The Motion Picture Association of America certificate books span the years 1934-1965 and encompass 6.7
linear feet. The collection contains 140 Production Code certificate books from the California office of
the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America. Each 10-inch by 10 3/4-inch book once contained
150 certificates, numbered sequentially, with three certificates per page. These are the original books
from which the certificates were detached and given to the producers, once a film had been approved,
leaving the stub behind. The stub includes the certificate number, stamped approval date, film title,
release and production company, and the length, given in number of reels. Since certificate numbers were
assigned prior to actual approval, the stamped approval dates do not follow a strict chronology. The
books, with certificate numbers 1 through 21,002, are arranged sequentially by certificate number.
The Motion Picture Association of America is an American film self-censorship organization. In 1922,
the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) was formed with Will Hays as president,
primarily to defend the film industry against censorship. In 1930, Hays introduced the Production Code, a
document designed to help the industry regulate itself by following certain moral principles and
guidelines. Hays chose Joseph Breen to oversee the administration of the Code in 1934. Under Breen, the
studios were required to submit all screenplays for approval. In 1946, the organization changed its name
to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Hays was succeeded by Eric Johnston. The
Production Code remained in force until 1968, when it was superseded by the MPAA ratings system, which is
still in use today.
6.7 linear feet of papers.
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responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies
or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.
Available by appointment only.