Burr Collection Fan Magazines
Monday, June 22, 2009 at 03:09 PM EDT
The Howard E. Burr Collection contains not only film, equipment, lobby cards and posters, but also a variety of movie magazines.
Collector 'Doc' Burr built up large holdings in Photoplay, a classic of film fandom, and he was, of course, a serious collector of film collector catalogs such as The Big Reel, Blackhawk, and other lesser known publications aimed at the amateur film collector.
His legacy of fan magazines is less than complete, with few titles demonstrating any kind of serious attention; taken as a whole, it's fascinating. Over 50 titles are represented, dating from the 1920-1980s, the majority dating from the 1960s & 70s.
The magazine titles are often similar; sometimes their names have changed a bit with the addition of TV reporting. Some titles existed for decades, some for only a year or two. Titles containing Movie or Screen were particularly popular, as evidenced by this lists from the collection: Movie, Movie Life, Movie Mirror, Movie Stars, Movie TV Secrets, Movie World, Movieland , Movieland and TV Time, Screen, Screen Album, Screen Hits, Screen Life, Screen Mirror, Screen Stars, Screen Stories, Screenland, Screenplay, Photo Screen, Silver Screen, Modern Screen, TV & Screen World.
The attention paid to Liz Taylor and Jackie Kennedy Onassis (her lack of movie star status didn't stop her from making the cover of countless issues) is stunning. The gossip, the scandals and the advertising all add up to capture the spirit of fandom in a unique way. Fascinating time capsules, the magazines feature advertisements advising women to put on weight. The most serious star scandals involve affairs not sanctioned by marriage, and the 'male nudity craze' makes front page news.
This article originally appeared on Harvard Film Archive Collections.