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Academy War Film Library files
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Academy War Film Library files
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1950
    Date (bulk): 1941-1945
    Collection number: 1258
    Creator: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
    Extent: 3 linear feet of papers.
    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

    Academy War Film Library files, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Acquisition Information

    Collected by the library in the 1940s


    The Academy War Film Library is a collection of motion picture films and associated papers gathered by the Academy library during World War II. Those involved include librarian and executive secretary Margaret Gledhill (later Margaret Herrick), executive secretary Donald Gledhill, and librarian Grace Gaunt. The project was made possible through the cooperation of the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the governments of the United Nations. The Academy library acquired more than 400 films produced by the governments of Canada, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States, among others. The Academy located the films, prepared catalogs, held special screenings for Academy members and studio employees, and referred requests for footage to the government. Film topics included air raids, civilian defense, mobilization, rationing, training, the role of women in industrialization and the armed forces, and war bond campaigns. Today, the Academy Film Archive houses the more than 230 associated film prints that survive in the War Film Collection.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Academy War Film Library files span the years 1938-1950 (bulk 1941-1945) and encompass 3 linear feet. The collection consists of files with clippings, correspondence, and other material on war films produced in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States. Of interest are an address to the National Board of Review by Canadian Film Commander John Grierson, files on British Information Services, and material on the United Nations Information Office, including films on the United Nations. There is correspondence with numerous U.S. Government agencies, including the Office of War Information (OWI), Treasury Department, and the Office of Censorship. The OWI List of U.S. War Information Films is of interest. There are miscellaneous files regarding the War Film Catalog produced by the Academy listing films; film receipts and bookings; and miscellaneous correspondence regarding films borrowed for screenings. One file includes correspondence from Negro Marches On, Inc. and a pressbook for its upcoming motion picture WE'VE COME A LONG, LONG WAY (1944). The correspondence includes letters to Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, Garson Kanin, Walter Wanger, and Darryl F. Zanuck. Also included are letters from Garson Kanin, Julian Lesser, Gregg Toland, and Walter Wanger. Notable is a letter from Gregg Toland to Donald Gledhill requesting a 16mm sound projector to view a "confidential" film prior to its release which turned out to be John Ford's THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY (1942).


    Arranged in the following series: Not arranged in series.

    Indexing Terms

    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences