About Us

The Media History Digital Library is a free online resource featuring millions of pages of books and magazines from the histories of film, broadcasting, and recorded sound. We proud to be part of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research at the the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

We scan works that are no longer protected by copyright or that have been licensed to us to share with you. The project is supported by libraries and collectors of materials who loan them for scanning, and sponsors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning. Please consider supporting our work by donating to the MHDL's UW Foundation account.

The redesign of this website and Lantern were enabled thanks to generous grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mary Pickford Foundation. More of our sponsors and partners are acknowledged below.

If you have questions, including about how to sponsor the digitization of more books and magazines, please contact us at mhdl@commarts.wisc.edu. Please also read about our Project History and Impact to Date.

Our Team

Director & Lantern 1.0 Developer: Eric Hoyt

Founder & Emertius Director: David Pierce

Database Developer (Lantern 2.0): Samuel Hansen

Interface Developer (Lantern 2.0): Ben Pettis

Communications: Lesley Stevenson, Lauren Wilks, Lady P

Data Curation and Post-Production: JJ Bersch, John Bennett, Samantha Janes, Kat Pan, Olivia Riley, Matt St John

Data hosting and technical support: University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts (with thanks especially to Peter Sengstock)

Funding for the 2020-2022 expansion provided by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the ACLS Digital Extension Grant, “Globalizing and Enhancing the Media History Digital Library.” Thank you to the grant’s Co-PI, Kelley Conway, and wide network of collaborators, including Gabriela Baeza Ventura, Carolina A. Villarroel, Kaveh Askari, Maria Belodubrovskaya, Michael Cowan, Darrell Davis, Daniela Treveri Gennari, Darshana Mini, Paul S. Moore, Debashree Mukherjee, Rielle Navitski, Nicolas Poppe, Laura Isabel Serna, Eric Smoodin, and Emilie Yeh.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank those people who contributed their time to this project, helped make the MHDL what it is, and have now moved on to other things: Wendy Hagenmaier, Carl Hagenmaier, Derek Long, Tony Tran, Andy Myers, Robert Farr, Joseph Pomp, Kit Hughes, Laurel Gildersleeve, Caroline Meikle, Jacob Mertens, Connor Perkins, and Anne Helen Petersen.

Our Friends

Contributing Collections: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library, Robert S. Birchard, Q. David Bowers, Eileen Bowser, Dino Everett, Kathryn Fuller-Seeley, Richard Koszarski, Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center, Bruce Long, the Museum of Modern Art Library (Jennifer Tobias), Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (Dorothy Bradley and David Kiehn), Pacific Film Archive Library and Film Study Center (Nancy Goldman), Kit Parker, David Pierce, Rick Prelinger, David Shepard, Karl Thiede, University of Maryland College Park, Marc Wanamaker, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.

Scanning Sponsors: an anonymous donor (in memory of Carolyn Hauer), Matthew and Natalie Bernstein, Q. David Bowers, Columbia University Library, Domitor, Jeff Joseph, John McElwee, Russell Merritt, Northwestern University in Qatar Library, David Pierce, Richard Scheckman, David Sorochty, David Stenn, the Internet Archive, Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, University of Maryland College Park, University of South Carolina, University of St. Andrews Library & Centre for Film Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Communication Arts.

Book scanning, file hosting, and file preservation by the The Internet Archive.

The Arclight app was developed by teams at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Concordia University in Montreal and enabled thanks to an international Digging into Data grant, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (US) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada). Additional funding came from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Concordia University's Media Lab.

Thank you to all our friends and collaborators who make the Media History Digital Library possible!

Want to Know More?

Watch this video to see what some of the leading figures in the film archivist community have said about our work.

What Are People Saying About the Media History Digital Library? from Robert Farr on Vimeo.