An expansive collection of American movie theater materials has been donated to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library.
Donation comes to AMPAS from the estate of archivist Preston Kaufmann.
The collection, originally accumulated by Tom B’hend from the 1940s onward, was largely maintained since 1972 by Kaufmann, who had arranged for the collection transfer to the academy prior to his death in July 1998.
“The collection itself was an unexpected addition to our holdings. But the augmentation of the gift with funds that allow us to expedite the processing of materials places it among the most unusual gifts the library has ever received,” said AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis.
The compilation of materials contains thousands of photographs, postcards, sketches and blueprints documenting the development of motion picture exhibition in the U.S.
“In sheer volume, this single collection far surpasses the library’s previous entire collection of motion picture theater materials,” said library director Linda Mehr.
“Overnight we have become a repository of this kind of material.”
In addition, a monetary contribution of $140,000 has been doled out to the library from Kaufmann’s estate. Funds will help to process and preserve all collection materials.