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Catalog Data

Hendricks, Gordon  Search this
Dickson, William Kennedy Laurie  Search this
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931  Search this
27 Cubic feet (55 boxes)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Field notes
Flip books
Professional papers
Contains Gordon Hendricks's collection of clippings, correspondence, and research notes, and other professional papers related to his books and articles on motion picture history. Includes files on Edison, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, and other pioneers in motion picture inventions.
Scope and Contents note:
This large collection contains correspondence, notes, and copies of documents from many repositories, which were used as research materials for Hendricks's publications in this field, as well as black-and-white photographs. Copies of photographs come from the Edison National Historic Site archives, Eastman House, the Smithsonian, and other museums. Gordon Hendricks stored his research material in grey binders, orange manuscript boxes, clay-colored folders, and black binders, hence the grey, orange, clay and black series. It is not certain whether this arrangement represented an identification or coding system related to separate projects or whether it simply reflects the chronology of his work through a succession of filing and boxing systems. Hendricks's arrangement has been retained generally, and the series arrangement of the collection reflects Hendricks's original groupings. Series 1 consists of Lantern slides, Series 2 of material found in grey binders, Series 3 of material found in orange boxes, Series 4 of material in clay-colored folders, Series 5 of material in black binders and Series 6 is the miscellaneous series. [These groupings have been identified, as David Burgevin conducted an inventory while the collection was in its original containers.] These papers contain much correspondence and other materials relating to Hendricks's books in the field of motion picture history, such as copies of manuscripts, and galley proofs. Photographs: Graphic materials included in the collection, such as photographs, frequently are not original but are copies of items from repositories in which Hendricks did research. However, there are a few noteworthy original items, such as examples of motion picture flip books (one partly intact, plus loose fragments from this flip book and others).
Biographical/Historical note:
Hendricks was an art historian who wrote works on painters such as Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Eakins, as well as on early motion picture history, including analyses of inventors of apparatus and technology; in his book THE EDISON MOTION PICTURE MYTH he showed how Edison's assistant, W. K. L. Dickson, and other inventors actually were responsible for the development of cinematic technology for which Edison unfairly took credit. Hendricks apparently was born in 1917 and died in 1980.
Related Materials:
Some materials from this collection, primarily photographs of apparatus, are in the National Museum of American HIstory Photographic History collection. 129 black-and-white photographs, many copy prints used as illustrations in Gordon Hendricks books, and other images of early motion picture apparatus are in the Gordon Hendricks Collection in the Photographic History Division. The Collection also includes 240 glass plate negatives, which appear to have been taken in Europe, and a binder of contact prints of the negatives.
Collection donated by Gordon Hendricks, through Guido Castelli, February 13, 1990.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Motion pictures -- History -- 1890-1930  Search this
Motion picture devices -- 1890-1930  Search this
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Field notes
Flip books
Professional papers
The Gordon Hendricks Motion Picture History Papers, 1895-1970, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Gordon Hendricks Motion Picture History Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History