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Moscow May Day

Identifier: Film Collection no. 227

Scope and Contents

Despite the title given to this film by William James Morden, it was probably made in November of 1928 during the anniversary celebrations of the Bolshevik Revolution, rather than during May Day festivities. Morden went to the Soviet Union in November to obtain permits for the AMNH Morden-Graves North Asiatic Expedition to collect mammals in Turkestan the following year. The first part of the film features historic sites in Leningrad and Moscow. The Leningrad sites include the Central Naval Museum, the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Winter Palace, and the Hermitage. The Moscow footage shows the Kremlin, Novodevichy Convent, and Red Square, in which stands St. Basil's Cathedral, built by Ivan the Terrible. Noticeably absent from Red Square is the Lenin Mausoleum, which was built later. Street scenes and market scenes appear throughout the film. The parade at the end of the film is made up of horse-drawn cannons, artillery, tanks, and rows of marching soldiers. Overhead airplanes fly in formation. Artistic floats, designed to be abstract models of tractors and other machinery in the avantgarde constructivist style of the time pass by. A sign on one float translates: "Let's fulfill the five year plan in four years."


  • 1928

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (14 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 35 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (14 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

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


Original format: 35 mm. print; incomplete.



William James Morden, photographer.

Moscow May Day, 1928
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
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