Great Migration Home Movie Study Collection

National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.)
Church of God
WHUT Howard University Television
Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive (MARMIA)
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of District of Columbia
inclusive dates
1940 - Ongoing
Physical description
825 digital files
The Great Migration is a unique, ongoing digitization service program that partners the National Museum of African American History and Culture with individuals across the United States to preserve their important analog audiovisual media. While major motion picture film and television historically lacked diverse representation, black history was instinctively being preserved in everyday home movies. Today, these personal narratives serve as an invaluable tool for understanding and re-framing black moving image history, and provide a much needed visualization of African American history and culture.
Preferred Citation
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Supported by the Robert Frederick Smith Fund of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Collection is available online for open research.
Scope and Contents
The collection contains 825 digitized audiovisual media objects. However, as an ongoing project the scope of the collection will continue to increase over time. The scope will be updated as is appropriate.
The content of the collection consists predominantly of amateur recordings created by families to document their lives. This includes major life events, such as birthdays, as well as family vacations and holidays. Additionally, the collection includes footage produced by professionals for broadcast on television. This particular footage entered the collection through partnerships with other memory institutions.
object type
Archival materials
Amateur films
African Americans
136 image(s)