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Screen Writers' Guild Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Screen Writers' Guild Records
    Dates: 1933-1954
    Collection Number: WGF-WGA-VII
    Creator/Collector: Screen Writers' Guild Writers Guild of America, West
    Extent: 16.4 linear feet
    Online items available
    Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
    Los Angeles, California 90048
    Abstract: The Screen Writers’ Guild records detail the activities and development of members and the board. The collection contains early guild documents including correspondence, membership records, awards materials, board meeting minutes and other items.
    Language of Material: English


    Available by appointment only.

    Publication Rights

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

    Preferred Citation

    Screen Writers' Guild Records. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred from the Guild Executive Office Transfiles in storage.

    Biography/Administrative History

    The Screen Writers’ Guild formed in 1920 as a professional club for film writers working in Hollywood, under the auspices of the Authors' League of America. Membership included induction into the social group The Writers as well as membership in the Authors' League. In 1933, members formalized the Screen Writers’ Guild as a labor union and it blossomed into the central organization representing screenwriters. In 1938, the Guild was officially recognized by the federal government as a labor union with collective bargaining rights. By 1941, writers began working under the first approved contracts and in 1942, the first long term contract was signed by writers and producers. In 1954, the Screen Writers’ Guild merged with the television and radio guilds, and branched into two divisions, Writers Guild of America, West in Los Angeles and Writers Guild of America, East in New York.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Screen Writers' Guild Records contains early guild documents including correspondence, membership records, awards materials, board meeting minutes and other items. Series I is comprised of the WGAW Executive Director Transfiles, documents preserved by the guild's executive offices in Los Angeles from the 1930s to the present. Highlights include member correspondence, materials related to the Hollywood blacklist and code agreements. Members represented include Frances Goodrich, Lillian Hellman, Ring Lardner Jr., Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Albert Maltz, Frances Marion, Dorothy Parker, Preston Sturges, Dalton Trumbo and Billy Wilder. The records also reflect the business of the SWG Board, from meeting minutes to employment reports. Although most of the collection is unprocessed, a selection has been rehoused and inventoried at the folder level. Material continues to be processed and records will be updated when information becomes available. Linear footage measurement reflects processing completed. Early guild publications Screen Guilds Magazine (1934-1936) and The Screen Writer (1945-1948) have been digitized and are available at the Internet Archive.

    Indexing Terms

    Authors' League of America
    Hollywood blacklist
    Screen Writers' Guild--Archives
    Writers Guild of America--Archives
    Screenwriters--United States
    Television writers--United States
    Radio writers--United States
    Labor unions
    Wilder, Billy, 1906-2002.
    Hellman, Lillian, 1905-1984.
    McCall, Mary C., Jr., 1904-1986.
    Hughes, Rupert, 1872-1956.
    Lawson, John Howard, 1894-1977.
    Mankiewicz, Joseph L., 1909-1993
    Parker, Dorothy, 1893-1967.
    Maltz, Albert, 1908-1985.
    Marion, Frances, 1888-1973.
    Lardner, Ring, 1885-1933.
    Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976.