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Merritt Crawford (1880_1945) was one of the film industry_s first historians. In the initial three decades of this century, Crawford_s fascination with the development of film projection and sound-for-film technology brought him into close contact with practically every name of note in the history of early cinema. Not only did Crawford collect and publish articles about the work of these pioneers and keep their original documents and court and patent records for his files, but he maintained lengthy correspondence with them as well. All of these invaluable materials on the history of the early cinema (located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York) are now available in The Merritt Crawford Papers.
Exploring primary resources from the ‘80s and ‘90s reveal that since the beginning, critic struggled with classifying Cornell’s singular rock ’n ’roll vision.