Scans of SMP(T)E Indexes and Issues Available Online

Much of professional analog audio engineering was developed by the motion picture studios, or for the sound systems for motion pictures, and was published in the Journal of the Society of Motion Picture (later: and Television) Engineers.

The period 1930 through 1954 covers some crucial areas in the development of sound systems:

1) the first standardized sound-on-film motion pictures (Fox Movietone/Western Electric system, and the Academy aperture),

2) the development of completely silent film cameras, perhaps epitomized by the Twentieth Century Camera (also known as the Fox Studio Camera), which was a completely silent, and yet completely unblimped camera, suitable for production (sound) shooting in any environment, and from any power source,

3) the early experiments with "electronic" television,

4) the development of magnetic film and magnetic tape recorders and reproducers, and their integration into the production process,

5) experimental and commercially successful "wide screen" systems, most of which are still in use today, but under different names,

6) the development of "compatible" color television, which hammered in the final nail on the coffin of movies, until the resurrection of same in recent years, say, after "Star Wars", and the integration of color, wide-screen and stereo systems into one technically elegant and commercially successful package ,and, of course, many other interesting topics.

 The scans of indexes to the Journal of Motion Picture (and Televisien) Engineers from 1916 to l970, and the issues from 1930 to 1954, are now available online from the links below. The scans are of excellent quality, and we recommend downloading of the "black and white" scans, rather than the "color" scans. ("Color" scans will appear yellowish; "black and white" scans will appear in gray scale).

The indexes as follows are by author, and by subject:

          Index to J SMPE for the years 1916...1930

          Index to J SMPE for the years 1930...1935

          Index to J SMPE for the years 1936...1945

          Index to J SMPTE for the years 1946...1950

          Index to J SMPTE for the years 1951...1955

          Index to J SMPTE for the years 1956...1960

          Index to J SMPTE for the years 1961...1965

          Index to J SMPTE for the years 1965...1970

Each number downloads an entire volume, and takes you to its beginning. One volume is 6 months, with the even volumes being January thru June (with an index at the end of June), and the odd volumes being July thru December (with an index at the end of December). Currently, numerals 14 through 62 are available online, and represent, respectively, 1930 January through June, (Volume XIV) and 1954 January through June, (Volume 62). (Early Volumes are indexed by Roman numerals; later ones by Arabic numerals.)

1930 ( 14 15 ); 1931 ( 16 17 ); 1932 ( 18 19 ); 1933 ( 20 21 ); 1934 ( 22 23 );

1935 ( 24 25 ); 1936 ( 26 27 ); 1937 ( 28 29 ); 1938 ( 30 31 ); 1939 ( 32 33 );

1940 ( 34 35 ); 1941 ( 36 37 ); 1942 ( 38 39 ); 1943 ( 4041 ); 1944 ( 42 43 );

1945 ( 44 45 ); 1946 ( 46 47 ); 1947 ( 48 49 ); 1948 ( 50 51 ); 1949 ( 52 53 );

1950 ( 54 55 ); 1951 ( 56 57 ); 1952 ( 58 59 ); 1953 ( 60 61 ); 1954 ( 62 ).


The "View the book" box on the left of the first screen gives choices for reading or downloading the volume.

NOTE that "Help reading texts" is at the very bottom -- it tells where to get some of the other readers, and other things.

"Read Online" lets you page thru a scan of the entire volume. The “<-“ and “->” at the far right end of the bottom bar move you one page backward or forward. At the bottom on each page there is a “pointing-finger” runner that you can drag, to go directly to any page. On the left and right side of the displayed page(s) are vertical lines representing “the other pages of the volume”; put your cursor there and it will show a page number; click on it, and it will take you there. You can print pages by using the “Print” icon in your browser toolbar. “+” and “-“ zoom in and out. Type a word into the “search inside” box at the top, and click “Go”, and it will find the pages where it occurs (it may take a while -- be patient); hover over an icon at the bottom of the page, and it diplays the paragraph where the word occurs; click on the icon, and it shows the page where the word occurs, with the word marked.

But to save the whole file, use the tools below:

"PDF" downloads the entire volume of PDF. This is the "most complete" file, since it is scans of the journal pages of text and pictures. From there, you can use the PDF tools to go to a page, extract specified pages, print, etc.

"B/W PDF" does same, but in B/W -- much BETTER for SMPE, since there's no color there anyway, it's smaller, and it gets rid of the yellowish background color.

"EPUB" see It sure is small!

"Kindle" saves a formatted OCR scan,with pictures, for reading with a Kindle reader It doesn't seem to handle tables very well.

"Daisy" see

"FULL TEXT" is the raw OCR scan of the entire volume; no pics, little formatting. Smallest version.

Compiled by permission from emails of

Peter Haas <[email protected]> , who has had a lifelong interest in motion picture sound systems, particularly those of Western Electric and Westrex. He is a former Amdahl Corporation engineer and engineering manager, now retired,

and Jay McKnight <[email protected]> , at Magnetic Reference Laboratory.


2013-11-06, rev 2017-11-27 jm

AES - Audio Engineering Society