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Specialists Manuscripts, Archives, Historical Documents, Travel Photography
VIEW DEALER INFORMATION
4927 Edendale Court
West Vancouver
British Columbia
Canada
V7W 3H7
Contact Bernhard Lauser
Telephone +1 604 720 2000
Website www.voyager-press.com
Specialists Manuscripts, Archives, Historical Documents, Travel Photography
Voyager Press Rare Books
Stand E03

1923 FILM MAKER ARCHIVE - Tibet - MONGOLIA - China - AFRICA

Film Maker Archive - Paul Lieberenz

Cinematography Archive Featuring the Travels and Works of Paul Lieberenz from 1923 to 1954. Includes Original Photographs, Letters, Journals, Passports, Original Film Typescripts, Copper Engraved Plates, etc., 1923 - 1954

Paul Lieberenz (1893-1954) was a German filmmaker and writer whose fame derived particularly from his expeditions and subsequent documentaries on wild game in Africa. He was one of the first German documentary film producer, and was equalled by few in his century. Between 1923 and 1939 he travelled several times to Africa. His work saw him to Abyssinia in 1923, Egypt in 1924, Cameroons in 1925, Belgian Congo and South Africa 1931, Portuguese Angola, and Liberia in 1947, the latter of which forms a large part of this archive.
Prior to this, in 1927-28 Lieberenz undertook an expedition with Sven Hedin to Inner Mongolia and Lapland, the most elaborately equipped of Hedin's expeditions. This resulted in some spectacular footage at least one book. In filming of the journey from Beijing inland to Urumqi, through rock pierced plains and vast deserts, with a caravan counting over 300 camels, and numerous assistants, he filmed one especially dramatic sandstorm. His beautifully illustrated firsthand account was published in his book titled "Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten, nach dem Tagebuch des Filmoperateurs der Expedition, Paul Lieberenz" [With Sven Hedin Across the Deserts of Asia, from the Diary of the Expedition's Film Director, Paul Lieberenz].

Note
Highlights from the archive include:
Four German (4) Passports, two (2) international driver's licenses, and other forms of identification belonging to Paul Lieberenz. Passports span the years of 1923-1943, illustrating travels to Egypt in 1924, to the Cameroons in 1925, to the Belgian Congo and South Africa 1931, to Spain via France in 1937, and much more. The second passport, valid from 1927 to 1932 was issued by the German Embassy in Peking, 23 March 1927, whilst Lieberenz was accompanying Sven Hedin on his Sino-Swedish expedition to Mongolia. Interesting passports with numerous customs clearances and colour stamps, unusually replete with verbose annotations. Also included is a motor car registration (kraftfahrzeugschein). Two identification cards (Ausweis-karte) from 1946 and 1948 each also feature a portrait photograph. A European Union Card from 1951, the first year of its issue, features 19 green stamps.
Six (6) steel print plates and two (2) copper print plates, for engraving the name and titles of "Paul Liberenz, Filmproduktion", for both Berlin-Temperlhof and berlin-Wilmersdorf. One plate prints his signature. The largest and heaviest weighs 436 grams.
The life and works of Paul Lieberenz in over 325 photographs, with particular attention to travels to inner Asia with Sven Hedin in 1927-1928, and to Liberia in 1947. We find 145 images mounted to 29 folio black cardstock leafs, capture memorable scenes of the filmmaker's family, colleagues and actors, possibly other film producers, travels abroad, career highlights and celebrations. A substantial number of these are from travels with Sven Hedin, including enrapturing images of an Armenian village, impoverished nomadic people, never-ending mountain ranges, and Arabic communities. In itself a visual bibliography, other images are taken in Gemany, Kaffa province in Abyssinia, Liberia, Egypt, and Mongolia, and span most of his lifetime. Photographs vary in size, two are panoramic views, the majority measuring 12 x 17 cm, and three large ones measuring 29 x 33cm. A dossier contains 120 spectacular photographs taken in Liberia in 1947 for his 'Stroll Around the World' film released in 1949. Images from this collection reveal, in vivid form, indigenous custom of the Pepper Coast shortly after the country became a vocal critic of the South African apartheid regime.
Together with two signed publicity photographs professionally printed and mounted by J.V. Tucholka of Berlin-Charlottenburg, each measuring 23 x 17 cm, with penciled signature to mount.
Together with a small string-tied album of 54 photographs centered around Germany, but also featuring some views of Pillau (now Baltiysk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia), and a sojourn to East Prussia from 2 to 22 July 1934.
Contracts between Lieberenz and film production companies, and extensive correspondence, mostly from the 1950s, representing Twentieth Century Fox, the Transocean Film Company, and many German producers of kulturfilm. Housed in two very large ring binders, we find obscure and little known short film scripts, some possibly never having been produced, such as one on the elephants in Liberia, dated 1947. Also inserted between the documents of legalese and many letters, are a few more photographs, a rare quarto sized portrait of Wilhelm Filchner looking aptly weathered after expedition through Tibet in 1905 being a curious highlight.

