American Memory:   Technical summary

The Life of a City:
Early Films of New York, 1898-1906


Collection Overview

Actuality motion pictures from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress, dating from 1898 to 1906. Scenes include the New York harbor and waterfront, parades on main streets, skyscraper and subway construction, and footage of horsedrawn carriages and early motor cars. Twenty-five titles were made by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, while the remaining twenty are Edison Company productions.
Source collection
Paper Prints Motion Picture Collection , Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division
LCCN for related videodisc: 95-513029 [Link to catalog record (z39.50 query) will not work when main cataloging system is not available.] .
Technical features
Silent motion picture footage originally shot at about 15 frames per second.
Original material formats
Number of original items
Status of collection
Available online as of November 1997.
Public access
The Library is not aware of any restrictions that inhibit public access to this collection. See notes on rights and restrictions provided by the Library to users of this collection.

Aids to intellectual access

Type & granularity
MARC bibliographic records. Each bib. record describes a single item.
Sample bibliographic display in American Memory.
Linking to digital reproductions
Bibliographic record contains identifier used in filenames for all versions and segments of movie. MPEG and QuickTime files for motion pictures longer than four minutes are divided into segments.

Digital reproductions

Total file-space for digital reproductions: 1.8 Gbytes

Motion Pictures Service file Service file Service file Inline thumbnail
(still image)
Marker Filename extension ".mpg" Filename extension ".mov" Filename extension ".avi" Filename ends "t"
Formats MPEG-1 QuickTime AVI GIF
Data rate ca. 1.2 Mbits/sec ca. 640 Kbits/sec ca. 1 Mbits/sec 8 bit
Image size 320x240 pixels 160x120 pixels 320x240 pixels 300x100 pixels
Frame rate 30 fps 10-15 fps 15 fps n/a
Color depth n/a 24 bits n/a 8 bits
Approx. file size range 4-37 Mbytes 2-18 Mbytes 4-50 Mbytes 90 Kbytes
Quantity 48 48 45 45
Sample Sample MPEG Sample QuickTime Sample AVI Sample thumbnail

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Technical notes: [Documents] [Images] [Maps] [Sound Recordings] [Motion Pictures]