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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Edith Head papers
    Date (inclusive): 1911-1981
    Date (bulk): 1950s-1970s
    Collection number: 22
    Creator: Head, Edith
    Extent: 16 linear feet of papers. 2 linear feet of photographs.
    Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Languages: English

    Important Information for Users of the Collection


    Available by appointment only.

    Publication rights

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are 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.

    Preferred Citation

    Edith Head papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


    Edith Head was an American costume designer active in film from 1932 to 1982. She was the head designer at Paramount for many years. She married production designer Wiard Ihnen in 1940. Head was nominated by the Academy 35 times in the costume design category. She received Academy Awards for her work on THE HEIRESS (1949), ALL ABOUT EVE (1950), SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949), A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953), SABRINA (1954), THE FACTS OF LIFE (1960), and THE STING (1973). She authored two books, "The Dress Doctor" and "How to Dress for Success."

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    The Edith Head papers span the years 1911-1981 (bulk 1950s-1970s) and encompass 18 linear feet. The collection contains costume design drawings; general files, including clippings, programs, material related to fashion shows and tours, studio biographies, articles written by Head, and material related to books authored by Head; contracts with Paramount (1932-1965), Universal (1965-1968), and the William Morris Agency (1961-1968); personal correspondence, primarily non-film related; six scrapbooks; awards, including 24 Academy Award nomination certificates and all of Head's Oscar statuettes; tape recordings; and photographs. Of particular interest are a small number of costume design drawings collected by Head from such designers as Travis Banton, Cecil Beaton, Howard Greer, Harold Grieve, Rene Hubert, and Robert Kalloch. The photograph series consists primarily of biography and subject photographs.


    Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files; 2. Television files; 3. Correspondence; 4. Subject files, subseries A-H as follows: A. General; B. Awards; C. Books; D. Contract files; E. Drawings; F. Manuscripts; G. Newspaper and magazine clippings (regarding Edith Head); H. Tape recordings; 5. Oversize; 6. Scrapbooks; 7. Photographs

    Indexing Terms

    Head, Edith , 1897-1981--Archives
    Costume designers