Guide to the Catalog of Photographic Prints of Backdrops for the Motion Picture Industry in California
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 326 linen mounts with each mount holding a single photographic print or multiple photographic prints forming a panoramic view for the backdrops, also known as "Shipman Backings." Each of the 560 photographic prints also has an inventory number and dimensions of the backdrop on the recto of each photographic print and occasional notes about availability of an alternate day or night view.
Most of the views of the backdrops document places in California, chiefly in Los Angeles and San Francisco as well as views of sites in Agoura, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Big Bear Lake, Columbia, Hollywood, Glendale, North Edwards, Pasadena, San José, and Yosemite National Park.
Views of other locations outside of California include Fort Collins and Walsenburg in Colorado, Washington in the District of Columbia, Miami in Florida, Chicago in Illinois, New Orleans in Louisiana, Annapolis in Maryland, Boston and Nantucket in Massachusetts, Carson City in Nevada, Cibola County in New Mexico, Atlantic City and Princeton in New Jersey, New York City, Tulsa in Oklahoma, Salem in Oregon, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, San Antonio and Abilene in Texas, Salt Lake City in Utah, Roanoke in Virginia, as well as Delafield and Milwaukee in Wisconsin.
Images with unidentified locations include generic settings, such as houses, military installations, parks, and storefronts as well as landscape views of forests, mountains, and shrublands.
The collection was originally housed in a post binder, the photographic prints were removed from the binder and housed individually in folders, while the boards and posts were retained.
- approximately 1925 to approximately 1945
- Majority of material found in approximately 1935
- Pacific Studios (Compiler)
Conditions Governing Access
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2.1 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Language of Materials
Personnel related to the Pacific Studios Corporation probably reorganized around 1929 as Pacific Studios based in Los Angeles, California, to provide photographic and photorealistic backdrops used in cinemaphotography, also known as "Shipman Backings" after its inventor Joseph William Carter Shipman (1875-1947).
From 1950 to 1979 Pacific Studios pioneered the Translight (also known as Translite), an illuminated film backing typically used as a backdrop for cinemaphotography, and later developed Chromatrans, a colored photographic backdrop. Both technologies rely on substrates manufactured by the Eastman Kodak Company.
In 2015, the Pacific Studios stock inventory of backdrops and extensive photographic library was purchased by employee Caren Wilson and her husband Jon Wilson and moved to Sun Valley, California.
This guide derives from a detailed examination of each print. This includes an inital listing by Maya C. Brehon and Ashley Cale as well as a review by Matthew Daniel Mason, who also drafted the front matter to this guide.
- Architecture, Domestic -- Pictorial works
- California -- Pictorial works
- Colorado -- Pictorial works
- Florida -- Pictorial works
- Illinois -- Pictorial works
- Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
- Louisiana -- Pictorial works
- Maryland -- Pictorial works
- Massachusetts -- Pictorial works
- Military bases -- Pictorial works
- Motion picture industry -- Pictorial works
- Nevada -- Pictorial works
- New Jersey -- Pictorial works
- New Mexico -- Pictorial works
- Oklahoma -- Pictorial works
- Oregon -- Pictorial works
- Parks -- Pictorial works
- Pennsylvania -- Pictorial works
- San Francisco (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
- Texas -- Pictorial works
- Utah -- Pictorial works
- Virginia -- Pictorial works
- Washington (D.C.) -- Pictorial works
- Wisconsin -- Pictorial works
- Daniel Oliver LLC (Bookseller)
- Pacific Studios (Compiler)
- Guide to the catalog of photographic prints of backdrops for the motion picture industry in California
- Maya C. Brehon, Ashley Cale, and Matthew Daniel Mason
- November 2022
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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