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Rotha (Paul) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Existence and Location of Copies

  • Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Title: Paul Rotha papers
    Creator: Rotha, Paul
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2001
    Physical Description: 42 Linear Feet (84 boxes and 7 oversize boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1914-1980
    Abstract: Paul Rotha (1907-1984) was a film critic, documentary filmmaker, and movie director. The collection consists of materials related to Rotha's documentary and feature films and Rotha's books on the cinema.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Paul Rotha papers (Collection 2001). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Motley Books, Limited, purchase, 1967. Paul Rotha, purchase, 1980.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Library Special Collections staff, 1999. Container listings for boxes 1-65 and 86-91 compliled by Selina Portera, 2020 based on existing paper inventories.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2976690 


    Paul Rotha was born in London, England on June 3, 1907; a former painter and designer, he became a film critic and wrote a seminal work on cinema history titled, The film till now (1930); began making his own documentary films in association with John Grierson and was a leading figure in the British documentary movement of the 1930s and 1940s; directed three feature films in the 1950-60s; writings include: Documentary film (1935), Rotha on the film (1958), and The innocent eye: A biography of Robert Flaherty (1963); died on March 7, 1984.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of projects, early treatments, narration scripts, technical plans and shooting scripts for Mr. Rotha's documentary and feature films. Also includes manuscript, typescript, and proof copies of Rotha's books on the cinema along with clippings of his periodical writings and review articles. Reviews and articles on Rotha are both loose and in scrapbooks. Includes Rotha's personal diaries as well as correspondence from John Grierson, Eric Knight, and Richard Griffith, among others. There are art works from the 1920s, photographs (mostly location stills), and recording tapes from Rotha's films.


    Collection maintains the exiting order of materials upon transfer to UCLA.

    Existence and Location of Copies

    Selected digitized images from this collection hosted by the UCLA Digital Library Program (DLP)  .

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Motion picture producers and directors -- Archives.
    Screenwriters -- Archives.
    Film critics -- Archives.