MHDL Collections

A scan from a black-and-white printed page. There are three photographs overlaid atop one another. Each photo shows a person standing among crowded shelves of film reels and other equipment.

The MHDL catalog currently includes 2,899,519 scanned pages within its virtual shelves. To help use all this content, we've curated several collections of materials related to specific aspects of film, radio, and broadcasting. The bulk of the MHDL collection features magazines focused on film, radio, and broadcasting. Some of these periodicals focus on aspects of film from the perspective of industry , while some are catered towards movie-going audiences. Other materials discuss the history and progress of radio or document the filmic precursor of “Magic Lantern shows."

These collections have been developed to offer both breadth and depth, with the goal of helping you to explore and discover new content within the Media History Digital Library. If you have a specific item or topic in mind, we recommend using Lantern to perform a full-text search, but if you aren't sure yet or are just browsing, you can use the individual collection pages as a way to "walk the virtual stacks" of the MHDL. Unlike a physical library where each physical item can only be on a single shelf at a time, many of the items in the MHDL are organized into multiple collections simultaneously. We're regularly reviewing our holdings and thinking of new ways to organize our collections in a way that we hope will be useful to you.

Each collection page offers descriptive historical context as well as an overview of the collection’s holdings, to help guide the experienced researcher or newcomer alike.

Collection Name Pages in Collection
Hollywood Studio System1425779
Early Cinema999522
Broadcasting & Recorded Sound467247
Fan Magazines335311
Global Cinema258214
Theatre and Vaudeville237779
Year Book114777
Non-Theatrical Film106762
Technical Journals81622
Recorded Sound62244
French Cinema58216
United Kingdom42105
Spanish Publications35997
Government & Law14804
Magic Lantern and Lantern Slide Catalog6287