In the days before the Motion Picture Association developed a film rating system, movie producers and distributors had to apply for a permit with New York’s Division of Motion Picture to show their film in the state.
The New York State Archives preserves one of the largest collection of film scripts from 1921-1965 in the world.
The New York State Archives will host “Movie Censorship in New York: an Early Cancel Culture?,” a virtual program set for Tuesday, December 13th.
In this program Laura Wittern-Keller and Thomas J. Ruller will look at the contribution these scripts add to the history of censorship in New York and trace the shifting of American attitudes toward sex, religion and morality.
Laura Wittern-Keller holds a BA and a PhD in history from the University at Albany where she has been teaching U.S. legal and urban history for the past fifteen years. She is the author of Freedom of the Screen (2008) and co-author of the Miracle Case: Film Censorship and the Supreme Court (2008), both of which were largely researched at the New York State Archives, as well as a chapter author in Silencing Cinema (2013) and Hollywood and the Law (2019).
Thomas J. Ruller has held the position of New York State Archivist since 2015. He has been an active professional and is the author of several peer-reviewed journal articles and reviews on the use of technology in Archives and the preservation of records in electronic form. He has been a consultant for several State governments and other organizations focusing on electronic records management and preservation.
For more information or to register, click here.