I’ll bet a lot of us will watch some movies over the holidays, either in theatres or in our own homes. Did you know that the first “commercial movie screening” took place in Paris on Dec. 28, 1895? The Lumière brothers charged admission to watch their series of “short scenes from everyday French life.” You can read more about it on the History Channel’s This Day in History web site.

Andersen Library also has resources for learning more, including books that could be found by searching the catalog, such as Early cinema: Space, frame, narrative (3rd-floor Main Collection, PN1995.75 .E25 1990), The liveliest art: A panoramic history of the movies (3rd-floor Main Collection, PN1993.5 .A1 K6 1957a), and The story of film (3rd-floor Main Collection, PN1993.5.A1 C75 2004). The catalog will also help you find classic and contemporary films to watch. Landmarks of early film, for example, contains 117 minutes of film from the Lumières, Edison, and Méliès; The Great Train Robbery from 1903, and more (2nd-floor Browsing “Academic” DVDs, PN1993.5.A1 L34 1997). Search article databases for articles including “Lumière’s Arrival of the Train” (Moving Image, 2004, vol.4:no.1, pp.89-118).

The Library of Congress’s American Memory Project has web pages devoted to the history of motion pictures and Thomas Edison, including Edison Motion Pictures that may be played online. I recommend “How a French nobleman got a wife through the New York Herald personal columns” from the humorous genre, or “Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at Ellis Island.”

Please ask a librarian if you would appreciate assistance with finding additional materials.

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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