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Here's What We're Looking For

Northeast Historic Film collects moving images related and of interest to northern New England, as well as related documents, books and periodicals, annotations, photographs, and technology.

Moving Images

Our collection of moving images consists primarily of film and videotape related to the northern New England region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts). Major collections include film and videotape originating from television stations or created primarily for broadcast, industrial works created by and for corporate and industrial entities, professionally-created fictional works, and titles made by independent creators intended for public viewing. 

NHF also has one of the largest collections of amateur films and home movies in North America. The range of collections at NHF offers a glimpse of how life in northern New England has changed during the past 100 years, and how it continues to evolve.

Your Film Is An Important Part Of Our Collection.

Home movies are an important cultural and historical record that were too often neglected in the past. Not only do home movies offer intimate glimpses of family activities, they also capture unique events and places long gone.

Northeast Historic Film has been a leader in raising an awareness of the need to preserve these films and make them accessible.
Northeast Historic Film also collects moving-image technology such as projectors, cameras, and editing equipment. This equipment helps to provide an overall picture of the filmmaking process, with a strong emphasis on amateur filmmaking. The addition of the Alan & Natalie Kattelle Collection provides NHF with an extensive collection of cameras, projectors, and other amateur moviemaking equipment.

The technology collection contains a wide variety of machines used to record and play moving images. Examples of equipment assist with an understanding of the production and presentation of the moving images in our collections. From 9.5mm to 28mm, the technology collection contains a broad range of film cameras and projectors. Especially interesting is the Wittnauer Cine-Twin, which doubled as both an 8mm projector and camera. Many of the items in the technology holdings are still in working order.

Still Images & Ephemera

Also, accompanying the moving images at Northeast Historic Film are collections of still images and ephemera. Consisting largely of photos and notes, these often give added meaning to the films that were donated along with them. Some films in our collections, such as Cherryfield, 1938, come with thorough manuscripts that identify the people and places present.

NHF collects a wide variety of still images, ranging from production and publicity shots to postcards of small-town theaters in northern New England. These postcards help to give a picture of the theatrical exhibition history of the region.

The collections also include business records and theater logs, both of which provide a glimpse at the economics of the industry. Northeast Historic Film has used its ephemera collections to develop a database of all known locations of regular movie screenings in northern New England during the 1900s. From the Anchor Theatre in Kennebunk, Maine to the Eagle in Lubec, Maine, a listing of well over 600 locations has been compiled for Maine alone.

The letters and scrapbooks in the ephemera collection give a glimpse at the public and private transactions relating to film and television, while the sheet music collections serve as a record of the type of music that accompanied early silent films. This music is also useful to today's silent film accompanists and was used at Northeast Historic Film's Northeast Silent Film Festival.

Books & PeriodicalsDecember 1935 MOVIE MAKERS, NHF Collection

The Study Center at Northeast Historic Film contains numerous reference works to assist the staff and serve researchers and students. Areas of interest are standard reference works in the archival field, film histories, relevant interpretive works, biographies, instructional volumes, and directories.


There is also an ever-growing collection of periodicals related to the field of amateur filmmaking. The collections include issues of The Cine-Kodak News, Bell & Howell's Filmo Topics, Amateur Cine World, and many more. Foremost in the collection is a near-complete run of the Amateur Cinema League publication Movie Makers. Beginning in 1926 and running through 1954, each Movie Makers issue features stunning cover art and articles covering all facets of amateur filmmaking.