Digital Collection: John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection

Check out film stills from the silent film era in the library’s digital collection, John W. Boyle Stills and Photograph Collection!

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“A Woman There Was”: Theda Bara and Lori Bara on break, 1919

These on-line selections from the work of American cinematographer John W. Boyle (1891-1959) offer a wide sample of his oeuvre during the “Silent Era” of American film making. He shot many of the films of the great Silent Era star Theda Bara and her favorite director J. Gordon Edwards, and also many westerns, work reflected here in the digital images scanned from photographs in the John W. Boyle Stills and Photograph Collection.

The selections, although perhaps not unique, are in many cases rare. For example, the majority of the films of Theda Bara have been lost, making the stills and photographs of the Boyle collection—now digitized—historically valuable documentation of her films. Other Silent Era stars documented here include Albert Roscoe, William Farnum, and Louise Lovely. Besides stars, the images also provide behind-the-scenes look at movie making in the Silent Era, including sets, equipment, and crews.

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“If I Were King”: film still of William Farnum riding on horseback, 1920

Check out the John W. Boyle Film Stills and Photograph Collection now!

Collection description for the blog post was taken from the collection’s research guide. Read the research guide to find out more about this collection.

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For research consultations about and access to the primary source material please contact the Department of Archives and Special Collections at 310.338.5710 or