Fox Movietone News Collection: Sharing a national treasure
University of South Carolina Libraries Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) holds a true national treasure — the Fox Movietone News Collection — 11 million feet of fragile silent and sound films that document news and global events from the 1920s to 1940s.
Entrusted to USC by the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation in 1980, MIRC has overseen stewardship of the collection, storing it and providing footage to students, researchers and documentary filmmakers over the years.
With the development of digital video technology and web-based archives, we now have an amazing opportunity to share this vast film collection online. Our goal is to raise $2.5 million to digitize and share the entire collection online so people around the world can access and enjoy it. We need your help to share this important treasure.
An unexplored goldmine
Most of the films in the Fox Movietone News Collection are outtakes shot by cameramen for two news products — Fox Movietone News and its predecessor Fox News — short film compilations of current events shown to audiences in movie theaters before the advent of live television news.
As an archive of outtakes and unused film, the majority of the collection contents have not been seen by the public. It’s an unexplored goldmine of information about our country, culture and history.
The Fox Movietone News Collection is massive. It spans more than 17,000 subject areas and 2,100 locations worldwide, and covers all aspects of life from war, politics and international relations to sports, entertainment, travel, leisure and so much more.
The collection consists of:
- All silent newsreel elements (on nitrate film) from the original Fox News library (1919 - 1930)
- All outtake and unused film from Fox Movietone News (1928 - 1934)
- The published newsreels, as well as all outtake and unused film from Fox Movietone News (September 1942 - August 1944)
- Paper records supporting all of the films in the collection
Help us share the films
- MIRC is actively seeking funding to digitize, catalog and make the entire film archive accessible online. To achieve this, funds are needed to:
- Buy equipment and computers to scan the film to a digital format
- Hire specially trained staff to digitize and catalog each item in the collection
- Build databases, web portals and purchase web servers
- Fund ongoing support to maintain access to the collection
Please consider giving to the Fox Movietone News Collection Fund. When you do, you are not only providing access to decades of news footage, you’re helping share a national treasure.
Some notable films in the collection have been digitized and can be watched online. Below are links to some films that represent the diversity of subjects found in of the collection.