More silent films journals online – much more

Italian silent film journals Apollon, Cinema Star and Vita Cinematografica

A few weeks ago we gave you a listing of film journals from the silent era which are available online. Some adjustments have been made to the list, with a few more titles added, but I wasn’t expecting the list to grow extensively in the immediate future. And then the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, which had already digitised ten journals available through the Teca Digitale Piemontese site has added a number of other film journals from our period – eighty-three of them. Here they all are:

L’Albo della cinematografia 1915
Apollon 1916, 1920, 1921
L’Argante 1913-1932
L’Arte Cinegrafica 1918-1919
L’Arte cinema-drammatica 1913
l’Arte del cinema 1928-1929
L’Arte del silenzio 1922
L’Arte Muta 1916-1917
La Bottega delle ombre 1926
Il Café chantant 1911-1920
Il capolavoro cinematografico 1926
La Casa di vetro 1924
Cin (Battaglie cinematografiche) 1918
Cin (Cine-gazzeta) 1918
Cine 1917
Cine gazzettino 1926-1931
Cine Sorriso Illustrato 1928-1931
Cine cinema 1926, 1927
La Cine-Fono e la rivista fono-cinematografica 1911-1922
La Cine-gazzetta 1916 to 1918
Cine Romanzo 1929 to 1932
Cinema (Firenze) 1923
Cinema (Napoli) 1913-1914
Cinema Ambrosio 1916, 1925
Cinema Illustrato 1928
Il Cinema Italiano 1926, 1927, 1930
Cinema-star 1926-1927
Cinema-teatro 1928, 1929, 1930
Cinemagraf 1916, 1917
Cinemalia 1927, 1928
La Cinematografia Artistica 1912
La Cinematografia Italiana ed Estera 1910, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1922, 1923
La Cinematografia Italiana 1909
La Cinematografia 1927, 1928
Cinematografo (Roma) 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931
Cinematografo (Trieste) 1924
Il Cinematografo 1919
Cinemundus 1919
Coltura cinematografica 1920, 1921
La Conquista cinematografica 1921
Contropelo 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1923
Il Corriere Cinematografico 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930
Il Corriere del Cinematografo 1921
Cronache d’attualità 1916, 1919, 1921, 1922
La Decima musa 1920
La Domenica del cinema 1929
Echi del cinema 1926
L’Eco del Cinema 1924 to 1930
Excelsior 1916
Fantasma (Napoli-Roma) 1916, 1920, 1923
Fantasma (Roma) 1920
Film 1914, 1915-1920, 1926, 1927
Films Pittaluga 1925, 1926
Firenze cinema 1928
Fortunio 1920
L’Illustrazione Cinematografica 1912, 1914, 1915
Iride (Genova) 1914
L’Italia e Kines 1926
Kinema 1929, 1930
Kines 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931
Lux (Napoli) 1909, 1910
Lux (Roma) 1918, 1920, 1921
Lux e Cine 1910, 1911
Il Mondo a lo schermo 1926
Moto Film 1916, 1917
Pathé-baby 1928, 1929, 1930
In Penombra 1918, 1919
Penombra 1917
Proiezioni luminose 1924, 1925, 1926
La Rivista Cinematografica 1920-1930
Il Romanzo Film 1920, 1921
Sullo schermo 1927, 1928
Lo Schermo 1926, 1927
La Settima Arte
Società Anonima Ambrosio 1907
Sor Capanna 1919
Lo Spettacolo 1919, 1920
La tecnica cinematografica 1914
Theatralia 1925
Il Tirso al cinematografo 1915, 1916
Il Tirso 1914
Triumphilm 1912, 1914
La Vita Cinematografica 1911-1924, 1929, 1930

One’s first reaction is that is surely isn’t possible that so many journals were published in the silent era in Italy alone. But once you take in company journals, alongside fan magazines, art cinema journals, theatre journals which included film in their coverage, trade papers, and regional publications, then it starts to add up. They can be found on the Teca Digitale Piemontese site – just select ‘Selezionare la tipologia del materiale che si intende consultare’ from the top menu, and ‘Museo Nazionle del Cinema’ from the second menu. Click on ‘Ricerca per Ente’, then browse by title or choose a particular title by typing a word in the search box and clicking on Cerca. The individual issues are sorted by year and can be browsed page by page. The viewer requires Java to be installed, and there are assorted tools to enable you to resize, rotate, save and print pages, and so forth.

This is the description of the digitisation project overall on the Museo Nazionale del Cinema site, which gives you an idea of where best to start looking – and how much there is to look forward to still, as they are apparently only a quarter of the way through digitising their entire collection:

The Library conserves an important fund of journals dealing with Italy’s silent films, the second most important after the National Library of Florence. Ranging from the major corporate journals (“La Vita Cinematografica”, “La Cinematografia Italiana ed Estera” etc.) to art magazines (“Apollon,” “L’arte muta”, “In penombra”) and popular periodicals (“Al cinemà”, “Cinema Star”, “Cine Sorriso Illustrato” etc.), the fund numbers over 60,000 pages which will soon be completely available online. The website of the Teca Digitale Piemontese already features approximately 15,000 magazine pages online and offers the possibility of carrying out research through key words from the texts.

Ther sheer number of silent film journals now available online demands something more than a post that tries to encompass them all, and so I have created a new section of the Bioscope Library dedicated to film journals alone. It will take a little while to build up in terms of descriptions for each title, but I’m launching it now. Please do let me know of any other journals that I can add to the list, so that we can make it a comprehensive reference source of value to all. By my calculation there are currently 118 titles (from one or two issues to complete runs) available – but that number will grow.

My grateful thanks to Teresa Antolin for alerting me to the new batch of digitised journals (and to other silent film materials being digitised by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, which I shall be covering in another post). Teresa manages a number of sites dedicated to silent film, chiefly in Italy (and written in Italian), all interlinked under the In Penombra umbrella:

It’s an amazing body of work, and encouragement to anyone who knows things (in silent film or in any subject) that the best thing is to tell people about it. The tools to do so are just sitting there, free to use and easy to use. Why not have a go?