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A Guide to the Harvey E. Gutman Films

Finding aid created by Daniel A. Reboussin

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
June 2010

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Gutman, Harvey E.
Title: Harvey E. Gutman Films
Dates: 1959-1973
Abstract: Digital reproductions of motion picture films created by Harvey E. Gutman in several countries in which he lived while working in various capacities for the Agency for International Development, USAID (1958-1980).
Extent: 0.01 Linear feet. 5 DVD videodiscs.
Identification: MS Group 112 2/17
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Harvey E. Gutman (1921-2006) was born in St. Gallen, Switzerland on July 1, 1921 and died at the age of 85 in Sarasota, Florida on September 1, 2006. His parents lived in Munich; but his birth in Switzerland may have saved his life, as he was able to emigrate to the U.S. as a German under the Swiss quota in 1938. His brother Gerry was sent to Britain in 1939, interned as an "enemy alien" and later sent on the "children's transport" to Australia, where he eventually became a government economist. After arriving in the U.S., Harvey lived with distant relatives in Oregon. He went to school and worked as a clerk in an insurance company before joining the Army during World War II, seeing frontline combat in France and Germany and for which he received the Bronze Star for his work in intelligence. His bachelor's degree was from the University of Portland and he earned a Master's degree in International Relations from American University. He became a Foreign Service Officer with the Agency for International Development, USAID. Assignments included Laos (1958-1960), Togo (1961-1963), Mali and Guinea (1963), Madagascar (1964-1965), Ethiopia (1966), France (1966-1968), Vietnam and Thailand (1968-1971), Switzerland (1971), Morocco (1971-1975), Liberia (1975-1978), Niger (1978-1980) and Washington, D.C. He retired from USAID in 1980 but continued to work as an economic consultant on projects in Africa (Senegal, Chad, Zaire, Djibouti, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Rwanda) and elsewhere (Belize, Philippines). He moved to Sarasota in 1991 and passed away in 2006.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 5 DVDs reproduced from about 105 reels of film, approximately 10 hours of footage, created by Harvey E. Gutman between 1959 and 1973.

Locations and subjects include: Vientiane, Laos (1959); Saigon [now Ho Chi Minh City], Vietnam (1960, 1966); Taipei/Hong Kong (1960); Dapango and Lomé, Togo (1961, 1962, 1973?); Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo (1961?); Niger and Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso]; Nairobi, Kenya (1964); Tanzania; Antananarivo, Madagascar (1964); Bangkok and Udon, Thailand (1970); Timor, Indonesia (1970); Melilla, Fez, Casbah, Oujda and Erfond, Morocco (1971).

Subject matter ranges widely, but includes a number of settings not commonly visited by tourists or casual visitors such as rural farming areas, villages, refugee camps, local markets and industrial facilities such as ports and mines. Included are scenes of farm activities, cottage weaving, well drilling and irrigation systems. There are several scenes depicting local government vehicles, road building equipment and maintenance (clearing the road with elephants on the road from Nan to Chiang Mai, Thailand), etc. A variety of public and/or religious holiday celebrations and festivals are also included as is one sequence from a fashion show in Bangkok in 1970.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Harvey E. Gutman was interviewed in 1997 for inclusion with The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (see, available through the Library of Congress American Memory project at

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Harvey E. Gutman Films, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The 5 DVDs, reproduced from about 105 reels of film or approximately 10 hours of footage, was donated by Carol Lee Gilbert, Trustee of the Harvey E. Gutman Trust of Sarasota, Florida in August 2007. The collection was acquired through the assistance of Rebecca Nagy and Dan Reboussin.

Processing Notes

These films were described in 2007 by Dan Reboussin.

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Amateur films.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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