Robert Nelson Jacobs Papers

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert Nelson Jacobs Papers
Dates: 1977-2000
Collection Number: WGF-MS-014
Creator/Collector: Jacobs, Robert Nelson, 1954-
Extent: 2.5 linear feet
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Robert Nelson Jacobs Papers, 1977-2000, consist of scripts, development materials and research materials related to the feature film CHOCOLAT. The collection contains the original manuscript of the novel from which the film was adapted, early research materials, adaptation notes, correspondence with the studio and director as well as chronological drafts of the screenplay.
Language of Material: English


Available by appointment only.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

Robert Nelson Jacobs Papers. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated on February 26, 2014 by Robert Nelson Jacobs.

Biography/Administrative History

Robert Nelson Jacobs grew up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Yale University, where he received the Curtis Literary Prize for his short fiction, and he later earned a master’s degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He began his career as a writer of short stories that were published in little, prestigious magazines and generated little, prestigious income. His love of movies brought him to California, where it took a number of years for his writing to start paying the rent. Jacobs’ script for the film CHOCOLAT was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. His other produced screenplays include OUT TO SEE, DINOSAUR, THE SHIPPING NEWS, FLUSHED AWAY, THE WATER HORSE and EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES–(RNJ, May 2014).

Scope and Content of Collection

The Robert Nelson Jacobs Papers, 1977-2000 consist of material related to the feature film CHOCOLAT. All materials were written by Jacobs except where noted. The film chronicles the social dynamics of a small French town when a woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop during lent amid rigidly moral townsfolk. It is adapted from the original novel, Chocolat by Joanne Harris and was released January 19, 2001. It subsequently earned five Oscar nominations, four Golden Globe nominations, eight BAFTA Film Award nominations, as well as a WGAW nomination. Jacobs earned an Oscar nomination and a WGAW nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Materials Previously Published or Produced as well as a BAFTA nomination for Best Screenplay. Series I contains scripts – drafts to final shooting script from screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs. Subseries A includes the collection of scripts from the feature film CHOCOLAT, beginning with drafts dated mid-1999 through to the final published and bound shooting script. Series II consists of development materials related to the writing process of Robert Nelson Jacobs. Highlights include handwritten character development notes inscribed along the inside cover of The True History of Chocolate, individual scenes rewritten and faxed to set during filming and a note equating the consumption of chocolate visually to the taking of a communion wafer that does itself have a slight chocolate stain in the corner. Subseries A contains research materials including the original manuscript for the novel Chocolat as well as the scholarly tome on the ancient roots of chocolate, The True History of Chocolate. Subseries B documents the development of the film through faxes, emails and general correspondence between Robert Nelson Jacobs and director Lasse Hallström as well as development executives at Miramax Films.

Indexing Terms

Robert Nelson Jacobs--Archives
Writers Guild of America--Awards
Academy Awards(Motion pictures)
Chocolat (Motion picture : 2000)