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Film, Video Portrait of a library

digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • Portrait of a library


  • With no dialogue, the film shows how a public library can be not only a place for quiet reading, but also dynamic information center. Features the librarian and library staff helping patrons, working with children and delivering books to the hospital, and homebound patrons.


  • Burger, Hanuš, direction, writing
  • Wexler, Sy, camera
  • Quigley, Margery Closey, 1886-1968
  • Montclair Public Library (Montclair, N.J.)
  • Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.). Film Library

Created / Published

  • United States : [Museum of Modern Art Film Library], 1940


  • -  Montclair Public Library (Montclair, N.J.)
  • -  Libraries--New Jersey--Montclair
  • -  Library users--New Jersey--Montclair


  • Sponsored films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  Based on the book, Portrait of a library, by Margery Closey Quigley and William Elder Marcus.
  • -  Photographed by Sy Wexler.
  • -  Photographed in Montclair, New Jersey, primarily at the original Montclair Free Public Library building on 73 Church Street.
  • -  Part of summary from the Montclair Public Library WWW site.
  • -  Sources used: Montclair Public Library WWW site, history page, viewed August 22, 2018; Montclair Local newspaper, April 8, 2018, (Montclair Public Library: a brief tour through 125 years of history) viewed online August 22, 2018; Educational film catalog 1940-1941 (published 1942), p. 33, viewed online August 22, 2018 via Internet Archive; National Film Preservation Foundation WWW site (Preserved films), viewed August 22, 2018.


  • 1 video file (digital, MPEG-4) (ca. 23 min.) : sd., b&w.

Source Collection

  • Montclair Public Library Collection (Library of Congress)

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2018600213

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Wexler, Sy, Camera, Margery Closey Quigley, Montclair Public Library, and Museum Of Modern Art . Film Library. Portrait of a Library. directeds by Burger, Hanušection, Writing [United States: Museum of Modern Art Film Library, 1940] Video.

APA citation style:

Wexler, S., Quigley, M. C., Montclair Public Library & Museum Of Modern Art . Film Library. (1940) Portrait of a Library. Burger, H., dir [United States: Museum of Modern Art Film Library] [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Wexler, Sy, Camera, et al. Portrait of a Library. dir by Burger, Hanušection, Writing [United States: Museum of Modern Art Film Library, 1940] Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.