Motion Picture Film

Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum & Arctic Studies Center

Motion Picture Film

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum holds two major Arctic film collections as well as a number of smaller collections. Donald B. MacMillan's films include educational films, films to illustrate his lectures, and thousands of feet of unedited footage shot between 1923 and 1954 in both 35mm black and white and 16mm color. The Robert A. Bartlett collection consists largely of unedited footage taken during Bartlett's expeditions on the Effie M. Morrissey between 1926 and 1945, all of it shot in 35mm black and white.

We are pleased to make six of MacMillan's short educational films available for streaming. Footage for these films was shot during expeditions to northwest Greenland in 1923-24, and the summers of 1925 and 1926. Four of the films are silent and two have sound, with closed captioning available. The films have been preserved with support from The Library of Congress, Kane Lodge Foundation, Inc., and the National Film Preservation Foundation. For those who prefer physical media, a DVD is available for purchase here.

In addition, we are now streaming Tautunguarnirijara: The Way I Picture It, a short documentary by Mekai Ootova based on film, images, and journal entries from Donald MacMillan’s visits to the Pond Inlet area in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This project grew out of interviews Anne Henshaw conducted in the community using some of MacMillan’s photographs. She and Mekai Ootova have written about their perspectives on the project here. This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Oak Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Bowdoin College. The film is also available on DVD.

We have reconstructed one of Donald MacMillan’s famous lectures, The Far North: A Donald MacMillan Lecture Film and have released it on DVD (link to store). The reconstruction digitally reunites an audio recording of a lecture MacMillan delivered at the Boothbay Harbor Opera House in 1959 with the actual footage he showed, and includes an introductory essay to put the lecture in context.