Collection ID: NPKMC-222-111

Collection context


Thomas, Lowell, 1892-1981
The Lowell Thomas Film Collection encompasses a wide range of materials documenting the travels of Lowell Thomas and Lowell Thomas Jr. These materials include 35mm motion picture prints and negatives, 16mm motion picture film and ¼ inch audio tape.
3933 Cans of Film and 681 Linear Feet
Preferred citation:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Lowell Thomas Film Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.


Scope and Content:

The Lowell Thomas Film Collection consists of video tapes and motion picture films arranged by form of material into two subseries. The subseries are divided further into sub subseries arranged by form of material or subject. Of particular interest are the motion picture films related to Thomas's Cinerama productions, the "High Adventure with Lowell Thomas" series, and the journey to Tibet. Also of interest are the films of interviews and lectures given by Thomas or Lowell Thomas, Jr. A project to digitize these recordings is on-going. Materials without digital versions may be digitized at the researcher's expense. Researchers should consult with the archivist regarding the available digital versions.

Biographical / Historical:

It was the declaration of war in 1917 that initiated Lowell Thomas’s travels across the globe. He would document what was happening on the war front and report back to his fellow Americans to aid in the war effort. Though after a short period of time filming the war efforts, Thomas felt his work would be better suited elsewhere and after given the opportunity to capture the British war in Arabia, he gladly accepted. While on this trip he met General Edmund Allenby and T.E. Lawrence. He spent days with Lawrence, photographing and filming him - materials that would later be used in one of Thomas’s travelogues.

Afterwards, Thomas continued his travels to Burma, India, Malaya, Europe and Russia. All the while filming, and documenting each journey. Many of these trips were presented to the public via travelogue productions and books that Thomas wrote. In 1930 Thomas became a radio broadcaster, presenting ‘Lowell Thomas and the News’ for 46 years on NBC and CBS radio.

Later, in 1954, Thomas along with a group of investors purchased majority control of the Hudson Valley Broadcasting Company. In just a few short years the company became known as Capital Cities Communications. With the purchase of a television station in Albany, New York and several radio stations Capital Cities became a national company. During his time with Cap Cities, as it came to be known, Thomas produced a series of travelogues under the name of ‘High Adventures with Lowell Thomas’. Places such as Russia, Nepal, New Guinea and Africa were just some of the areas of focus.

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Custodial history:

The Lowell Thomas Film Collection was donated to Marist College by the Thomas family in 2006 and 2013.


Collection is arranged into nineteen series: 1) Africa, 2) Alaska, 3) Arctic, 4) Australia, 5) Belgian Congo, 6) Danger Island, 7) India, 8) Intros, 9) Nepal, 10) New Guinea, 11) Russia, 12) Sinbad, 13) Tibet, 14) Venezuela, 15) Atomic, 16) Bertha Vester, 17) Cinerama, 18() East Asia, and 19) Home Movies

Rules or conventions:
DACS Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013.

Indexed Terms

Thomas, Lowell, 1923-2016



There are no restrictions on this collection


Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives & Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website:


[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Lowell Thomas Film Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, United States