Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


For Immediate Release: December 10, 2003
Contacts: Ray Geselbracht, Special Assistant to the Director, 816-268-8212
or Pauline Testerman, Audiovisual Archivist, 816-268-8228.
Event: Additional Screen Gems Collection open for research.
Date: December 15, 2003
Location: Truman Presidential Museum & Library
500 West U.S. Highway 24

Additional Screen Gems Collection to Open December 15, 2003

Independence, MO - The Truman Presidential Museum & Library will open for research an additional segment of the Screen Gems Collection, consisting of approximately 17 minutes of film and 4 hours of sound recordings that feature former President Truman and several of his family, friends, and associates talking about his life and presidency. The collection will open December 15, 2003. View video and listen to audio online.

The material consists primarily of audio soundtracks in which former President Truman talks about his family background, the history of the region, and his youth and early work experiences, and responds to interview-style questions about his life and the decisions he made as President. One of the film segments in which Truman extolls his home town of Independence will be used in the Library's new exhibition "Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times," which opens January 3, 2004.

The Screen Gems Collection was created in the early 1960s by Talent Associates, Inc. and Screen Gems, Inc., during production of a twenty-six part television documentary entitled Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman. The Decision films were broadcast in November, 1964. They were quite popular, and their star, former President Truman, was named outstanding television personality of 1964 by the American Cinema Editors.

After the films were broadcast, Mr. Truman asked Screen Gems to send all the outtakes created during the production to the Harry S. Truman Library. The immense collection of about 18,000 film and audio clips stored in about 2,600 metal canisters, arrived at the Library in 1965. The archives staff began appraising and processing the collection in 1989, and with the help of an extraordinary team of volunteers, opened the first portion of the collection to be opened in April 2003.

This is the second opening of Screen Gems materials; two or three more openings will occur in the next few years. The archivists estimate that the Screen Gems collection will comprise about 5 hours of film and 20 hours of sound recordings.

For information about the Screen Gems Collection, call the audiovisual research room at 816-268-8228. Research room hours are 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturdays by appointment.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. For more information on the Museum and programs, call (816) 833-1225 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

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