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Axelbank (Herman) motion picture film collection
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Depicts major events in the twentieth-century Russian history, including the Russian Revolution and World Wars I and II, the tsarist family and court, communist political and military leaders, and scenes of economic, social, and cultural activities in the Soviet Union.
Herman Axelbank (1900-1979) devoted his energies for over fifty years to compiling a motion picture film chronicle of the last years of Imperial Russia, the Russian revolutions, and the new government which emerged from the upheaval. He was born in the village of Novo-Konstantinov, in the Russian Empire, on May 30, 1900; his family moved to New York in 1909. Fascinated with film-making from childhood, Axelbank got a job, in 1916, as an office boy for Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn) at Goldwyn Pictures on Forty-second Street. The news of the February Revolution in Russia captured the young Axelbank's imagination. "Wish I could take moving pictures over there; we don't have any of our own [American Revolution] in 1775," he remembered remarking to a co-worker.
271 motion picture film reels, 1 manuscript box, 2 oversize boxes (27.0 Linear Feet)
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
Originals closed; access copies available of reels 1-30, 32-36, 40-42, 47, 62, 90, 93, 97, 99, and 118-123. Materials materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.