Michelson Cinema Research Library Ribbon Cutting Set for January 27

Bookmark and Share

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 12:03 -- Nick Dager

There will be a virtual ribbon cutting on Wednesday, January 27, highlighting the donation of the historic Michelson Cinema Research Library to the Internet Archive. At that time Lillian Michelson, 92, will unveil the first phase of her new digital collection. The Internet Archive’s founder and digital librarian, Brewster Kahle will also participate.

Lillian MichelsonThe event, which will run from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, will include a panel discussion and a screening of Daniel Raim’s documentary Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story.

Michelson has donated the Cinema Research Library that bears her name to the Internet Archive, a digital library with global reach, so that this irreplaceable physical collection will be preserved intact and digitized as much as possible, providing free public access to these research materials via the Internet Archive’s popular site, archive.org. When packed, Michelson’s rich collection of 5,000 books, 30,000 photographs, and more than 1,000,000 clippings, scrapbooks and ephemera fill more than two 18-wheel tractor trailers. 

Lillian and Harold Michelson established the library in 1969 while Lillian was working as a volunteer at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios. In its more than 50-year history, the Michelson Cinema Research Library has had many homes. The library consists of research materials from Goldwyn, United Artists, and many past donations from leading art directors. Its contents will now be moved for long-term preservation to the Internet Archive’s physical archive in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bringing this historic Hollywood design resource back to life—a largely digital life—can make it a global design resource for designers, filmmakers and researchers in search of information and visual inspiration. For 50 years, Michelson’s research informed scores of Hollywood films, including The Right Stuff, Rosemary’s Baby, Scarface, Fiddler on the Roof, Full Metal Jacket, The Graduate and The Birds.

The Save Lillian’s Library Fund will now focus on building a new website with navigational tools that are simple, intuitive and non-language dependent to help people utilize these digital materials. Meanwhile, the Internet Archive is looking for supporters to help with the costs of digitizing a collection of the complexity and magnitude of the Michelson Cinema Research Library.

Click here to RSVP bit.ly/3adq32u