Thursday, June 16, 2005

ILL windfall

A whole bunch of inter-library loans arrived this week . . . . I found a bunch of Louise Brooks-era Denishawn material in the Houston Chronicle (from Houston, Texas), Lynchburg News (from Lynchburg, Virginia), and Daily Graphic (from Pine Bluff, Arkansas). A Denishawn visit to these towns was big news in the early 1920's, and each local newspaper ran a series of articles or captioned pictures prior to the performance - as well as a substantial review afterword. I copied as much as I could (some of the pictures were too dark to be of much good), and have added citations to the Denishawn bibliography.

(Recently, prior to my visit to NYC, I printed out my Denishawn bibliography in order to have it handy in case I needed to refer to it while researching the dance company. And much to my surprise, the bibliography came to more than 40 pages! It is the largest of the bibliographies on the LBS website. I estimate that in total, the various Louise Brooks-related bibliographies on the LBS site would come to more than 400 pages if printed out.)

At the library, I also found a bunch of film reviews, some articles, and a whole lot of rather nifty advertisements related to the films of Louise Brooks. I went through a couple of Hearst-owned newspapers - the Baltimore Post (from Baltimore, Maryland) and Albany Times-Union (from Albany, New York). The Hearst-owned papers were usually not very substantional publications, though they did have a modest amount of coverage devoted to motion pictures (with lots of Marion Davies news, naturally). I came across material on American VenusLove 'Em and Leave 'EmThe Canary Murder Case and other films. Additionally, I went through some more microfilm of the Nashville Tennessean and the weekly London Observer (from London, England). This was my second round of microfilm loans for each paper. I only found one brief write-up in the London Observer (for A Girl in Every Port), though the Nashville paper yielded a few reviews.

One of the more curious items I found was this November, 1927 advertisement for the Belmont theater in Nashville. The Belmont, seemingly, was a second-run theater which, as this ad shows, featured three films over the course of a week. What was interesting about the week's line-up is that it featured two films with Louise Brooks. Now We're in the Air had been screened in Nashville in mid-October (in what local ads then billed as it's premiere in the South), while Rolled Stockings had been in circulation for some five months. I wonder how many Nashville residents in 1927 started and ended their week watching Louise Brooks on the silver screen ? How lucky they were - as each of these films are now lost.

Yesterday's trip to the San Francisco Public Library was my last this month, as the inter-library loan system is off-line for the time being. (It seems to be down for all libraries which subscribe to the Millenium system.) I shall return in July, and hopefully some of my outstanding loan requests may have arrived by then.

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