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Chicago, Illinois 60616
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Harry Mantel Collection

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Collection Identifier: C.2006-05
Extent of collection
2 reels of 1/4" audio; 141 reels of 16mm film
Inclusive Dates
1962 - 1984
Bulk Dates
1968 - 1984
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.
Mantel, Harry (was created by)
Harry Mantel (1923-2007) fought on the German front lines in WWII and later attended the Nuremberg trials, which inspired him to leave his pre-med major at the University of Illinois and study journalism and drama at Drake University in Iowa. His first post graduation position as a writer was at the Chicago Sun-Times. After leaving the Sun-Times, he became a producer of radio news at NBC for 25 plus years. In the 1960s, he hosted his own radio show on NBC for several years, interviewing famous authors, scientists, and activists of that decade. In later years, he founded World Films which produced vignettes and documentary films that were picked up by various PBS affiliates. Upon retirement at 62, Mantel also became licensed as a flying instructor and as a commercial pilot. The body of his films and work are archived at Chicago Film Archives as well as the Museum of Radio and Broadcast in New York, NY. In addition, other works have been donated to Governor State College in University Park, Illinois.
Custodial History
Andy Uhrich brought the films to CFA from the University of Chicago's Film Studies Center.
Language of Materials
Access Restrictions
This collection is open to on-site access. Appointments must be made with Chicago Film Archives. Due to the fragile nature of the films, only video copies will be provided for on-site viewing.
Mantel, Harry