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Finding Aid for the Al Gilks papers, 1920s-1970s
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Collection Details
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  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Al Gilks papers
    Collection number: 1324
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.0 linear ft. (2 flat boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1920-1959
    Date (inclusive): 1920s-1970s, (bulk 1920s-1950s)
    Abstract: Cameraman and cinematographer Al Gilks is credited with over sixty films. The collection consists of photographs, clippings, scripts, and printed trade publications related to Gilks?s career from the 1920s to the 1950s. Additionally there are mounted photographs related to his involvement with William K. Vanderbilt film, Over the Seven Seas.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.
    Creator: Gilks, Alfred

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Al Gilks papers (Collection 1324). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 6982017 


    Al Gilks was born ca. 1892. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He started his career as a cameraman in 1918. During World War II, Gilks served as a member of the Field Photographic Unit of the Office of Strategic Services under John Ford and was involved in the filming of the Canal Report. Gilks worked at Paramount Studios for many years but was also involved in productions for other studios including MGM, RKO Radio Pictures, and C.V. Whitney Pictures. During his career, Gilks worked with the likes of Dorothy Arzner and Sam Wood, among others. His motion picture credits includes over sixty films such as An American in Paris, North of 36, Old Ironsides, Ruggles of Red Gap and Dr. Kildare features. In 1922, Gilks became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. While filming Old Ironsides in 1926, Gilks's Navy background was useful for capturing the natural sailing conditions and operation of one of the first "nautical" cameras. In 1932, Gilks was involved in Over the Seven Seas, a production documenting William K. Vanderbilt?s round-the-world cruise for the Marine Museum. In 1951, Gilks shared the Academy Award in cinematography for his work on the MGM production, An American in Paris. Gilks retired in 1960. He died in 1970 from a heart attack in Hollywood, California.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of material related to the career of cinematographer Al Gilks. Included are photographs, clippings, scripts, and printed trade publications. Among the photographs are 67 mounted images representing Gilks's involvement with the William K. Vanderbilt film, Over the Seven Seas, a small number of publicity photographs from Old Ironsides, and a small number of stills and photographs from unidentified film projects. Scripts include Rius the Widower, Ruggles of Red Gap sequence B pages, and the television series Halls of Ivy. Clippings represent writings about Gilks and/or projects in which he was involved, such as Old Ironsides. A small number of trade publications publicize the 24th Academy Award winners, which included Gilks. Materials in this collection represent only a small portion of Gilks's career.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gilks, Alfred -- Archive.
    Cinematographers--United States--Archival resources.