Ten (10) separate filmography dossiers pertaining to the planning, licensing, and execution of Lieberenz films, some virtually bursting with documents, in and of themselves historically illuminating whole serving to demonstrate the immense work involved in film production. Five of the dossiers pertain to the 'First German Liberia Expedition' which took place in 1947. Two of these are working drafts for publishing, titled "Frohe Studen bei dunklen Menschen [Happy Times spent with Dark People]" one of which is a 344 page typed narrative, the other containing 120 captioned photographs with reference to page numbers in the text. The volume of photographs is especially endearing to the nation's people and their traditional ways, as the photographer was immersed into the community for some time, affording us unusually carefree images of tribal chiefs, kings and queens, and so much more. Boards are heavily chipped at extremities, and one front is detached, otherwise contents are in very good condition. Two other dossiers contain innumerable documents and correspondence, and the final item pertaining to this expedition is a formal printing of the 'Plan and Organization' in yellow wrappers, with text in both German and English, and including a folding map.

In addition to the Liberia expedition, five further dossiers continue to record the tireless work of one German filmographer. One of these contains more text for later, as well as a script for "Der Ranger" and related correspondence with the Assoiated British Picture Corporation, a lesser known film dealing with diamond mines in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Another which is titled 'Der Weg in die Welt [The Road to the World]' deals with German colonial schools and includes two offprints printed in 1974 and 1975 with the same title, contains documents from 1958 to 1970. Another titled 'Lieberenz Unterlagen 1954 [Lieberenz Documents]' contains official documents such as licenses for his own productions, some from the British Information Control Commission, some multi page reports to the Military Government of Germany which outlines film income and assets, so forth.
Paul Lieberenz died 31 August 1954. A collection of 34 condolence letters and 1 telegram, sent to his wife Gerti from film institutes, movie producers, and the like, features many with mourning borders, most signed in the original by some notables of the time. Finally, the latest folder memorializes his contribution to a book by Von Franz Born titled "Ehrenbürger von Berlin" with a 9 part serial extract of the work illustrated with Lieberenz photographs, printed in a German newspaper, September to November 1961. Together with 5 letters to Gerti Lieberenz, of Lieberenz Filmproduktion, in 1962, relating to the book.

Two (2) newspaper published reviews of his most famous works, one pertaining to the 1927-1928 Sven Hedin expedition and Lieberenz' captivating imagery, offering a large camels in desert scene with the article. The other is an article on his travels into 'unknown Africa' with Hans Schomburgh [Der Weg ins Unbekannte Afrika] with a full page cover photo.
Further groupings of photographs and photographic postcards (not included in the above count), one of the latter bearing Lieberenz' signature, brief printed texts, and newspaper clippings are thematically organized.

Condition
Cinematography archive, the travels and works of Paul Lieberenz from 1923 to 1954, including some lesser known films and some that may have never seen production, features over 345 photographs including 2 large professional portraits, 4 passports and other identification, 11 dossiers containing innumerable letters and assorted documents, original film typescripts, 2 large binders of contracts with production studios and related material, 8 personalized steel and copper engraved plates, newspaper reviews, and 9 pocket sized day journals. Also includes some posthumous items relating to his death and a biography in his honour, up to 1970. Most text is in German, with a scant few documents in both German and English. Water damage to some passports, most likely occurring in the field, otherwise the lot in very good condition. Contained in acid free archival boxes for extra protection.