The MPPDA Digital Archives consists of a database of the extant records of the General Correspondence files of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., covering the period from 1922 to 1939. Established in 1922, the MPPDA was the trade association for the motion picture industry, and included all the major companies producing and distributing motion pictures in the United States in its membership. The association was popularly known as the Hays Office, after its first President, Will H. Hays, who remained in office until 1945. Hays was a leading Republican party politician, who resigned from President Warren Harding's Cabinet to take up the MPPDA position. After Hays' retirement, the association was renamed the Motion Picture Association of America.

The documents in the MPPDA's General Correspondence files are an immensely rich source of information about the history of the motion picture industry. They describe the organization and operation of the industry's trade association, and include extensive correspondence and other documentation relating to industry policy and public relations, distributor-exhibitor relations, censorship and self-regulation. The great majority of this material is unavailable from other sources.

Featured Records

Records

Record ID: #29
Response to Hamner letter of 03-23-1923. Hays appends a resolution taken by members of the MPPDA, a reaffirmation of noble purpose, especially since "the future freedom of the industry from both political and unofficial censorship" is in the balance.

Record ID: #7
Relationships between the various committees; restatement of the aims of the Public Relations Committee (CPR); employment by the Committee of an executive officer. Public relations: Hays offers the committee an Executive Secretary paid for by MPPDA, and offers to pay committee members' expenses.