Scope and Content Note

During the period from 1921 to 1965, the Motion Picture Division, and its predecessor the Motion Picture Commission, reviewed each film intended for screening in New York State and issued a license for its exhibition unless the film was judged "obscene, indecent, immoral, inhuman, sacrilegious or of such character that its exhibition would tend to corrupt morals or to incite crime." The volumes in this series contain information on films for which licenses were sought and the actions taken by the division on each film.

The volumes list the following for each film: the serial number that was issued to films licensed; the applicant's name (exchange or distributor); number of original prints; number of duplicate prints; number of reels of film; total film footage; number of seals; amount received for licenses, permits, and seals; title of film; country of origin, if foreign; and action taken (approved, approved with eliminations, or rejected). The later volumes also provide information on Motion Picture Association determinations (either a yes or no response is recorded). Figures are totaled daily for the various categories of information, and totals are also entered at the end of each month. Separate books (7 volumes) were kept for 16 mm films between 1941 and 1965.