Friday, June 4, 2004

Chicago research

Returned the other day from a work-related trip to Chicago, where I was attending the annual booksellers convention. While in the "Windy City," I spent some time researching Louise Brooks.
I spent a day and a half - about ten hours - at the Chicago Public Library. This is my third trip to the CPL. This time, I managed to more or less complete my survey of Chicago newspapers on microfilm. The papers I've looked at include the Chicago AmericanChicago Daily JournalChicago Daily NewsChicago Evening Post,Chicago Herald-Examiner, and Chicago Tribune. I found additional reviews for Brooks' Chicago-area Denishawn performances, as well as substantial coverage of her nite club appearances in the 1930's. I also dug up a number of film reviews, as well as a handful of other miscellaneous articles, including front page coverage of Brooks marriage to Eddie Sutherland! All together, a good haul. (I also browsed the stacks, where I found a bit of interesting material in a few different books.)
I spent about seven hours at the library at the University of Chicago. There, I was able to look at rare German, Soviet and Japanese film periodicals from the late 1920's and early 1930's. (The Russian and German periodicals were on microfilm. The Japanese film periodical - Movie Times - was a reproduction of the original in bound volumes.) I found a handful of illustrated articles in each periodical! The Russian and Japanese periodicals are especially rare - and it was exciting to actually browse them and find pictures and articles about Brooks and her films.
The University of Chicago library has a lot of microfilm, and I wasn't able to look at everything I wanted. I did spend a little time looking at other publications, including the Daily Worker (this socialist newspaper based in New York City yielded a couple of brief articles), the Charleston News and Courier (found a Denishawn review and a film article in this South Carolina paper), and the Joliet Herald News (found some advertisements for screenings in the 1920's in this Chicago-area paper). Citations for these and all of the above material has been added to the LBS bibliographies.

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