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Home movies

Home Movie Collections - SHELLY & DIANE
SHELLY & DIANE, Jacob Glick, 1934 (from the Glick-Berlozheimer Collection)

Home Movies are important visual records of our history – not just an individual family’s history, but also our cultural history. During the mid-twentieth century, communities around the world stocked 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm film rolls on their drugstore shelves so anyone could record his or her own family activities. Today, home movies can show us things that regular history books and documents overlook; the way a Midwestern family decorated their home in 1957; the games that kids played in 1934; the kinds of community events and activities we enjoyed in 1971. Home movies provide a visual record of a living history – a record we must work to preserve for future generations. Listed below are the CFA collections that include home movies:

Jack Baker Collection, 1942-1987
The entire Baker collection was shot by commercial artist Jack Baker on 8mm film between the 1940s and 80s, with the exception of one 16mm film of unknown origin. The collection consists of in-house industrial films Jack made for work and home movie footage he took of his wife and two kids. The films he made on the job consist of downtown Chicago scenes, an American Can Company plant and trips to Milwaukee, New Orleans, and New York City. The home movies include suburban construction, numerous children's birthday parties, a few Christmas celebrations, an adult Halloween party, a Cubs game and trips to the Indiana dunes and Wisconsin's Lake Geneva.
Frank Burton & Anne Geraldine Bryant Collection
This collection of home movies was shot by Chicagoan Frank "Burt" Bryant and document his wife (Anne Geraldine Mccabe Bryant), mother (Hilda Jernberg Bryant), children (Peter, Ricard, David & Judith) and their family travels. The Bryant family lived primarily in Chicago's Rogers Park neighorhood at 1726 W. Jarvis Avenue. All four of the Bryant children attended St. Jerome's Grammar School. The boys of the family attended Loyola Academy for high school, while Judy attended St. Scholastica Academy. These family films include scenes of Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood as well as footage of the family's annual summer trip to Eagle Lake, Wisconsin, where the Mccabe family owned a cottage.
Margaret Conneely Collection, 1902-2007
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 commerical films that she collected. Four of her films have been preserved by the National Film Preservation Foundation and The 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.
Marquis Ritchey Cring Collection, 1927-1966
This 16mm home movie collection documents the Cring family of St. Louis, Missouri. Highlights of the collection include its railroad footage, Brentwood High School football games, an entertaining teenage dance party and a rare glimpse of Charles Lindbergh at a Mexican bull fight. This collection is sponsored by Susan Hayes.
David Drazin Collection
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.
Richard J. Finnegan Collection, 1929-1953
The Richard J. Finnegan collection is a series of home movies, travelogues and amateur shorts shot by Chicago Sun-Times editor Richard J. Finnegan between 1929 and 1953. Many of the films in this collection creatively meld narrative inter-titles with non-fiction footage, and employ cinematic conventions such as slow motion and narrative-style editing. Subject matter spans trips to Yellowstone, Eureka, Bermuda and various parts of Northern and Southern California, personal films of notable events such as the 1929 Olympics in Los Angeles, and "classic" home movie family films of vacations, holidays and events, including birthday parties, baptisms, a wedding, Christmas and Halloween celebrations.
Frommeyer Collection, 1926
This black and white 16mm film depicts the leisure activities of an affluent family on Chicago's north side. Scenes include a grandiose building that is possibly the Edgewater Beach Hotel and a football game at University of Chicago.
Dr. Benjamin M. Gasul Collection, 1936-1940
The Benjamin Gasul Collection includes 5 reels of 16mm home movies shot by a well-respected Chicago area pediatrician, Dr. Benjamin M. Gasul. The films date from 1936 to 1940 and include footage of Brookfield Zoo and trips to Mackinac Island, Niagara Falls, Cuba, Miami, New Orleans and the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Glick - Berolzheimer Collection, 1934-1978
The Glick-Berolzheimer Collection contains home movies by Diane Berolzheimer's father Jacob Glick from the mid 1930s through the early 1960s. It also includes home movies made by Diane and her husband Karl Berolzheimer from the mid 1950s through the mid 1970s. The home movies in this collection depict the leisure activities of the larger Glick/Berolzheimer family, rituals of Jewish life, and numerous fishing trips by Mr. Glick.
