Motion Picture Association of America - Production Code Administration
"Will Hays, as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) in 1930, introduced the Production Code, a document designed to help the industry regulate itself by following certain moral principles and guidelines. Hays chose Joseph Breen to oversee the administration of the Code in 1934. Under Breen, the studios were required to submit all screenplays for approval and all films released by MPPDA member companies were required to display a Code seal. In 1946, the organization changed its name to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hays was succeeded by Eric Johnston. The Production Code remained in force until 1968, when it was superseded by the MPAA ratings system, which is still in use today." - Margaret Herrick Library.
Online version of the microfilm collection History of the Cinema. Series 1: Hollywood and the Production Code Administration (MICFILM 4482, plus printed guide). Selected files from the Motion Picture Association of America Production Code Administration, filmed from the holdings of the Magaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The set contains files on 500 films dating from 1927 to 1968, including some significant foreign film releases.
To view a chronological list of films in the collection, click on the link "View All Documents."
Media History Digital Library
Film scholar and archivist David Pierce is spearheading a project called the Media History Digital Library, in collaboration with institutions such as the Pacific Film Archive, to digitize back issues of film industry trade papers and popular fan magazines and make them available online via the Internet Archive. The issues will be available for viewing online using standard file formats such as PDF,
As the project brochure notes, such materials are often difficult for researchers to access. In the case of The Hollywood Reporter, "only a single complete run is known to exist."
At present, several volumes of Photoplay and one volume of Motion Picture Classic are available. For a complete list, search in the Internet Archive using the terms "Media History Digital Library."
The Lantern platform offers a robust search interface for working with the collections.
Primary sources typically include such items as:
Primary sources sometimes can be ambiguous and contradictory, relecting a specific person's opinions and contemporary cultural influences on them. For that very reason such sources are invaluable tools for developing your own interpretations and reaching your own conclusions about what is going on at a point in time.