Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers

The latest set of motion picture-related documents to be added to the Internet Archive by the Prelinger Library is the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. The SMPE (later the SMPTE i.e. Television was added to the name) was founded in 1916, and continues to this day as the “leading technical society for the motion imaging industry”. The Society’s journal, known know as SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal, also goes back to 1916, and the Prelinger team have so far digitised the annual volumes 1930-1954, plus a volumes of synopses of papers published 1916-1930. They will carry on up to 1962 (also they won’t be digitising the pre-1930 volumes as they don’t have a complete set).

There are numerous classic papers relating to the silent cinema period, and not just those published before 1930. The various volumes come with indexes to aid searching, but here are some noteworthy papers:

  • Merritt Crawford, ‘Pioneer Experiment of Eugene Lauste in Recording Sound’, October 1931, Volume 17
  • Oscar B. Depue, ‘My First Fifty Years in Motion Pictures’, December 1947, Volume 49
  • W.K. Laurie Dickson, ‘A Brief History of the Kinetograph, the Kinetoscope and the Kineto-phonograph’, December 1933, Volume 21
  • Carl Gregory, ‘Early History of Motion Picture Cameras for Film Wider than 35-mm’, January 1930, Volume 14
  • Louis Lumière, ‘The Lumière cinematograph’, December 1936, Volume 27
  • Robert W. Paul, ‘Kinematographic Experiences’, November 1936, Volume 27
  • E. Kilburn Scott, ‘Career of L.A.A. LePrince’, July 1931, Volume 17

As usual, the individual volumes can be downloaded in DjVu, PDF and TXT formats.