Carl L. Godman Collection
A collection of home movies documenting the Godman family of Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. The patriarch of the family, Carl Lawrence Godman, shot the majority of the collection. The films primarily feature his wife, Fay F. Godman, and their three sons, David, Andrew, and James. Collection highlights include a 1968 Chicago River boat tour, a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo as well as home movies Carl shot while serving in the Korean War.
David Gray Collection, 1931-1964
The David Gray Collection contains home movies shot by Uriel Hadley of St. Louis, Missouri. Highlights include footage shot at the Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress International Exhibition) in 1933-34, the St. Louis Botanical Gardens and holiday celebrations with the family. Hadley worked for Eastman Kodak and he often shot these home movies on or with the latest technology being developed by the company.
Susan Gray Collection, 1935-1957
This collection of the Felton family home movies were shot between 1936 and 1957 by Susan Gray's father, Robert Felton. The films contain scenes of vacations, family leisure time and documentation of Robert Felton's hobby as a deep sea fisherman. The collection also includes two compiled reels of short 8mm commercial releases for home use, including Disney animations and a sports review titled "Sports Beams: Touchdown Thrills of 1948".
Cynthia Holmberg Collection
The Cynthia Holmberg Collection consists of 16mm home movies shot primarily by Henry Brooks, Cynthia’s father, and 8mm home movies shot by Cynthia’s husband Ron Holmberg. Ranging from the late 1930s to the mid-1960s, the 16mm films document Cynthia’s childhood and the life of a middle class family living in Chicago. The 8mm home movies document Ron and Cynthia Holmberg’s family and life in the suburbs of Chicago in the 1970s and early 80s. They include various locations around Chicago as well as family trips to Wisconsin, various U.S. National Parks, and Florida.
Mary Heftel Hooton Collection
The Mary Heftel Hooten collection includes Super 8mm home movies of vacations she and her husband, William Heftel, took from 1967-1973. The films document trips to Japan, Hawaii, Norway, Antartica, Australia, and the Bahamas. Hooten was a lawyer and Illinois judge. Heftel was a Chicago area realtor.
Mark Howard Collection, 1935-1946
A home movie collection that documents the Homer Henselt Howard family of Skokie and Glenview, Illinois. Included in the collection are suburban residential scenes shot in Skokie, Illinois, a glimpse inside a Kingsley Stamping Machine factory as well as trips to Los Angeles and Wisconsin's Lake Geneva.
Ferd Isserman Collection, 1932-1968
The Ferd Isserman collection consists of 16mm home movies shot primarily in Chicago from the early 1930s through the late 1960s. Documenting leisure time, trips and holidays, highlights from the collection include family visits to the Chicago World’s Fair (A Century of Progress International Exposition) in 1933-34; a legion marching band and USO dedication in Chicago during WWII; the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1932; the 20th Miss America pageant held at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ in 1946; a trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1946-47; and Thanksgiving celebrations in the 1930s, 1940s and 1968.
Kubicek Family Collection, 1965-1975
These 8mm home movies document the Kubicek family of Dearborn, Michigan from 1965 to the mid 1970s. When donated to CFA, this collection was accompanied by detailed notes describing the people and places in the films. These notes are uncommonly personal, detailed and are very welcome as part of the collection. They provide a richness and context to the films and to the family seen in them. The films and paper documents in this collection will be invaluable as genealogical traces to coming generations of the Kubicek family.
Marion Kudlick Collection
The Marion Kudlick collection contains home movies and amateur travelogue films shot by amateur filmmaker Marion Kudlick, Sr. Highlights include films shot in Chicago, Poland, western Europe and Mexico during the 1960s, family vacations in Florida, and Boy Scout activities.
