Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dallas Morning News

I have been waiting a long time for the Dallas Morning News to put their archive online. Early last year, I came across a webpage announcing a searchable archive of the newspaper (dating back to 1885) would be made available by the end of 2004. And so, I waited, and waited, and waited. And then last night, much to my bibliographical glee, I found that the archive was online.

I spent $29.95 for a one month / 200 page view subscription to the Historical Archives, and then spent most of the day searching for and downloading material related to Louise Brooks. (These sorts of databases are sometimes tricky. One has to search for things at least two different ways.) I found a few articles about the January, 1924 Denishawn performance in Dallas. I also found ten film reviews, and a half-dozen other short articles about various Brooks' films. And, I found another half-dozen articles which were partly or in whole about Brooks. All of this is new material, as I have not been able to explore other Dallas newspapers. (The Dallas Herald Tribune is unobtainable via inter-library loan. Seemingly, it doesn't exist on microfilm.) Here is a typical find from February, 1926 - most likely a syndicated bit that would have appeared in other newspapers around the country.

There were also a number of other syndicated columns and articles which mentioned the actress. One of the most unsual was a 1934 piece on G.W. Pabst. The article mentioned some of the earlier efforts by this "genius director" - including "Pandora's Box with Louise Brooks." This passing reference to Pandora's Box is an exceptionally rare one. The film was rarely mentioned in the American press in the 1930's. I only know of one other instance from the 1930's.

All-in-all, I was pleased with what I had found - and felt that my subscription to this database was worthwhile (despite the expense). I got a lot of stuff. Citations for all of this material have been added to the appropriate LBS bibliographies.

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