Technology History

A well-worn 1960 Panavision 65mm handheld camera, like the one used by director Stanley Kubrick to shoot his groundbreaking epic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” is just one of the pieces of cinema history currently held in the Science and Technology Study Collection.

In its effort to preserve the history of motion picture science and technology, the Council collaborates with Academy departments and various institutions to acquire records and objects associated with individuals and institutions that have made significant scientific and technical contributions to the motion picture industry. The Council’s collections are part of the extensive holdings of – and are administered by – the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library.

The Council’s long-term goal is to create a comprehensive collection of notable artifacts. Because it is not yet possible to house large numbers of non-paper objects at Academy facilities, the Council is currently focused primarily on collecting paper materials, records, databases and other information sources. However, with plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures currently underway, the Council’s Technology History Subcommittee is actively seeking information about available artifacts and artifact collections related to the science and technology of motion pictures.

The Technology History Subcommittee, composed of both Council members and non-Council members with extensive knowledge of the development of motion picture technology, is also responsible for overseeing the Council’s Oral History Program, guiding the development of the Technology History Database and exploring various aspects of motion picture technology history.

Other Historical Programs

In partnership with the Margaret Herrick Library, the Council participates in the Academy’s Oral History Program to document the lives and experiences of industry experts who have been deeply involved in the development of motion picture technology. More

The Council also maintains a Motion Picture Technology History Database, which now contains all Scientific and Technical Awards applications from 1949 through 2010 and is regularly used as a research tool for the Scientific and Technical Awards process.


The Council periodically offers the public informative materials on various aspects of the science and technology of the motion pictures. One of its recent publications, Tech Art: The Photography of Vince Gonzales, is now available through the Academy’s publications page. More

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