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Ardrey (Robert) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Title: Robert Ardrey papers
    Creator: Ardrey, Robert
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.0957
    Physical Description: 1.6 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1960
    Abstract: Robert Ardrey (1908-1970) was born in Chicago, Illinois. He studied the natural and social sciences at University of Chicago and lectured on anthropology for two years, but later found himself more interested in drama. He became a playwright and a Hollywood screenwriter. The collection consists of correspondence, clippings, ephemera and scripts.
    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: Materials are in English.

    Restrictions on Access

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

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    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], Robert Ardrey Papers (Collection 957). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Helen Ardrey, 1963.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Brooke Whiting, October 1968, reprocessed by Doug Johnson, November 2016.
    Collections are processed to a variety of levels depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived user interest and research value, availability of staff and resources, and competing priorities. Library Special Collections provides a standard level of preservation and access for all collections and, when time and resources permit, conducts more intensive processing. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards and best practices.
    We are committed to providing ethical, inclusive, and anti-racist description of the materials we steward, and to remediating existing description of our materials that contains language that may be offensive or cause harm. We invite you to submit feedback about how our collections are described, and how they could be described more accurately, by filling out the form located on our website: Report Potentially Offensive Description in Library Special Collections.  

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 994622183606533  


    Robert Ardrey was born October 16, 1908 in Chicago; studied natural and social sciences at University of Chicago and lectured on anthropology for two years, but later found himself more interested in drama, where he was influenced by Thornton Wilder; his first plays had brief runs, but led to his becoming a Hollywood screenwriter, 1938; wrote film scripts, novels, and plays, including Thunder Rock, which was successful in London and filmed in Hollywood; returned to the study of anthropology in 1955, and later produced four works: African Genesis (1961), The Territorial Imperative (1966), The Social Contract (1970), and The Hunting Hypothesis (1976) all arguing that man was innately aggressive creature; continued to write screenplays, including Khartoum; finished autobiography shortly before his death in Kalk Bay, South Africa in 1980.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of letters from Ardrey to his wife and children, business correspondence, theater and motion picture scripts, and financial records. Of particular interest are several letters written by Ardrey during the era of the Hollywood blacklist, in which he refuted allegations that he was a Communist. There is also a copy of a long letter Ardrey wrote to Elia Kazan just before Kazan's appearance before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Folders are in the order determined by the previous archivist.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Screenwriters -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archives.
    United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities
    Film scripts.
    Ardrey, Robert--Archives.