Library Fun Finds 6.17.22

by Lauren VanDenBerg on

Library News

Field photograph of Barnum Brown and colleague excavating a dinosaur skeleton, Morrison Formation, 1934. Excavating dinosaur skeleton, Morrison Formation, 1934
B. Brown/© AMNH
Welcome to Library Fun Finds! An ongoing series where we share some of the fun and unique items we come across in the library and archives collections.

Today’s find really highlights that science and science communication are two different skills.

In 1934, while out on an expedition for dinosaur bones in the Big Horn Bad Lands, Barnum Brown and team produced a film "Dr. Brown Leaves to Search for Prehistoric Animals” and sent it to Paramount News for possible distribution. Safe to say, Paramount did not hold back on their thoughts and feedback.

July 1, 1934 letter from Paramount News regarding dinosaur expedition story.
From Central Archive, July 1, 1934 letter from Paramount News regarding dinosaur expedition story.
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH
July 1, 1934 Paramount News Negative Report with feedback about proposed dinosaur expedition story.
From Central Archive, July 1, 1934 Paramount News Negative Report with feedback about proposed dinosaur expedition story.
L. VanDenBerg/© AMNH

The feedback slip criticizes the film as sounding “too much like a scientific lecture.” That the speeches are “dull” and “when they bring ‘em back alive, maybe we’ll use (it).”

Dr. Brown was spared this critique by friends in the museum and other plans were made for expedition publicity.

This entry was written by Lauren VanDenBerg, Shelby White & Leon Levy Project Archivist.