William Selig papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: William Selig papers
Date (inclusive): 1857-1979
Date (bulk): 1900-1923
Collection number: 2
Creator: Selig, William N.
Extent: 15 linear feet of papers. 6 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

William Selig papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


"Colonel" William N. Selig was an American producer active in film from 1896 to 1938. He founded the Selig Polyscope Company and co-founded the Motion Picture Patents Company. Selig shared a 1947 Special Academy Award for being a pioneer in the developing art of motion pictures.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The William Selig papers span the years 1857-1979 (bulk 1900-1923) and encompass 21 linear feet. The collection consists of production files (continuities and credit sheets for many of the Selig one- and two-reel shorts from 1908 to 1917), scripts and story material, clippings, correspondence files, subject files (primarily related to early film history patents and Selig Polyscope Company releases), books and pamphlets, oversize material, scrapbooks, and photographs.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Feature films and serials; B. Short subjects; 2. Story files; 3. Correspondence, subseries A-B as follows: A. William Selig; B. Foreign; 4. Subject files, subseries A-B as follows: A. General; B. Books and periodicals; 5. Oversize; 6. Scrapbooks; 7. Photographs, subseries A-C as follows: A. Motion picture production; B. Biography; C. Subject

Indexing Terms

Selig, William N. , 1864-1948--Archives