John Marino Collection, 1944-1970
Home movies documenting the Marino family of Chicago, Illinois. These home movies of the Marino family were filmed by Joseph and Sadie Marino. They contain images of their children (John and Joanne) and themselves.
Stacy Maugans Collection, 1965-1984
Just under four hundred reels, this home movie collection includes over fifty-five reels of birthdays, fifty-four reels of Christmas, twenty-one reels of Easter holidays and nineteen reels of Fourth of July celebrations.The Maugans Collection spans from 1965-1984. It begins with a newly married Indiana couple (Connie and Judy Maugans) in a sparsely decorated mobile home and ends with their eldest daughter, Lisa Maugans, going off to prom. Almost all of the home movies were shot in Indiana, except for family vacations shot throughout the United States.
Don McIlvaine Collection
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.
Morrison-Shearer Collection, 1940-1997
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.
William O'Farrell Collection
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.
Howard Prouty Collection, 1950-1962
The filmmaker and the family (or families) depicted in the Howard Prouty Collection are currently unknown. The films were purchased by Howard Prouty at a Los Angeles garage sale in the Carthay Circle Neighborhood (6101 Del Valle Dr.). The majority films were shot in the Midwest from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, and were developed at various camera shops in the northern suburb of Waukegan, Illinois. The collection includes footage of weddings, birthdays, various Michigan boat trips, and most notably, footage from the Korean war and the Chicago's Railroad Fair of 1948-1949.
Patti Quilling Collection, 1954-1963
The bulk of this 16mm & 8mm home movie collection was shot in Dayton, Ohio in the 1950s and 60s, and includes trips to Kentucky's Cumberland Lake and scenes from Put In Bay along the coast of Ohio's Lake Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Quilling also took a trip to Chicago in 1954 for a National Restaurant Association show and brought a camera along with them. They shot footage of Soldier Field and the Buckingham Fountain while driving down Lake Shore Drive, and even shot scenes of the Chicago skyline atop the Drake Hotel.
Roland Rives Collection, 1926-1928
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.
Greg Rouleau Collection, 1943-1962
16mm. home movie collection shot by Greg Rouleau, a magician and radio man from Wisconsin.
John and Marilyn Sanner Collection, 1946-1982
The John and Marilyn Sanner collection contains 16mm, 8mm and Super 8mm amateur and home movie films, with two of the Super 8mm films having a magnetic soundtrack. John and Marilyn Sanner were members of the Metro Movie Club, a local amateur filmmaking club (1940s-1980s), during the later years of the organization (1972-1987). John Sanner of Deerfield, Illinois shot the majority of the films in this collection. He shot both amateur films and home movies. The home movies include footage of Deerfield High School football games and the Chicago snow blizzard of 1979. His amateur films include a behind the scenes look at a Metro Movie Club production and a short documentary about the arrival of a Vietnamese family to Deerfield by way of a refuge camp in Hong Kong. The collection also includes an 8mm amateur travelogue film shot in Havana, Cuba by W.R. James in the late 1940s and a Super 8 film of unknown origin that documents a teenage girl's social club circa 1977.
Carol Sanzi Collection, 1941-1971
This 8mm. home movie collection documents the Sanzi family of Detroit, Michigan. The majority of the collection consists of footage from family vacations within the United States and Canada.
Susan H. and Charles P. Schwartz, Jr. Collection, 1926-1949
Charles P. Schwartz, Sr. began filming his family in 1926 after the birth of his first two children, Polly and Robert. His namesake Charles, Jr. was born in 1927. These home movies portray family vacations in Herbster, Wisconsin, (close to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he grew up), Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Charlevoix, Michigan. Included is footage from his daughter's wedding in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. This collection is sponsored by Susan H. and Charles Schwartz, Jr.
