Motion Picture Production Center Films, 1957-1972
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Brief Description: Commercial and student 16mm films used by the Motion Picture Production Center for training and editing practice including films of students on the Quad, homecoming (1967), demonstrations, Turner Hall Dedication, Armistice Day (1970), Morning Star Free Will Baptist Church; interviews and speeches by agriculturists including Orville Freeman and William Kuhfuss; Illinois politicians including Otto Kerner and Adlai Stevenson; and newsreel and documentary footage (ca. 1960-72). The series includes newsreel footage and accompanying releases from CBS Newsfilm (1957-61) concerning world affairs, American politics, civil rights, natural disasters, fires, labor relations, fashions, scientific achievements, sports and holidays. Prominent individuals covered include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Richard M. Nixon, James Hoffa, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, Averill Harriman, Charles de Gaulle, John Foster Dulles, Pius XII, John XXIII, Orville Faubus, Adlai Stevenson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill. The series includes films from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ca. 1967); the British Information Service (1961, 1964-66); National Television News (1963-69) on sports, economic outlooks, and the auto industry; Mercury News film (ca. 1964-68) on fashions technical advances, and commerce; Krosney Productions on Israel; Telenews (1967) on Social Security; News-screen on health care and appliances; Colorfilm on the small farm; Reader's Digest on school dropouts; and films on the Gizz Kids, a Champaign sports car rally, hunting wild turkeys and the College All Star Game (1959).
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 13/6/46
Created by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of University Broadcasting
Volume: 4.3 cubic feet
Acquired: 9/18/1974
More information is available at
Arrangement: By producer and chronological thereunder
Biographical Note for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Division of University Broadcasting :

The College of Communications is the supervising administrative unit for the University Broadcasting Division.1 The Division operates radio station WILL AM and FM and television station WILL-TV. Broadcasting activities began in the spring of 1922 when a 400-watt transmitter using the call letters WRM went into operation in the Electrical Engineering Laboratory.2 A gift from Boetius H. Sullivan in 1925 enabled the Illinois experimental radio station to expand its operation, becoming the Roger Sullivan Memorial Radio Station.3 The expanded facilities were placed under the jurisdiction of the Director of Public Information Josef Wright who was appointed the first director of broadcasting.4 In 1928 the station increased to 890 kilocycles. At this time the call letters were officially changed to WILL.5 In 1938 the station's first musical director was appointed.6 The following year the station assumed regular nighttime broadcasting.7 In 1942 WILL was moved to Gregory Hall.8 The bands, the glee clubs and athletic scores had always been the favorite programs which the station aired.9 In 1946 the Athletic Association was allowed to broadcast University athletic events.10 An increased emphasis on news and public affairs resulted in the station's twenty-four hour a day use of the Associated Press beginning in 1948.11 A new transmitter building was constructed for WILL in Robert Allerton Park in 1950.12 The University's television station, the William A. Knight class of 1934 memorial, was a gift from the General Electric Company in 1955.13

The Motion Picture Production Center was organized as a service agency to produce educational films for the people of Illinois. The Center maintained six full-time staff members until July 1, 1974 when it was closed for financial reasons.14

1. Undergraduate Programs Catalog, 1975-1977, p. 255.

2. Carl Stephens, Illini Years: A Picture History of the University of Illinois, (Urbana, 1950), p. 78.

3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 33rd Report, May 16, 1925, p. 226.

4. Ibid., 45th Report, September 29, 1949, p. 882.

5. Stephens, p. 78.

6. Board of Trustees Transactions, 40th Report, July 21, 1938, p. 37.

7. Ibid., July 14, 1937, p. 362.

8. Ibid., 41st Report, February 14, 1942, p. 774.

9. Stephens, p. 78.

10. Board of Trustees Transactions, 43rd Report, February 14, 1946, p. 1007.

11. Ibid., 44th Report, April 10, 1948, p. 1087.

12. Ibid., 46th Report, December 28, 1950, p. 493.

13. Ibid., 49th Report, November 23, 1955, p. 874.

14. Michael Soaper was in charge of the Center's closing and supplied this information.

Subject Index
British Journalism
Civil Rights
France - History and Geography
Motion Pictures
Genres/Forms of Material
Motion Pictures/Videotapes
Languages of Materials
English [eng]