Thursday, May 26, 2005

Bibliographical notes

There was a single inter-library loan waiting for me at the SFPL this week. I went through some four months of microfilm of the Capital Times from Madison, Wisconsin. And I found a review of A Social Celebrity (1926), and brief write-ups and advertisements for Love Em and Leave Em (1926) and Just Another Blonde (1926). The Blonde ads came out especially nice. Though they were typical, studio supplied newspaper ads (like others I have seen in reproduced in newspapers across the USA), these particular pieces photocopied nice and clean. That is often not the case when it comes to making copies from microfilm. . . . I had also requested microfilm from 1922 covering the period when Denishawn visited Madison, but the lending institution sent the wrong month. I will have to rerequest the right roll.

One interesting item I stumbled across was a wire service article entitled "Movies of 1926 Were Disappointing." The author, Gene Cohn, began his piece by lamenting the general decline in films for the year. Cohn went on to add, however, "of the new reputations made within the past year, the parade seems to be headed by that inimitable clown, Harry Langdon, who gave us Tramp, Tramp, Trampand The Strong Man. . . . There is Noah Berry brutal captain in Beau Geste; Greta Garbo's rise as chronicled by The Temptress; the alluring arrival of Clara Bow, and hints of considerable promise in Louise Brooks' bit in Love 'Em, and Leave 'Em." That is remarkable praise - being paired with Garbo and Clara Bow.

Due to changes in the way inter-library loans are handled at my local library, there has been something of a slow down in my research efforts. Now, I am only able to have a maximum of ten ILL loans outstanding at any one time. And since a loan can take anywhere between three and eight weeks to process and receive, the number of citations I have been able to add to the various LBS bibliographies has also slowed.

To make up for this slowed pace, I have taken to emailing / writing to libraries and researchers across the country in an attempt to gather additional material. As of now, I am focussing on obtaining articles and reviews of the Denishawn / Louise Brooks performances in newspapers which I had not able to obtain via ILL. (In general, my loan requests were rejected because no lending institution could be found.) So far, there have been about 15 such rejected requests. And of those 15, I have been able to obtain material from four "proxy researchers" - either small town librarians or individuals I found over the internet who perform "random acts of geneological kindness." Two more are outstanding, and three were declined because the local library didn't have microfilm of its own local newspaper. (It's sad to think that these little pieces of history are lacking, or lost.)

So far, I have had success in obtaining material from theFindlay Morning Republican (from Findlay, Ohio), Meridian Star (from Meridian, Mississippi), Ponca City News (from Ponca, Oklahoma), andRockford Daily Register-Gazette (from Rockford, Illinois). The three newspapers from which material was unobtainable (due to lack of holdings) are the Jacksonian (from Jackson, Tennessee), Macon News (from Macon, Georgia), and Findlay Daily Courier (the other paper from Findlay, Ohio). My thanks go to those kind individuals who took the time to look up the material I asked for. The search goes on . . . .

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