Sunday, March 1, 2020

One of My Favorite Discoveries

Over the past two decades researching Rudolph Valentino, I have experienced many awestruck moments of discovery. Without a doubt one of the most jaw-dropping was a scrapbook I found in 2003.

It was then I visited Frank E. Campbell's Funeral Home in New York City. Incredibly I was allowed to review and photograph all of their Rudolph Valentino archive. Shortly after my visit I announced my discoveries online and was soon informed by Campbell's that the Valentino family contacted them and told them not to share the documents publicly. I already had shared them online.

I was allowed to photograph and share publicly the contents of Campbell's great scrapbook full of clippings about Valentino's funeral. These clippings were collected from news publications from around the world and I found it completely fascinating. I also found it disintegrating and crumbling. I was allowed to turn the pages myself and with each cautious turn more of the delicate paper disappeared.

I brought this to the attention of Campbell's curator and he assured me they would do something about restoring this valuable document. I never learned whether they did or not but I have many images from that great tome. The images are not of the greatest quality but fortunately I was able to document much of the content.

I have posted more pages from the scrapbook and the Campbell's archive on the website under the tab, “Our Valentino Library – The Campbell's Documents”.