About the Collections

Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) strives to preserve our global moving image heritage, diversify understandings of moving image culture, and envision a better future by encouraging new interpretations of the recent past.

some collectionsMIRC began in 1980 with the gift of the Fox Movietone News Collection. Since then, archival holdings have increased to an estimated 6000 hours of material, including local television news and commercials, home movies, micro-cinematographic nature films, and fiction and documentary films from the People's Republic of China.

Much of this film has never been publicly exhibited. It awaits the attention of genealogists, historians, naturalists, documentarians, experimental filmmakers, and all other intrepid inquirers.

Collections 

Chinese Film Collection

Collection Information
In October of 2009, the University of South Carolina welcomed an historic gift of films from the People's Republic of China. The donation came in two parts. More than 1000 DVD titles were donated by the Hanban, headquarters for Confucius Institutes worldwide. These DVDs are cataloged as part of the Educational Film Collection (an "other call number" search for "CHD"? will find all the titles). The gift also includes nearly 900 titles on 35mm and 16mm film donated by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America (Washington, D.C.). These films are being processed and are not yet available for viewing. They will be conserved and made available to researchers and for public exhibition as part of Moving Image Research Collections. The Embassy collection is of particular interest as a document of cultural diplomacy in that it represents what Chinese officials thought the people of the United States should see and know about China after the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1979. Films include documentaries of life in China, animated films, and such landmark fiction film titles as Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli's 1947 The Spring River Flows East, Xie Jin's 1964 Two Stage Sisters, and Zifeng Ling's 1982 Rickshaw Boy. The gift was made possible through the combined efforts of the University of South Carolina's Confucius Institute, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University Libraries, with the cooperation of the China Film Archive, the Beijing Film Academy, and Beijing Language and Culture University. The Confucius Institute and the University Libraries are working together to expand the collection.

Newsfilm Collections

Collection Information
Dr. Greg Wilsbacher, Curator. The initial core of the archive, these collections include:

C. E. Feltner, Jr. Collection

Collection Information
Television station owner and film distributor C. E. Feltner donated 2 million feet of 35 mm film, including several stock footage libraries. The collection is currently being processed. Only a few titles have been added to the reference catalog. In the catalog, story numbers are prefixed by FTNR. The University licenses some, but not all, content from this collection.

Fox Movietone News Collection

Collection Information
The core gift that established the archive in 1980 , the Fox Movietone News Collection comprises more than 2000 hours of edited stories, complete newsreels, and associated outtakes from the silent Fox News and sound Fox Movietone News Library. This unique film material dates from 1919-1934 and from 1942-1944. It is supplemented by paper records, some of which may be examined online here. A comprehensive index to this collection is available through the reference catalog. In the catalog, story numbers are prefixed by MVTN. Approximately half of the collection may be viewed on video cassette in our public reference room during regular opening hours. The University has the exclusive right to license content from this collection.

Local Television: WBTW

Collection Information
This collection includes 16 mm footage shot by the news crews of Florence, SC's CBS affiliate from 1964 to 1977. The collection is currently being processed. A partial index is available through the reference catalog. In the catalog, story numbers are prefixed by WBTW. A few representative titles may viewed on video cassette in our public reference room during regular opening hours. The University licenses content from this collection.

Local Television: WIS

Collection Information
This collection includes 16 mm footage shot by the news crews of Columbia, SC's NBC affiliate from 1959 to 1978 as well as two news magazines: Black Awareness and Carolina Magazine. The collection is currently being processed. A partial index is available through the reference catalog. In the catalog, story numbers are prefixed by WIS. A few hundred representative titles may viewed on video cassette in our public reference room during regular opening hours. The University licenses content from this collection.

Local Television: WLTX

Collection Information
This collection includes 16 mm footage shot by the news crews of Columbia, SC's CBS affiliate from 1966 to mid-1976. The collection is currently being processed. A partial index is available through the reference catalog. In the catalog, story numbers are prefixed by WLTX. A few hundred representative titles may viewed on video cassette in our public reference room during regular opening hours. The University licenses content from this collection.

Marvin Lipman Collection

Collection Information
This collection includes material shot for a weekly news magazine aired on WRC-TV in the Washington, D. C. area. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public, however a few sample titles have been added to the reference catalog with the prefix LPMN.

Regional Film Collections

Collection Information
These collections feature amateur films by persons who made their homes in the U.S. South, films produced by or for the University of South Carolina, and films produced by or for other regional government entities. Many individual collections are still being processed. Highlights include:

Anna and Archer Huntington Home Movies

Collection Information
Generously donated to the University by Brookgreen Gardens, the home movies of Anna and Archer Huntington provide rare color images of the artists' sculpture gardens in Georgetown, SC. Mostly filmed in the 1930s, the collection comprises 4568 ft. of 16 mm film. In the catalog, holdings are prefixed SCAR-Hunt. This collection is processed and available to researchers in the public research room.

