Bernadine Bailey (1901-1995) was an American travel writer from Mattoon, Illinois. Her travelogues and other writings on health, medicine, and politics were syndicated in widely-read publications such as Reader’s Digest, Today’s Health, Travel, as well as newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, among others. She is also the author of over 100 books on a variety of subjects, most centered on travel and tourism around the world.

Film was an integral part of Bailey’s work. In addition to various home movies of daily life, our collection includes Bernadine Bailey’s travel films, photographs, and slides from her journeys around the world. These films reveal the extent to which Bailey utilized the moving image in order to document her travels and supplement her travel writing, as well as for exhibitions and presentations of her travels. In these films, Bailey’s camera often focuses on the people of each place, documenting their cultural practices and customs, their daily lives, fashions, and hobbies. Several of the longer films in the collection, including Highlights of the Orient (1954), Behind the Iron Curtain (1957), Holiday in History (1959), and Springtime in Europe, Summer in Scandinavia (1964-1965) may have been screened in public venues with accompanying live narration.

The collection was donated by the Coles County County Historical Society, Mattoon, Illinois.