Welcome to the Media History Digital Library
We are a non-profit initiative dedicated to digitizing collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. We have currently scanned over 400,000 pages, and that number is growing.
Our Collections feature Extensive Runs of several important trade papers and fan magazines. Click on the arrows below to learn more about these periodicals and select volumes to download and read. You’ll find more material and options at our Collections page.
Business Screen (1938-1973)
American trade publication for industrial and educational film. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
The Film Daily (1918-1936)
This leading industry publication, published out of New York, documents the rise of the Hollywood studios and transition to sound. The Film Daily includes feature reviews, news stories, and advertisements, but its extensive coverage of short films distinguishes it from other trade papers of the period. Scanned from the collection of Karl Thiede. Funded by David Sorochty and an anonymous donation in memory of Carolyn Hauer.
International Photographer (1929-1941)
International Photographer, published jointly by two film industry unions, reported news of the arts and crafts of the motion picture, with an emphasis on cinematography. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (1930-1949)
The Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers (SMPE) documents the technological progress of the film industry, highlighting technical developments in production and exhibition. Of special interest are articles about special effects, theater practices, lighting, and the introduction of the 16mm format. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
Journal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (1950-1954)
The SMPE added television in 1950, and the journal documented the introduction of technological marvels – Cinerama, 3-D and CinemaScope in theaters, and color television. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
The Educational Screen (1922-1962)
Advocacy magazine for “visual education” and instructional uses of film. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
Motion Picture [Magazine] (1914-1941)
Moving Picture World (1907-1919)
Moving Picture World was one of the most influential trade papers of the early motion picture industry and the period film historians call cinema’s “transitional era” (lasting roughly from 1908 to 1917). During this era and inside the paper, you can watch the transition from short film programs to feature films and witness the transition from the dominance of Edison’s Trust to the rise of the “Independent” film companies that ultimately became the Hollywood studios.
Scanned from the collections of Eileen Bowser, Robert S. Birchard, the Pacific Film Archive Library and Film Study Center, Q. David Bowers, and the Museum of Modern Art. Funded by Domitor, Richard Scheckman, David Sorochty, Q. David Bowers, Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, and an anonymous donation (in memory of Carolyn Hauer).
The leading Hollywood fan magazine of the 1920s and 1930s. Photoplay offered readers portraits of their favorite movie stars and stories about their into personal lives. The magazine played an important promotional function for the Hollywood industry, but its editors and reviewers could also be highly critical of Hollywood. Beginning in 1921, Photoplay bestowed its annual “Medal of Honor” for the film readers voted as the best of the year. Scanned from the collections of the PFA Library and Film Study Center and Karl Thiede. Funded by an anonymous donation in memory of Carolyn Hauer.
Jan 1915. Vol 7, No. 2 | Read | Download | IA Page
Feb 1915. Vol 7, No. 3 | Read | Download | IA Page
Mar 1915. Vol 7, No. 4 | Read | Download | IA Page
Apr 1915. Vol 7, No. 5 | Read | Download | IA Page
May 1915. Vol 7, No. 6 | Read | Download | IA Page
Jun 1915. Vol 8, No. 1 | Read | Download | IA Page
Jul 1915. Vol 8, No. 2 | Read | Download | IA Page
Aug 1915. Vol 8, No. 3 | Read | Download | IA Page
Sep 1915. Vol 8, No. 4 | Read | Download | IA Page
Oct 1915. Vol 8, No. 5 | Read | Download | IA Page
Nov 1915. Vol 8, No. 6 | Read | Download | IA Page
Dec 1915. Vol 9, No. 1 | Read | Download | IA Page
Radio Age: Research, Manufacturing, Communications, Broadcasting, Television (1942-1957)
Radio Age was published by RCA – the Radio Corporation of America – to promote current and future technological developments and major programming events on NBC. Despite the title’s reference to radio, the emphasis throughout is on the future promise of television. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.
Radio Broadcast (1922-1930)