chicago filmmaker Tom Palazzolo (who often collaborated with Stamets) and 6 films by Stan Brakhage. CFA does not hold any films actually made by Mr. Stamets.
A collection of experimental films and home movies created by Chicago-based photographer and Institute of Design alum, Robert Stiegler. The collection also contains numerous 1/4" audio reel to reels. It is unclear at this time whether these audio reels are original or master recordings.
This collection of 16mm films includes full historical shows ("Chicago 1968", "Black Power", "See How They Ran", etc.) as well as historical footage of sports, political events and other historical happenings (anti-war protests, courtroom footage, prohibition, etc.)
The Bert Van Bork Collection contains films Van Bork directed and produced while working at Encyclopedia Britannica Films. Also included in the collection is his 1999 short documentary EYEWITNESS, which examines the sketches and paintings done secretly by men and women who lived and died inside the walls of Nazi death camps.
This collection of thirty-four 16mm "physique" or erotic films were donated to Chicago Film Archives by Chicago realtor Stephen Waters in 2010, who received the films from a former client. Because these films are essentially orphaned, their provenance and custodial history can only be approximated. However, it is likely that the films would have been shown in coin-operated Panoram Jukeboxes created by the Chicago-based Mills Novelty Company in 1939, which played closed-loop 16mm silent and sound films and were placed in numerous locations including train and bus stations. Jukeboxes exhibiting adult movies or “peep shows” would most likely have been found in penny arcades that were prominent in the Illinois Central Railway Station at the time. Some of the films may have also been distributed on the home-projection market. The films feature nude or barely clothed women and range from bedroom and interior scenes or created sets where these women undress in a variety of scenarios, to a series of films where the women model poses that are supposedly made for artists to study the human figure.
Home movies shot by insurance man, Homer L. Young. The majority of the films were shot in Ohio and Indiana, except for handful of films that document vacations throughout the United States. Also included in the collection are short newsreels, animations and comedies collected by Homer throughout the years.