Scope and contents
Related Archival Materials note
Title: Western Television Programs Script Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MSA.35
Autry National Center, Autry Library
Language of Material:
35.75 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1950-1982
Western television programming features stories of the American West, usually occurring during the historical period of westward
expansion, from 1865-1900, and typically set in the western United States or northern Mexico. Popular series in this genre
. This collection of 996 Western television program scripts ranges from 1950-1982 and includes final scripts, drafts, notes,
and documents from Western television series, mini-series, television movies, and other programming.
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application
or contact library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center
as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
Walter Reuben acquired part of the collection from Douglas Hart in the 1980s and 1990s. Reuben collected the remainder of
the collection from various sources, often the editor or cutter of a specific series. The Autry purchased the entire collection
from Walter Reuben in 1999.
Western Television Programs Script Collection, 1950-1982, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MSA.35; [folder number] [folder title][date].
Purchase from Walter Reuben, 1999 July.
Western is a genre of entertainment that features the American West, typically during the historical period of westward expansion,
from 1865-1900. Time periods for these stories can occur during Mexican or American rule of the western United States, and
geographical settings are usually in the United States or sometimes in Northern Mexico.
Western television programs were preceded by Western radio plays and movies, which were popular in the United States in the
1940s, especially with children. As televisions became a staple of American households, Western television programs continued
to be successful among young audiences. In the 1950s, programs like
Gunsmoke started to change the typical Western format by introducing more complex and sophisticated storylines and themes which had
crossover appeal into the primetime market. Western television programs were most popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and included
The Big Valley, Bonanza, Cheyenne, The Gene Autry Show, Gunsmoke, Have Gun, Will Travel, The High Chaparral , Laramie, The
Lone Ranger, Maverick, Rawhide, The Rifleman, Sugarfoot, The Virginian, Wagon Train,
Wanted: Dead or Alive.
Scope and contents
This collection of scripts from Western television programs are from individual episodes of series, mini-series, pilots, and
specials from 1950-1982 and have been annotated by their original owners, who were actors, composers, editors, prop masters,
and other production staff. Folders include script drafts, notes, rewrites, and final versions. One press kit for the mini-series
Centennial is included. Some scripts include name and department ownership information for that particular copy, hand-written notes,
and laid-in production documents such as rehearsal schedules, shooting schedules, and budgets.
Processing and finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Project Archivist, 2012 April 12, made possible through grant
funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
- Series 1: Scripts, Western television series, 1950-1982
- Series 2: Scripts, other Western television programs, 1950-1982
Related Archival Materials note
David Dortort Collection, 1942-2005, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MSA.23
John Dunkel Scripts and Papers, 1945-1988, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MSA.37
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Alaskans (Television program : 1959-1960)
Barbary Coast (Television program : 1975-1976)
Bat Masterson (Television program : 1958-1961)
Best of the West (Television program : 1981-1982)
Big Valley (Television program : 1965-1969)
Bonanza (Television program : 1959-1973)
Bret Maverick (Television program : 1981-1982)
Bronco (Television program : 1958-1962)
Cheyenne (Television program : 1955-1963)
Cisco Kid (Television program : 1950-1956)
Colt .45 (Television program : 1957-1960)
Cowboy in Africa (Television program : 1967-1968)
Cowboys (Television program : 1980-1981)
Death Valley Days (Television program : 1952-1975)
Dirty Sally (Television program : 1974)
F Troop (Television program : 1965-1967)
Gunsmoke (Television program : 1955-1975)
High Chaparral (Television program : 1967-1971)
Iron horse (Television program : 1966-1968)
Klondike (Television program : 1960-1961)
Kung Fu (Television program : 1972-1975)
Laman (Television program : 1958-1962)
Laredo (Television program : 1965-1967)
Little House on the Prairie (Television program : 1974-1983)
Television -- Production and direction
Western television programs -- United States