Treasure Trove of Newsreels Rediscovered by Film Historian

Historians in the News

In the days before television, Americans went to the movies to see and hear the top news stories of the day. International, national and regional news, sports segments, fashion, and human interest stories were all packaged into an 8-10 minute program as Phillip W. Stewart describes in “Projected History: A Catalog of the National Stories Produced by Universal Newsreel, Volume One, 1929-1930” (ISBN 9780979324383, pms press, 2008).

Along with the other newsreels of the period, the Universal Newsreels preserved much of America’s cultural history during the mid-20th century. These films connected our grandparents and great-grandparents to the rest of the world as CNN does today. Thousands of these newsreel stories are available for research and viewing at the National Archives, but only Phillip W. Stewart has dedicated the time and resources to play detective and compile the details so these films are more accessible to the public. This first volume of “Projected History” details the newsreels from 1929-1930, and several more volumes are on their way.

For the first time, the Universal Newsreel story title, description, and availability are brought together into a single reference resource. The “Projected History” series will:
• Raise the awareness of this excellent historical documentary film resource.
• Provide a comprehensive catalog of all the known Universal Newsreel edited stories nationally released in the U.S.
• Present an annotated summary of each story.
• Identify those newsreel stories that still exist.

Most Americans are unaware that over 100,000 edited film titles in the National Archives exist. This newsreel collection is a forgotten treasure trove of Americana that Stewart is helping to retrieve. Stewart states he is writing the “Projected History” series: “out of a great appreciation for our country’s rich collection of motion picture recorded history and a desire to ensure that it is preserved and accessible for future generations. To see history as it actually happened is enlightening, instructive and often rather dramatic.”

Readers will enthusiastically agree. “Projected History” provides nostalgia and knowledge about the past. Stewart’s book is an invaluable resource to film buffs, world history scholars, genealogy aficionados and anyone interested in human-interest stories of the past. This first volume will lead to heavy anticipation of more volumes as Stewart continues to dig deep into the National Archives to extract more Universal newsreel treasures.

About the Author
Phillip W. Stewart was born and raised in southern California. He graduated from San Diego State University and served in the U.S. Air Force for twenty-one years. He spent his military service involved in TV/video production and multimedia management. He then opened his own video production company, worked as a TV producer-director for a university, managed a cable channel, and currently manages a multimedia facility for Uncle Sam. In his spare time, Mr. Stewart volunteers as a motion picture film researcher for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and writes non-fiction aviation and film history books. He is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, the League of World War I Aviation Historians, and the Military Writers Society of America. Along with his wife and two cats, he lives semi-quietly on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

“Projected History: A Catalog of the National Stories Produced by Universal Newsreel, Volume One, 1929-1930” (ISBN 9780979324383, pms press, 2008) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.

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