Skip to main content

Publicity materials, 1933-2004


Scope and Contents

The collection contains press books, press kits, programs and other ephemeral pieces. The press books are elaborate and profusely illustrated, containing articles about the film, the stars and the filmmakers, plus advertising campaign mattes, detailed plot synopses, cast and crew credits, etc. The ad campaigns alone tell us a great deal about how the actors, directors, and the films themselves were promoted. Press books were sent to exhibitors, who would then cut out some of the ads that they contained and use them for local advertising. Press books that are completely intact, with no ads cut out, are extremely rare. All of the press books offered in this collection are intact. Press kits are media packages that are sent to the press. They contain numerous promotional essays about the film, lengthy biographies of the actors and important crewmembers, and illustrations. The present collection contains examples of important early films of the 1950s with African American actors such as Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge; there is even a significant 1933 Paul Robeson piece included. There is a selection of materials from the era of civil rights and the growing emergence of Sidney Poitier as America's first black superstar. The famous Blaxploitation era of the 1970s is covered in great depth, as is the emergence of African American stars and directors like Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, Halle Berry, and many others. The publicity materials ranged in time from 1933 to 2004.


  • Creation: 1933-2004

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.


From the Collection: 11.23 Cubic Feet (14 containers: 7 record center boxes, 3 letter size boxes, 2 flat boxes (20.5 x 1.5 x 14.5), 1 flat box (15.5 x 3 x 12), 1 legal size box)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Processing Information

PK denotes publicity press kits, while PB denotes publicity press books.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA