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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Before and After the Great Earthquake

[Detail] A trip down Market Street before the fire [production company unknown].


Collection Overview

The twenty-six films in Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916, represent early film production in America. Seventeen of the films capture San Francisco and its environs before the 1906 disaster. Seven films document the great earthquake and fire. Two later films include a 1915 travelogue that shows the rebuilt city and the Panama Pacific Exposition, and a 1916 propaganda film.

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Special Features

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Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • Development of the Industrial United States, 1876-1915
  • Emergence of Modern America, 1890-1930

Related Collections and Exhibits

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Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection

To review the contents of a film, click one of the films in the Film Titles to retrieve the bibliographic record. Each record presents a wealth of information, including a scene-by-scene description of the film. You may want to preview these notes before downloading a video film file, as downloading may take several hours to complete.

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For help with general search strategies, go to Finding Items in American Memory.