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Albert A. Dorskind Papers Finding Aid
605999  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Albert A. Dorskind Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1915 - 1995
    Bulk dates: 1958 - 1977
    Collection Number: 605999
    Creator: Dorskind, Albert A.
    Extent: Approximately 68 items
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Architecture Collections
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the professional papers of Albert A. Dorskind (1922-2004) generated during his tenure as an executive at MCA Inc. The papers primarily document Dorksind’s work developing Universal City and the Universal Studios Tour tourist attraction in Los Angeles, California, from the late 1950s into the 1970s. Document types include master plans, reports, and publications.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on April 29, 2014.

    Administration Information

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining permission rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Albert A. Dorskind Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    This collection was donated by Albert A. Dorskind on January 14, 2000.

    Biographical Note

    Albert A. Dorskind (1922 - 2004) was a former executive at MCA Inc. who created the modern Universal Studios Tour and guided the construction and growth of Universal City in California.
    Born in the State of New York, Dorskind earned bachelor’s and law degrees from Cornell University. After working for the Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. for an unspecified amount of time, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, to work for Paramount Pictures as an attorney. In 1953, Dorskind joined MCA to work on its Revue Productions. In 1957, he negotiated the purchase of 374 acres of the old Universal lot, which he saw an opportunity for commercial development. But Dorskind was faced with a more pressing issue at the time: the studio lot commissary was a money loser every year, and he was tasked to turn it around. One day when Dorskind was walking around the Farmers Market in Los Angeles, he saw tourists filing out of a bus and he was inspired to replicate that experience for the commissary. The initial proposal called for outside tour buses to drive through the movie lot and stop by the commissary for meals. Later on, Dorskind was able to convince MCA Chairman Lew Wasserman to invest in facilities and infrastructures upgrades for the lot, such as adding trams, food courts, restrooms, and parking lots. In 1964, the modern Universal Studios Tour (part of the Universal Studios Hollywood) was born. Over the next few decades, he oversaw the construction of various rides and attractions, hotels, Universal Amphitheater, office buildings, and movie complex in Universal City.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains the professional papers of Albert A. Dorskind (1922-2004) generated during his tenure as an executive at MCA Inc. The papers primarily document Dorksind’s work developing Universal City and the Universal Studios Tour tourist attraction in Los Angeles, California, from the late 1950s into the 1970s. The Dorskind Papers are organized alphabetically by item formats. There are a total of three legal upright boxes, one oversize box and four bound volumes. A list of books, magazines, and videos donated by Dorskind is also attached at the end of the container list.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    See also: photCL 240 in The Huntington's Photograph Archives, which contains photographs and ephemera related to Universal Studios and Universal City that were donated by Albert Dorskind and complement and supplement this collection.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in the following two series:
    • Series I. Main
    • Series II. Related Materials

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Dorskind, Albert A.
    Amusement parks – California – Universal City.
    Executives – California – Los Angeles – History.
    Hotels – California – Universal City.
    MCA Inc.
    Tourism – California – Universal City.
    Universal City (Calif.)
    Universal Studios Hollywood.

    Forms/Genres

    Agreements.
    Master plans.
    Reports.