Skip to main content

Bob Blair collection

Identifier: COD0000063-ACC 2013-0005

The Bob Blair Collection documents the wartime activity of a civilian newsreel cameraman, providing information about the policies governing the work of civilian reporters covering the D-Day landings. The collection also provides photo documentation of life as a NBC news cameraman in the early days of broadcast news. These records document the high points of Blair’s work in television news. The Blair Collection also includes significant equipment holdings that demonstrate the physical nature of moving image journalism during this period.


  • 1920-1993
  • Majority of material found in 1943-1960



This collection has been processed. Materials in this collection may be accessed upon request. Contact curator Dr. Greg Wilsbacher at for more information.

Copyright and Use

Copyright University of South Carolina. All rights reserved.


7 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Robert “Bob” Henry Blair was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 25, 1904. He began work originally as an artist, working for photography studios adding color to prints. This work in art led him to the field of motion picture animation where he first learned to use a camera. During the depression Blair took up work as a freelance newsreel cameraman operating in the Midwest. The experience of freelancing made him expert in the use of the portable 35 mm, Bell & Howell Eyemo camera. With the onset of the war, Blair was freelancing predominantly for Fox Movietone News. In 1943, Fox offered Blair the job as official war correspondent for Movietone. In this capacity Blair traveled to England in the late April of 1944 and crossed over to France shortly after the D-Day invasion (probably around June 10) as part of the five-member newsreel roto pool. He filmed combat in the European Theater until October 1945. After the war Blair continued with Movietone. He then became a news cameraman for NBC. Blair filmed events throughout the south and east for NBC until his retirement. He died in Georgia on August 10, 1993.

Physical Location

Moving Image Research Collections. 707 Catawba St. Columbia, SC 29208.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Bob Blair Collection was donated to Moving Image Research Collections by his son, Bob Blair, Jr. on May 8, 2013. At the time of donation, the materials were stored in Bob Blair, Jr.’s farm in Woodstock, VA.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Dr. Greg Wilsbacher in 2013.


Repository Details

Part of the Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC) Repository

707 Catawba Street
Columbia SC 29208

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script