Lola Ridge: External Links
The Library of Congress web site contains an excellent collection of films that can be accessed on computers. The notes include directions for playing back the film, designate the production company, and describe the setting or event being portrayed. Several of these films (they're very short) are relevant to Ridge's "The Ghetto" and "Stone Face."
Locating these films is easy:
- The LOC web site is http://www.loc.gov
- After accessing the LOC home page, click "American Memory."
- After accessing American Memory, click "enter" and the American Memory Historical Collections page will appear on the screen. Click "collection finder," and the Collection Finder page will appear on the screen.
- After accessing this page, click "history." The American Memory Collection Topics for History will appear on the screen.
- After accessing this page, click "The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906." When this page appears on the screen, click "search by keyword." The Search Descriptive Information page will appear on the screen. Type "immigrant" in the search box, click "Early Films of New York Collection Only," and then click "search" to access the following films relevant to "The Ghetto":
- "Arrival of emigrants [i.e., immigrants], Ellis Island" Created/Published by American Mutoscope & Biography Co, 1906.
- "Emigrants [i.e., immigrants] landing at Ellis Island" Created/Published by Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1903.
- "New York City 'ghetto' fish market" Created/Published by Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1903.
- "Move On" Created/Published by Thomas A. Edison, Inc. 1903.
- "Skyscrapers of New York City, from the North River" Created/Published by Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1903.
NOTE: Sometimes the American Memory topics need to be supplemented by key words that will lead to appropriate links. I used "Anarchists-drama" and "labor leaders" to do a search on the American Memory Collections Topics for History page and found the following general topics and films:
- General Topic: The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920. Item 28 of 240. Film Title: "A Gesture Fight in Hester Street" Created/Published by American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1903. (The setting represents, but was not shot on Hester Street)
- General topic: Early Motion Pictures, 1897-1920. Item 8 of 500. Film Title: "San Francisco's Future" Production company unknown. This two part film is a response to the bombing at the Preparedness Day Parade. The detailed notes include information about Mooney and Billings and identify characters, buildings, streets, etc.
This film, which is based on Abraham Cahan's Yekel: A Tale of the New York Ghetto (1896), is an excellent introduction to the Jewish community that lived on the Lower East Side in New York City and to the issues of gender, religion, and assimilation that these people faced in attempting to become Americans.
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