Claudia Lea Phelps Home Movies

Collection Information
Gifted to the University in 1992 by Claudia Lea Phelps's grand niece, Stephanie Wilds, this collection comprises approximately five hours of material (1,900' of b&w 35 mm film, 11,925' of b&w 16 mm film, and 50' of color 16 mm film). A fixture of Aiken society, Phelps (1894-1984) was an avid cinematographer in addition to being a sportswoman, gardener, and noted breeder of West Highland terriers. Her movies record her world travels as well as these pursuits. A finding aid is available on request. Material in this collection may be licensed.

Fredrick C. Adams Film Collection

Collection Information

General

Collection Information

Heyward Gibbes Home Movies

Collection Information
This collection is comprised of approximately 6000 ft. of 16 mm film (1920s - 1930s) produced by the family of Dr. Heyward Gibbes, Professor of Medicine at the University of South Carolina. The collection ranges in content widely from family life to hunting, to fishing in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. It includes the family's camera, rewinds, projector and related ephemera. Some material is available for viewing in the public research room. In the catalog, holdings are prefixed SCAR-Gibbes. The University licenses content from this collection.

Jim Covington Collection

Collection Information
This collection includes commercials and shorts shot by WIS Cameraman, Covington for the Midlands. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public. The University does not presently license content from this collection.

John Shaw Billings Collection

Collection Information
A former editor of Life magazine, Shaw donated his personal copies of the March of Time (1943-55) news programs as well as his home movies (late 1930s to early 1960s) and a few feature films. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public. The University does not presently license content from this collection.

Lever-Karst Home Movies

Collection Information
This collection includes approximately 60,000 ft. of film donated by Carolyn Karst, daughter of Bernie Lever, founder of Southeastern Film Processing, the first motion picture laboratory in Columbia, SC. Additionally, the collection includes some advertising materials and equipment. The collection is indexed in the reference catalog as SCAR 1001-1225; SCAR 7001- 7005; SCAR 9001-9060; and SCAR 10001-10003.

Paul Rubenstein Collection

Collection Information
A former newsreel cameraman, Paul Rubenstein ran a film rental store. The collection includes an extensive library of Castle Film publications as well as Royal Home Movies. Westerns and animations feature strongly. The collection also includes an assortment of film rental catalogs of varying dates. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public. In the catalog, records are prefixed RBSN.

Scott Nixon Home Movies

Collection Information
A member of the Amateur Cinema League, Scott Nixon traveled widely from his home in Augusta, GA documenting these travels on 16 mm and Super 8 film (1930s to 1970s). Over 75,000 ft. of film was gifted to the University in 2000 by the Augusta Museum and the Augusta Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. In addition to family life, the collection is especially strong in its documentation of railroads and railway culture. The collection is currently being reprocessed. In the catalog, holdings are prefixed MCLS. Some materials are available access in the public research room.

South Carolina Arts Commission Collection

Collection Information
Beginning in 1973 and continuing to 2009, the South Carolina Arts Commission built this collection primarily as a circulating film program to promote visual and media literacy for school-aged children across South Carolina. The collection currently comprises over 250 films, video materials, and related promotional and administrative papers. It includes well known experimental films such as The Red Balloon, La Jetee and Meshes of the Afternoon along with regionally produced, independent films such as It s Grits,People Who Take Up Serpents and Maybe Next Week Sometime. Quirky short subjects like Bambi Meets Godzilla, Animation Pie and Boccioni s Bike round out the collection. Click here for the finding aid.

USC Athletic Department Films

Collection Information
The collection includes 16 mm film shot by USC's Athletic Department from 1975 to 1990. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public. A few representative titles may viewed on video cassette in our public reference room during regular opening hours. In the catalog, holdings are prefixed SPRT. The University licenses content from this collection.

Science and Nature Films

Collection Information
Current holdings comprise:

Roman Vishniac Collection

Collection Information
Donated by Roman Vishniac's daughter Mara Vishniac-Kohn in 1994, this collection comprises Vishniac's pioneering work in naturalist mircocinematography and photomicroscopy. It includes approximately 156,000 feet of motion picture film; more than 800 photographic negatives, slides, and prints; and paper records associated with these works. Film holdings include home movies and naturalist film experiments as well outtakes and working materials from the Living Biology film series. A complete list of films is searchable via the MIRC Catalog (a keyword search for the prefix "RVFC" will return all records). Access copies of several of the films are available for viewing in MIRC's public reference room. Other films can be made available on request. General access information is available here. The non-film components of the collection are still being processed. A significant selection of naturalist still images is available online here. The collection came to the University through the efforts of USC Biology Professor John Herr, its first curator. For more detailed finding information click here.

South Carolina Wildlife Department Films

Collection Information
This collection comprises 16 mm film shot by the Department from the 1950s to the 1970s. This collection is still being processed and is not yet available to the public. A file of index cards is available to researchers upon request.

 

Columbia Departments Campus Libraries
Columbia Libraries and Collections