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Charles G. Clarke collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Biography
  • Arrangement of the Collection
  • Indexing terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Abstract: The collection includes both items collected by Clarke and material relating to his career, including scripts, production material, correspondence, writings, and an American Film Institute oral history transcript. Scrapbooks compiled by Clarke contain correspondence addressed to William Selig or the Selig Polyscope Company.
    Collector: Clarke, Charles G.
    Dates: 1879-1983
    Collection number: 47
    Collection Size: 2 linear ft. of papers
    Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    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

    Charles G. Clarke collection, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Charles G. Clarke, 1977

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Charles G. Clarke collection spans the years 1879-1983 and encompasses 2 linear feet, consisting of production files, subject files and scrapbooks. The collection includes both items collected by Clarke and items relating to his career. The production files contain material for five films with cinematography by Clarke, with voluminous material on THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR (1955), on which he was second unit director, and a dozen scripts from the television series ARNIE, which he photographed. Other important documentation includes correspondence between Clarke and various collectors and preservers of film and film history, including two letters from actor Andre Beranger regarding his collection of 28mm films. There are writings by Clarke, Howard Walls, and Albert E. Smith, as well as a transcript of Clarke's American Film Institute oral history. The subject files include a Fox Film Corporation folder with daily cast reports for their 1919 films. Stereo photographs taken by Clarke on location in the 1920s contain rare images of James Wong Howe behind the camera for EBB TIDE (1922) and Clarke on location in Alaska for ROCKING MOON (1926), among others. Two scrapbooks compiled by Clarke contain correspondence addressed to William Selig or the Selig Polyscope Company.
    Clarke was not only a major Hollywood cinematographer, but also a collector of materials relating to film industry history. The library has benefited from his donations through this collection, the Motion Picture Patents Company/General Film Company collection, the William Selig papers and many books, pamphlets, and periodicals among the library's general holdings.


    Charles Galloway Clarke (1899-1983) was born in Potter Valley, California. He entered the film industry as an assistant cameraman at Universal in 1915. Following active service during World War I, he was made first cameraman at the National Film Company, where he photographed the serial SON OF TARZAN. His work as a prominent first cameraman and director of photography began in 1922 with THE HALF BREED. Other films in the 1920s and 1930s include FOUR SONS (1928), WORDS AND MUSIC (1929), TARZAN THE APE MAN (1932), VIVA VILLA! (1934), and THE CASINO MURDER CASE (1935). Clarke joined 20th Century-Fox in 1938 and remained under contract there until his retirement in 1962. Among his Fox features are MARGIE (1946), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947), THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (1952), CAROUSEL (1956), and RETURN TO PETYON PLACE (1961). His writings include "Early Film Making in Los Angeles" (1976). Clarke served on the Academy Board of Governors from October 1945-May 1951 (assistant treasurer, 1948-1949), from June 1960-May 1962, and from July 1970-May 1975. Clarke received Academy Award nominations for cinematography for four Fox films: MOONTIDE (1942), HELLO FRISCO HELLO (1943), GREEN GRASS OF WYOMING (1948), and SAND (1949). In addition, he was presented with a Scientific or Technical Achievement citation (1943) and an Honorary medal of commendation (1979) from the Academy.

    Arrangement of the Collection

    1. Production files; 2. Television files; 3. Subject files, subseries A-C as follows: A. General; B. Biography; C. Additions; 4. Oversize; 5. Scrapbooks

    Indexing terms

    Clarke, Charles G.