The South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP) collects, preserves, digitizes, researches and screens home movies made by residents of Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods. Founded in 2005 by professor Jacqueline Stewart, SSHMP seeks to increase understanding of the many histories and cultures comprising Chicago’s South Side, and of amateur filmmaking practices, by asking owners of home movies to share their footage and describe it from their personal perspectives. The archive includes small-gauge films (8mm, Super8mm, 16mm) covering a period from the 1920s to the 1980s.
SSHMP reaches out to local residents to educate them about the value of their family films. We provide digital copies of film prints contributed to the archive, and conduct oral histories with participants in the project to accompany their home movies. We inspect and store original films in a state-of-the art, humidity- and climate-controlled film vault located in the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts and run by the University’s Film Studies Center.
SSHMP brings materials that are typically kept in private collections into public light and discussion. Through the digital archive presented here, and our active program of screenings and exhibitions across the South Side, SSHMP works to ensure that the diverse experiences and perspectives of South Siders will be available for study and appreciation by larger audiences and future generations.
We have preserved titles found on the reels and cans whenever possible, but for reels without any information the title we assigned is denoted in brackets.
Please see our FAQ Page for additional questions.
Director, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago
For inquiries related to research or donating your materials please contact:
For inquiries related to events or press please contact:
Film and Video Projects Manager
The South Side Home Movie Project is grateful for the generous support of the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture, Film Studies Center, Women's Board, and Office of Civic Engagement's Community Program Accelerator; and The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.