Research

New York State Motion Picture Division License Application Case Files

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of approximately 73,000 motion picture case files, one for each film submitted to the Division of Motion Picture for review and licensing. Each case file contains the following: an license application(s); copies of initial and duplicate licenses; a copy of the filmscript; examiner's report; amended film transcript if changes were made; and receipts for seals issued. Some case files also contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, transcripts for non-English films, and promotional ephemera.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
1135.5 cubic feet
Inclusive Dates:
1921-1965
Series Number:
A1418

Arrangement

Numerical by application number.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of approximately 73,000 case files, one for each film submitted for review and licensing. Each case file contains the following: an application for initial license; applications for duplicate licenses; copies of initial and duplicate licenses; a copy of the filmscript (except silent films; for foreign language films a translation is included); examiner's report; amended film transcript if changes were made; and receipts for seals issued. Some case files also contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, and promotional ephemera.

The applications contain the following information: case file number; title; language; subtitles, if any; production company; country of origin; year; names of leading actors and actresses; footage; fee; gauge (35 mm, 16 mm, other); sound or silent; projection (flat, 3D); applicant; address; telephone; name of responsible representative of applicant; and notary public affirmation.

The licenses list serial number issued to film; applicant's name, film title; producer footage; fee; and date issued.

The filmscripts (sometimes referred to as cutting continuities) vary in format and physical characteristics but all contain the dialog of the film. Some scripts provide instructions for the movement of the characters and the camera.

The examiner's reports contain the date the film was reviewed; title; language; applicant; number of reels; whether or not the film was silent, synchronized, or had dialogue; code; disposition (approved, rejected, referred to Division Director, or approved with eliminations); remarks if any; and examiner's name.

The receipts for seals contain the date issued, title of film, number of seals received, and the applicant's name and signature.

Items Online

New York State Archives Digital Collections

Please note that only a portion of this series has been included in this digital collection. Other items exist that are not available online.

Link to items online Browse items online

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Alternate Formats Available

Scanned images of a small sample of case files are available at the New York State Archives.

Related Information

Other finding aids

Series A1419, Index to Case Files, indexes this series.

A computer-generated microfiche index produced by the Archives accesses files by application number; application date; film title; censorship determination; name of production company, distributor, director, and screenwriter; and country of origin.This searchable index is available online at http://www.archives.nysed.gov/holding/mpd/default.html.

Access Terms

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