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Birds of paradise and spiders (beauty and the beast)

Identifier: Film Collection no. 95

Scope and Contents

SEGMENT 1: Birds of Paradise. Ernest Thomas Gilliard, AMNH curator of birds, joins Charles Collingwood to discuss birds of paradise as examples of beauty. Gilliard led an expedition to New Guinea in 1953-54 to study the birds of paradise, found almost exclusively in New Guinea. Their uses in native costume are shown. A large photographic blow-up of the birds is used as a backdrop for the discussion in the studio. SEGMENT 2: Spiders. Demonstrating the beauty and the beast in nature, this segment contrasts with the previous one. It features poisonous killers such as scorpions and tarantulas. Filmed at the museum, Willis John Gertsch, curator in the museum's Department of Insects and Spiders, discusses how spiders destroy their prey.


  • 1955


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through inter-library loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (30 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (30 minutes)) : sound, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy

Other Finding Aids

Finding aid: script.


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired Feb. 13, 1955 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Charles Collingwood, host; Mel Ferber, director; Robert Northshield, producer; Jac Venza, assistant producer; Marianna Norris, script editor; Edward F. Norworth, writer; Joan Woodward, associate director; Grover Cole, production design; Perry Miller, film research; Al Mifelow, program assistant; Bernard Birnbaum, film editor; Frank Protzman, technical director; Myron Bleam, set director; Hal Anderson, light director; Dee Chandler, program coordinator.

Birds of paradise and spiders (beauty and the beast), 1955
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420