Academy Governors Name Photo Archive for Roddy McDowall

CONTACT: John Pavlik - (310) 247-3000
October 1, 1998

Academy Governors Name Photo Archive for Roddy McDowall

Beverly Hills, CA - The immense collection of still photographs maintained by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library will be named in honor of actor Roddy McDowall, Academy President Robert Rehme announced today.

Plans currently are underway for a ceremony to dedicate the Roddy McDowall Photograph Archive at the Margaret Herrick Library.

"The Board of Governors of the Academy voted unanimously to bestow this honor on one of its most popular members," Rehme said. McDowall, who is terminally ill, is treasurer of the Academy and president of the Academy Foundation, the Academy's educational and cultural arm. He has been a member of the Academy's Board of Governors, representing the Actors Branch, since 1992.

"The Board felt that a tribute to Roddy is appropriate because of his long-time activity on behalf of the Academy," Rehme said, "and, more importantly, because of his long and passionate devotion to recording the history of our industry. Nowhere in the world is that history more thoroughly documented visually than in the photo archive in our Center for Motion Picture Study." McDowall himself has had a long and distinguished career as a photographer. He has published five volumes of his coffee table book, "Double Exposure" (proceeds from which benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund) and has had his photos published in several other books, at least 22 magazines from Vogue to Architectural Digest, as well as posters, brochures, record albums and book jackets. He even served as unit photographer on the HBO production of "To Catch a Thief" in 1983.

The Roddy McDowall Photograph Archive of the Herrick Library contains more than seven million prints and negatives. The majority of the library's photographs are original black-and-white prints, but the collections also include both black-and-white and color negatives, color slides and transparencies, motion picture film frames, glass negatives and glass slides.

Photographs in the collections include scene stills from films and portrait or publicity stills of individuals, as well as set reference stills, wardrobe and make-up test photos, research photos, location reference stills, premiere photos, advertising stills, behind-the- scenes production shots, candid and informal photos, images of studios, theaters, cameras, residences and Hollywood landmarks.

While there are extensive holdings of photographs in the library's Core Collection Files, there are also very large special collections of photographs, including the archival holdings from M-G-M (1924- 1972), Paramount (1914-1970), RKO (1929-1958), First National (1919- 1931), Monogram (1937-1942), Thomas H. Ince Productions (1912-1924), Selig Polyscope Co. (1908-1917), United Artists (1950-1980) and Universal (1946-1956). Other large special photograph collections include those for the Academy Awards prese ntations and those documenting the work of such individuals as Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, George Stevens, George Cukor, Mack Sennett, John Huston, Fred Zinnemann, Sam Peckinpah, Hal Wallis, John Frankenheimer, Jules White, James Wong Howe, Karl Struss, John Engstead, Paul Hesse, Mary Pickford, Cary Grant, Gilbert Roland and Jackie Coogan.

Special conservation procedures have been developed to remove, rewash and resleeve photographs glued to the acidic paper in stillbooks; more than a million photographs have been so treated in this ongoing program. Archival reference prints have been made from glass and nitrate still negatives, as well as early color film frames, and special housing has been provided for the original fragile and unstable materials.

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