Gordon Hendricks Motion Picture History Papers
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Hendricks, Gordon
Physical Description:
27 Cubic feet
55 boxes
Contains Gordon Hendricks's collection of clippings, correspondence, and research notes, and other professional papers related to his books and articles on motion picture history. Includes files on Edison, William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, and other pioneers in motion picture inventions.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This large collection contains correspondence, notes, and copies of documents from many repositories, which were used as research materials for Hendricks's publications in this field, as well as black-and-white photographs. Copies of photographs come from the Edison National Historic Site archives, Eastman House, the Smithsonian, and other museums. Gordon Hendricks stored his research material in grey binders, orange manuscript boxes, clay-colored folders, and black binders, hence the grey, orange, clay and black series. It is not certain whether this arrangement represented an identification or coding system related to separate projects or whether it simply reflects the chronology of his work through a succession of filing and boxing systems.
Hendricks's arrangement has been retained generally, and the series arrangement of the collection reflects Hendricks's original groupings. Series 1 consists of Lantern slides, Series 2 of material found in grey binders, Series 3 of material found in orange boxes, Series 4 of material in clay-colored folders, Series 5 of material in black binders and Series 6 is the miscellaneous series. [These groupings have been identified, as David Burgevin conducted an inventory while the collection was in its original containers.]
These papers contain much correspondence and other materials relating to Hendricks's books in the field of motion picture history, such as copies of manuscripts, and galley proofs. Photographs: Graphic materials included in the collection, such as photographs, frequently are not original but are copies of items from repositories in which Hendricks did research. However, there are a few noteworthy original items, such as examples of motion picture flip books (one partly intact, plus loose fragments from this flip book and others).

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Hendricks was an art historian who wrote works on painters such as Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Eakins, as well as on early motion picture history, including analyses of inventors of apparatus and technology; in his book THE EDISON MOTION PICTURE MYTH he showed how Edison's assistant, W. K. L. Dickson, and other inventors actually were responsible for the development of cinematic technology for which Edison unfairly took credit. Hendricks apparently was born in 1917 and died in 1980.

David E. Haberstich and Mary June Owen
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by Gordon Hendricks, through Guido Castelli, February 13, 1990.
Processing Information
Original inventory by David Burgevin, November-December 1989; additional work by Nicole Roberts, 1992; Mary June Owen, and others.

The Edison Motion Picture Myth
. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961. 216 pp.
Beginnings of the Biograph; the story of the invention of the Mutoscope and the Biograph and their supplying camera
. New York: Beginnings of the American Film, 1964. 78 pp.
Thomas Eakins : his photographic works
. [Preface by Hendricks.] Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1969. 78 pp.
The Photographs of Thomas Eakins
. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1972. 214 pp.
Albert Bierstadt, 1830-1902 : [exhibition catalog] September 15-October 10, 1972
. New York: M. Knoedler [1972]. 26 pp.
ABierstadt; an essay and catalogue to accompany a retrospective exhibition of the work of Albert Bierstadt
. Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum [1972]. 48 pp.
Albert Bierstadt : painter of the American West
. New York: H. N. Abrams [1974]. Published in association with the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art. 360 pp.
The life and work of Thomas Eakins
. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1974. 367 pp.
Eadweard Muybridge : the father of the motion picture
. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1975. 271 pp.
The life and work of Winslow Homer
. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1979. 345 pp.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
The Gordon Hendricks Motion Picture History Papers, 1895-1970, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Some materials from this collection, primarily photographs of apparatus, are in the Division of Work and Industry, History Photographic History Collection.
129 black-and-white photographs, many copy prints used as illustrations in Gordon Hendricks books, and other images of early motion picture apparatus are in the Gordon Hendricks Collection in the Photographic History Division. The Collection also includes 240 glass plate negatives, which appear to have been taken in Europe, and a binder of contact prints of the negatives.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Correspondence -- 1930-1950 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures -- History -- 1890-1930 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion picture devices -- 1890-1930 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Flip books Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Professional papers Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dickson, William Kennedy Laurie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012