This Thursday and Friday, the Library of Congress is hosting a special “Celebration of Mexico” to honor the culture and history of Hispanic Americans and highlight the Library’s collection of Hispanic materials, which is the largest in the world.
During the event, the Library will present the world premiere of the oldest-known documentary footage of Mexico. The institution has the only existing copy of the film, “The History of the Mexican Revolution,” a compilation documentary shot by several newsreel cameramen over a span of nearly 30 years. These compilation histories represent the first documentaries in Mexico’s rich cinematic history. The film is part of the Library’s John E. Allen, Inc. Collection, which contains many unique and best-serving copies of American films like WWI- and WWII-era actualities, sound era dramatic fathers, silent films from New York-area studios and the “all-black newsreels” from the 1940s.
In this short video, Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section, talks about the historical and cultural importance of this film and the Library of Congress Motion Picture Laboratory’s efforts to preserve it.
“A Celebration of Mexico,” a two-day conference and accompanying display at the Library of Congress, will open on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a popular national holiday in Mexico. For more information and more videos, visit the website.