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Author Topic: College Libraries In USA Hired Out Films
Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted May 12, 2013 10:15 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I recently bought a Super 8 sound film on US ebay. I am surprised that inside the box lid is a sticker which reads:

"Western Maryland College Library. Class FILM 791.43 P732". Over this is a rubber stamp DISCARD.

Was this a common thing for students to be able to hire Super 8 films, and was there a charge?

The film is the two-reel Blackhawk release "The Plow That Broke The Plains", no doubt a piece of American history. It tells the story about the 30s Dust Bowl problem.

Would many students have projectors, or were such film hired out by teachers and lecturers?

If the latter, why not 16mm copies?


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David Ollerearnshaw
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1373
From: Penistone Sheffield UK
Registered: Oct 2012

 - posted May 12, 2013 11:44 AM      Profile for David Ollerearnshaw   Author's Homepage   Email David Ollerearnshaw   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maurice, Some super 8 films I bought years ago had something similar in the box. I think I got it from Famous Films of Miami (great business), Not from a college library though, this was from a public library.

So it looks like you could borrow films from your local US library too.

I love the smell of film in the morning.


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Paul Adsett
Film God

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From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted May 12, 2013 01:33 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A lot of public libraries in the USA had collections of super 8 and 16mm films which were available on loan for free. The Orlando Public library had hundreds of super 8 sound films and they had a sale about 20 years ago when they sold them off. I was able to buy most of their collection for $2.00 per 400ft reel and $1.00 per 100ft reel. I kept the ones I wanted and sold the rest of them to Derann, and both myself and Derek Simmonds made a handsome profit! Wish I had kept all of them now though!

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Gerald Santana
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1060
From: Cottage Grove OR
Registered: Dec 2010

 - posted May 12, 2013 01:43 PM      Profile for Gerald Santana   Author's Homepage   Email Gerald Santana   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Library prints are very common and some that survive are still in tact with previous check-out information regarding dates and fines issued for overdue prints, which was usually 25 cents. Just like you are able to check out DVD's now and as they are slowly phasing out VHS, at one point you could view prints for Super 8 from your local libraries. Most 16mm prints required a teacher to handle the material and the print.

Once viewed you could not rewind the film, they were meant to be seen only once and then taken back to be inspected at a later time by the librarian handling the A/V dept. In the early 1990's they discarded (threw away), band-sawed the films in most libraries or if lucky, pushed them out onto a cart with a "DISCARDED" stamp to differentiate from circulating items to raise funds for the libraries.

I was lucky to get a huge stack of Blackhawks from the same Ohio library which must have got them as Super 8 was being phased-out, they all seemed pristine. In the same lot I also got a copy of "The Plow That Broke The Plains", which was in immaculate shape, probably never run as it was acquired during the phase out and one of the later Blackhawk releases.


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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

Posts: 3063
From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
Registered: Jan 2012

 - posted May 12, 2013 03:26 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
I just got a nice 16mm digest of Burt Lancaster's "The Swimmer"
that was used for education by a High School in Canada as it
mentions on the end credits.

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