A. Arnold Gillespie photographs

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2014

Descriptive Summary

Title: A. Arnold Gillespie photographs
Date (inclusive): 1936-1962
Collection number: 1089
Creator: Gillespie, A. Arnold
Extent: 4.5 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

A. Arnold Gillespie photographs, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. A. Arnold Gillespie, 1984


Albert Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie was a American special effects expert and art director employed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios from 1925 to 1965. He came to Hollywood in the early 1920s and by 1925 he was working as a set designer and art director at the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio under the supervision of Cedric Gibbons. The studio made him head of the special effects department in 1936. Gillespie became known for his extensive work and expertise with miniatures. He received 12 Academy Award nominations, three of which resulted in Oscars: THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944), GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (1947), and BEN-HUR (1959). He shared a 1963 Class III Academy Scientific Award with Douglas Shearer for the development of an improved background process projection system.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The A. Arnold Gillespie photographs span the years 1936-1965 and encompass 4.5 linear feet. The collection consists entirely of 8x10 photographic frame enlargements of special effects created by Gillespie for 173 films produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Many titles include corresponding information sheets or notations on the reverse of the photographs, giving specific information about how each shot was achieved or used in the film as well as budget figures, scene numbers, and the personnel and equipment used.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Motion picture production photographs

Indexing Terms

Gillespie, A. Arnold , 1899-1978--Archives.