James Blue Papers to Permanently Reside at UO Libraries

SCUA receives papers, photographs, and films of award-winning documentary filmmaker

The University of Oregon Libraries is pleased to announce that the personal papers and collected production materials of renowned filmmaker and UO alumnus James Blue (BA '53) have found a permanent home in the Special Collections & University Archives.

The James Blue Papers are a gift of the Blue family. The materials were first placed on deposit in UO Libraries Special Collections in December 2013, and the deed of gift was finalized on April 10, 2015. The collection consists of the filmmaker's personal papers, production materials, correspondence, photographs, sound recordings, and films, including the award-winning Olive Trees of Justice (1962), The March (1963), and A Few Notes on Our Food Problem (1968).

James Blue (1930-1980) was internationally recognized as a groundbreaking filmmaker and documentarian as well as an educator, actor, avid film historian, and advocate of experimentation in the non-fiction form. He was the recipient of the Cannes Film Festival Critics' Prize (1962), a Ford Foundation grant (1964), and an Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature (1968). His film The March, documenting the 1963 Civil Rights march to Washington, D.C. that culminated with Martin Luther King's famous speech, was named to the National Film Registry in 2008 and was preserved by the National Archives in 2013. In his career as an educator, Blue taught and lectured at UCLA, Yale, Rice University, SUNY-Buffalo, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, and the British Film Institute, influencing a generation of media makers. Blue believed in the “democratization” of media access and production; he championed the use of inexpensive film and video production technology that could be used by “non-professionals.” Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to promote the craft of telling true stories with moving images.

Read a feature article on James Blue originally published in the UO Libraries' magazine Building Knowledge.

A wealth of information about the filmmaker is available at The James Blue Project.