Home Movies

photo of Carry Wagner

The HFA’s collections include over 500 home movies, travel, and amateur films, held across several collections. The most significant collections are described below.

The Carry Wagner Collection was the HFA’s first collection of amateur film. Carry Wagner (1896-1993) traveled the world with her 16mm camera from 1939-1965 documenting what she saw with a steady hand, always in color. Her films were used by Joel Katz to create Dear Carry in 1997, a film about Carry Wagner and Joel Katz, exploring the world, and what filmmakers leave behind when they depart. 

The seventy reels of Kodachrome in this collection contain footage shot in such varied locales as South Africa, Germany immediately after WWII, Madeira, Algiers, Malta, Rhodes, Israel, Turkey, Corsica, Japan, Ceylon and more.

The Max Tennis Collection was donated in 2007 to the HFA by Leo & Barbara Karas (Max Tennis's grand- niece and her husband). Max Tennis, a graduate of Harvard’s Medical School, worked as a pediatrician half the year, traveling the world the other half. From 1930-1955, he recorded his travels with his 16mm camera. 92 reels, 60 in color, document pre-WWII Europe, Japan and China. During WWII, Tennis traveled within the US. Footage also includes Syria, Turkey, Mexico, the Pacific Islands, South Sea Islands, Bali, Africa and Israel.

The Jubb Family Home Movies were taken around the family’s neighborhood of Arlington, Massachusetts, as well as on the family’s adventures across the US and abroad. The collection includes fifty-five reels of black-and-white film documenting family and neighborhood life, and travel in New England and Europe in the 1930s and 40s.

The Jason Camuti Collection and Gary Sloan Collection represent home movies that came to the HFA from two film collectors. Purchased or traded, these previously orphaned films were made by disparate and often unknown people across the US. Both of these archives total 100 reels, b/w and color, in 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm.

Return to Collections
Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700