"In this essay, you will be asked to use primary historical resources to place yourself in the subject position of a viewer of a film from the 1900s, 1910s, or 1920s. You must choose a film from outside of the class. .. You will research responses to your chosen film on The Media History Project as well as the Lemieux Library’s historical newspaper databases . You will then use these accounts to reconstruct how spectators at the time might have viewed this film in ways that are significantly different from how a viewer in the present would and propose a historical explanation for these changes....
...You must have clear evidence for your thesis statement. This evidence can take the form of 1) an analysis of the form and aesthetics of the film, 2) firsthand accounts from viewers at the time, and 3) interviews with the filmmakers or press accounts from the time. Tom Gunning’s essay is again a good example: He draws from interviews with the filmmakers, which makes clear that they were primarily concerned with spectacle rather than narrative, and he analyzes the structure of several films to demonstrate how these spectacles addressed the audience. You must include at least 5 sources. Three of these sources must be primary sources, i.e. historical documents from the time your chosen film was released."
Finding primary documents in historical newspapers and magazines
Searching a collection of newspapers or magazines:
Historical index with citations from 375 popular magazines published in the U.S. & Canada from 1890-1920, covering subjects such as current events, business, politics, education, history, sports & science.