Papers of Jean Labatut, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library

A 16-mm black-and-white film of a June 1936 voyage of the HINDENBURG is now part of the manuscripts division of Princeton’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. The 12-minute film, donated by author and journalism professor John McPhee ’53, was shot by architecture professor Jean Labatut on a trip from Lakehurst, N.J., to Frankfurt, Germany. 

Labatut gave the film to McPhee more than 40 years ago when the author was researching a book about an aircraft developed during the 1960s and ’70s. McPhee presented a digitally remastered version to the University Library. It offers views as the airship flies along coastal New Jersey, New York City, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Europe. The Hindenburg exploded and burned in May 1937.

The film can be viewed at