25.01.2018 change 25.01.2018

A collection of 1200 film programs in the Digital Library of the University of Lodz

Source: University of Lodz Source: University of Lodz

The collection of 1,200 film programs released in the years 1920-1980 to accompany Polish and foreign films has been made available in the Digital Library of the University of Lodz. In addition to basic information about the movies, their creators and cast, leaflets sometimes contain plot summary and film frames.

The library of the University of Lodz has completed the project "Digitisation and access to the collection in the Digital Library of the University of Lodz: The history of world cinema in 20th-century ephemera". It was co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education with funds for the promotion of science.

The project included maintenance, processing, digitisation and uploading the materials to the Digital Library of the University of Lodz, says Beata Gamrowska from the library of the University of Lodz.

The Collections of the Social Life Documents Section of the library of the University of Lodz include materials related to cinematography and movies. In addition to book publications and a rich collection of movie posters, including the so-called Polish Poster School, there are extremely interesting prints that advertise movies.

It is a collection of 1,200 leaflets published mainly in the years 1920-1980. The programs advertise both world cinematography productions, among others from the USA, Germany, France or Italy, and Polish film productions. In addition to basic information, such as the title, director, producer, programs also include information about the cast and sometimes a plot summary and film frames. These prints have the characteristics of advertising and partly informational documents.

The most valuable items in the collection include the program for the movie "Ordynat Michorowski" published in 1937 by the Warsaw House of Press SA, containing extensive cast information (including Kazimierz Junosza-Stępowski, Mieczysława Ćwiklińska) and a set of 38 small frames from the film set.

Another example of a valuable items is the program for the movie "Pani minister tańczy" - also published in 1937 by the House of Press SA. In addition to a dozen photographs, it contains the lyrics of the songs used in the movie. It also mentions the sponsors of furniture, clothes, cars and other props used in the movie.

Among the foreign programs in the collection there is, for example, the classic thriller by Alfred Hitchcock from 1954 "Rear Window" starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. In addition to the basic information about the movie, the program published by the Film Lease Central also contains a note about the director and lead actors.

According to Gamrowska, these prints are an excellent source of information for film studies, as well as historical studies in the field of Polish, European and world cinematography. They can be useful for biographical research as well as socio-political studies concerning, for example, interwar Polish actors of Jewish origin such as Ina Benita or Nora Ney.

They also document the achievements of global film industry companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, Paramount, UFA, as well as Polish ones: Sfinks, Leo Film, Feniks and Falanga.

Gamrowska emphasises that processing and digitisation of these materials in the library of the University of Lodz is a pioneering project, unprecedented in Polish library collections. "Movie posters and advertising prints for these movies constitute the only such rich and complementary database of this type of materials in Poland" - she says. (PAP)

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