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The collections of the Vermont Historical Society contain numerous films, videos in several formats, and DVDs. Some of these moving images were commercially produced, some were produced in low quantities, and some are unique.

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Film

The Leahy Library of the Vermont Historical Society includes approximately 150 films in its archive collection. These films (largely 16mm) are being inspected for time-impacted damage, and if possible viewed & described for future cataloging and inclusion in the online catalog.

Preservation assessments are being conducted to determine fragility and actual shrinkage of films, some of which date back as early 1917, as well many in the 1920's & 1930's and later years.

The collection includes films that show farming, lumbering, skiing, parades, weddings, and all aspects of life from many parts of the state. Of particular interest are films from the Calvin Coolidge family, Charles Lindbergh arriving in Springfield, and the Vermont State Guard engaged in training exercises in 1941. None of the films in the Historical Society's collections are viewable until they have been transferred to a digital format.

Librarian Paul Carnahan and project leader Fred Pond made a presentation on the VHS's digitization efforts at the Center for Research on Vermont in January 2012. Click here to watch the presentation.

Bissell Foundation

In January 2010, the VHS received generous support from the John M. Bissell Foundation of Stowe, Vermont, to transfer a dozen films into a digital format. These films are available to filmmakers and the general public for viewing and for use in future film projects. In mid-2015, the VHS received a second grant to digitize additional films; this work is underway.

Access to moving image collections

Many but not all of the films, videos, and DVDs in the historical society's collection are listed in the online catalog. Advanced search techniques can be used to limit searches to films and videos. Additional lists are available from the librarian in the library.

Films on the web

When possible, we hope to load our film transfers onto the web for better access. Click on a title below to view the film on the Internet Archive.