Paul Shreves Collection, 1936-1946
This collection of home movies was shot by Paul Shreves, who grew up in the Angel Guardian Orphanage (now known as Misericordia Home North), located at 2001 W. Devon Avenue, in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The home movies document leisure scenes from the orphanage and the surrounding area, including Halloween celebrations and picnics.
Matthew V. & Sue Z. Sisak Collection
This collection of home movies documents the Sisak family of Racine, Wisconsin. The films capture family gatherings, family travels as well as their short stay in Washington State during the 1961 Berlin Crisis. The films include scenes from Sherwood Point Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin, The Basilica Shrine of Holy Hill in Hubertus, Wisconsin, The Washington State Capital in Olympia, Washington, and a family picnic in Saunders Park in Racine County, Wisconsin.
Phillip Smith Collection, 1944-1970
This home movie collection consists of 8mm home movies shot between the years 1944-1970. The majority of the films were shot in Chicago. The few exceptions include a visit to Stillman Valley, Illinois, a bike club trip to Beloit, Wisconsin, a honeymoon to Paris & London and a visit to a horse track. The Chicago reels depict railways, neighborhood street and stoop scenes, multiple weddings, interior domestic scenes, a funeral and soda shop interiors.
James C. Soucie Collection, 1913-1966
The Soucie Collection is comprised of 85 reels of 8mm acetate films, an issue of the Sam Campbell Special newsletter sponsored by the Chicago and North Western Railway, and the original inventories created by the filmmaker. These films are amateur travel films of classic American festivals, rituals, amusement parks, parades, Civil War re-enactments, national parks, industrial shows, railroad fairs and Native American tribal ceremonies.
St. Paul's Episcopal Collection, 1935-1943
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.
Walter Sunquist Collection, 1935-1984
The Sunquist home movie collection (16mm and S8mm) features the Sunquist family who resided in Illinois from the 1930s-80. The collection contains reels of birthdays, weddings, Christmas and other celebrations, as well as numerous reels of family holidays. In addition there is documentation of "Worth Day Parades" in Worth, Illinois, footage of the "Carl Sandburg Band", and travel films of various domestic and international destinations. Included are trips to Cheyenne, Miami, Yellowstone, Alaska, Colorado Springs, Michigan, Sweden, France, Italy and Germany.
Natalie Walsh Collection, 1961-1976
The Walsh Collection was shot between 1961-1975. In addition to numerous birthday and Christmas celebrations, the collection depicts several family vacations (Detroit, Florida, Mexico, San Francisco and the Virgin Islands), a Girl Scout International Rally, a trip to Lincoln's Tomb & New Salem State Historic Park, a visit to Southern Illinois University and a 1967 Midwest snowstorm. A few experimental reels by Steven Walsh featuring stop-go animation and sailing scenes also reside in the collection.
Henry Wilczynski Collection
This collection contains the home movies of the Wilczynski family. They lived on the south side of Chicago and ran a bakery. Some of the highlights of the collection are the Bahai Temple in Wilmette, IL, Chicago's Riverview amusement park, the Chicago Flower and Garden show, family weddings, Niagra Falls, and 1952 Chicago subway scenes.
Wilmette Historical Museum Collection, 1959-1963
This home movie collection was donated by the Wilmette Historical Museum in 2009 and documents the Grove Family from this northern suburb. The four reels were shot by Axel Grove between 1959-1963 and include footage of the Brookfield Zoo, O’Hare International Airport, the Morton Arboretum, Adventure Island Amusement Park, a trip to Wilmette’s beaches, a child’s tennis lesson and a very entertaining living room puppet show.
Russell V. Zahn Collection
The Russell V. Zahn Collection contains 38 reels of 8mm film chronicling the many birthdays, Christmases, and family outings between the years of 1935 and 1946 -- primarily in and around the family's Wisconsin home. Highlights of this collection include the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, a trip to Sturgeon Bay, and some very entertaining backyard dance performances. The collection also includes one commercially produced Felix the Cat animation.