J. Fred MacDonald and Associates

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  • Collection

The MacDonald and Associates archive of vintage film, sound recordings, rare historical paper, and other oddities had its origins in the early 1970s when Dr. MacDonald (B.A. and M.A. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. UCLA) began offering university courses in the history of U.S. Popular Culture. To teach and conduct research for books and articles, Dr. MacDonald began assembling materials from a variety of sources.

Most recently, Dr. MacDonald has become a pioneer in developing the multimedia e-book, a form of scholarship which blends text and supportive videos, sound recordings, still pictures, interviews, and the like.

From the world of film collectors, he began to create an archive of short films that included vintage television shows and commercials as well as important movies that varied from musical, educational, industrial, home movies, and military shorts, to obscure motion pictures that dealt with religion, African-Americans, American Indians, newsreels, entertainment shorts, and many other subjects. Today that collection is one of the largest privately held film libraries in the world.

From a basement at Northwestern University came thousands of radio transcription disks which formed the core of a massive accumulation of old-time-radio tape recordings. From paper collectors he acquired theater and movie programs, relevant vintage magazines and books, and unusual paper materials. To this day, the MacDonald & Associates archive continues to expand, especially through purchases made on eBay.

Most recently, Dr. MacDonald has become a pioneer in developing the multimedia e-book, a form of scholarship which blends text and supportive videos, sound recordings, still pictures, interviews, and the like. Those interested in this ongoing project can visit his website where his books from the 1980s have been onlined and filled with TV shows, vintage shorts, sound recordings, and stills. The website also has Dr. MacDonald’s new multimedia e-novels, THE HISTORY SHOPPE and THE CODE OF CLIO, which engage high school students in the world and methodology of the professional historian.

The website for all this—and at absolutely no cost for reading, watching, and downloading—is www.jfredmacdonald.com.

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Recordings
Music by Gershwin, 2/19/1934 (15 minutes, courtesy J. Fred MacDonald)
George Gershwin, Louis Katzman and orchestra
Music by Gershwin, 4/30/1934 (15 minutes, courtesy J. Fred MacDonald)
George Gershwin, Louis Katzman and orchestra
The 3 part PBS Series
Own the DVD