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Roman Vishniac Film Collection

This collection documents Roman Vishniac's pioneering work in naturalist filmmaking and photomicroscopy.

About the Collection

The collection comprises approximately 295,000 feet of motion picture film; more than 2,000 photographic negatives, slides, and prints; and paper records associated with these works. The bulk of the collection dates to the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when Vishniac was producing microbiology films in New York City. The collection also includes eleven home movies.

The motion pictures comprise 16mm, 35mm, and Super 8mm formats, and include film elements (work prints, outtakes, magnetic sound tracks) representing Roman Vishniac’s work in popular science and classroom filmmaking. Work directly related to the Living Biology series (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) is particularly well represented. Also included are representative examples from Vishniac’s work for Encyclopædia Britannica Films, copies of some documentaries produced by other entities that describe and contextualize Vishniac’s work, and home movies of family travels in the late 1960s and early 1970s to Israel and various destinations in the United Sates and Europe.

Paper records comprise correspondence, film scripts and drafts, and some published materials. Projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation and by Encyclopædia Britannica Films are particularly well documented. Biographical materials and documentation relating to Vishniac's appointment at Yeshiva University are also included.

Photographs in the collection include more than 2,000 negatives, prints, color transparencies, 16mm film clips, and lantern slides.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.