Curtis Harrington papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Curtis Harrington papers
Date (inclusive): 1875-2008
Date (bulk): 1945-2006
Collection number: 287
Creator: Harrington, Curtis
Extent: 30 linear feet of papers.
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

Curtis Harrington papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Curtis Harrington, 1991-1998; bequest of Curtis Harrington estate, 2007


Curtis Harrington was an American experimental filmmaker, director, producer, and screenwriter. In the 1940s and 1950s, he emerged as a filmmaker when he wrote and directed several experimental avante garde shorts. He served as the executive assistant to Jerry Wald from 1956 to 1961 and as an associate producer at 20th Century-Fox. Curtis largely discarded the "experimental" tradition in his feature work which specialized in low-budget horror pictures.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Curtis Harrington papers span the years 1875-2008 (bulk 1945-2006) and encompass 30 linear feet. There are scripts, correspondence, clippings, reviews, and production material for Harrington? experimental films from the 1940s through mid-1950s, work he did as Jerry Wald? assistant from 1956 to 1963, and his own films from 1963 to 2002. There is correspondence related to his work in television, story files comprised of scripts, correspondence with experimental filmmakers, and drafts of an incomplete autobiography. The subject files include correspondence with Harrington? experimental film distributor Brandon Films, genealogical and personal material on Harrington? family, interviews, a journal, notebooks, and drafts of Harrington? oral history conducted here at the Academy. Finally, there are writings, books on film and filmmaking, periodicals, and three scrapbooks.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 2. Television files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 3. Story files; 4. Correspondence; 5. Subject files; 6. Writings; 7. Books; 8. Periodicals; 9. Oversize; 10. Scrapbooks

Indexing Terms

Harrington, Curtis , 1926-2007--Archives