Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production and biography photographs

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production and biography photographs
Date (inclusive): 1921-1973
Date (bulk): 1925-1973
Collection number: 1100
Creator: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Extent: 737 linear feet of photographs.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Available by appointment only.

Publication rights

Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

Preferred Citation

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production and biography photographs, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 1979


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, an American motion picture production company, was formed in 1924. The studio was located in Culver City, California. MGM was formed when the theater circuit Loew's Inc., owner of Metro Pictures Corporation, acquired Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures and subsequently merged the three companies. Acquired by a consortium of investors in 2005, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., continues to function as a film production and distribution company out of its Century City, California headquarters.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production and biography photographs span the years 1921-1973 (bulk 1925-1973) and encompass 737 linear feet consisting of approximately one million photographic prints. Nearly all of the films were distributed by Metro-Goldwyn (1924-1925) or Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1925-1973); a few pre- 1924 films were released by Metro, Goldwyn, or Goldwyn-Cosmopolitan. The feature films consist of scenes from 1,665 motion pictures. Also included are off-camera photographs, portraits of players in character and costume for their roles, as well as general publicity shots. The short films consist of scenes from 1,322 motion pictures, with occasional off-camera photographs, portraits of players in character and costume for their roles, and general publicity shots. The MGM-distributed shorts include those produced by MGM, those produced by Hal Roach between 1927 and 1937, and a small number of shorts produced independently. Most of the MGM shorts were released as parts of various ongoing series, including travelogues and animated cartoons. At least 50 of these series are represented, with familiar names such as James FitzPatrick, Pete Smith Specialties and, beginning in 1938, MGM Cartoons. The biography files contain portrait, candid, and general publicity photographs not relating to productions for 2,328 individuals. Actors and actresses, directors, writers, composers, executives, cinematographers, producers, editors, and other motion picture craftpersons are among those depicted.


Arranged in the following series: Photographs, subseries A-C as follows: A. Motion picture production-- Feature Films, 1921-1973; B. Motion picture production--Short Films, 1927 to 1958; C. Biography, 1923- 1972

Indexing Terms