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Finding Aid for the John Houseman Papers, 1930-1989
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: John Houseman Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1989
    Collection number: 816
    Creator: Houseman, John
    Extent: 127 boxes (63.5 linear ft.) 1 carton (1 linear ft.) 12 oversize boxes
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: John Houseman wrote, produced, directed and translated plays, founded theater companies, collaborated on radio series, produced film, television, and stage productions, and acted in movies and television shows. The collection consists of correspondence, director's scripts for stage, movies, radio, & television, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and videotapes of television interviews, commercials, and television performances.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary 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.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

    Additional Physical Form Available

    A copy of the original version of this online finding aid is available at the UCLA Department of Special Collections for in-house consultation and may be obtained for a fee. Please contact:
    • Public Services Division
    • UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
    • Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
    • Box 951575
    • Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
    • Telephone: 310/825-4988 (10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time)
    • Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    • Gift of John Houseman, 1963-1987.
    • Gift of John Houseman estate, 1989.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Houseman Papers (Collection 816). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 1720516 


    Born Jacques Haussmann in Bucharest, Romania on September 22, 1902, of a Alsatian father and English mother; attended Clifton College Preparatory School, Bristol, England, 1916-1918; moved to U.S. in 1924; was grain export businessman while doing freelance writing and translating plays; entered theatrical production and direction upon collapse of stock market; by early 1930s was writing, producing and directing for New York stage; supervised Federal Theatre Project's Negro Theatre Project; taught at Vassar; founded Mercury Theater with Orson Welles in 1937, and collaborated with Welles on the radio series The Mercury theatre of the air; collaborated on screenplay of Citizen Kane, and in 1941 became vice-president of David O. Selznick productions; chief of overseas radio division, Bureau of the Office of War Information, 1942-43; producer of film, television, and stage productions; artistic director of American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy in Stratford, Connecticut, 1956-1959; artistic director of Theatre Group of Los Angeles in 1960s, which became nucleus of Center Theatre Group of Los Angeles; director of drama division of Juilliard School, New York City, 1967-1976; founder of the Acting Company in New York City, 1972; received Oscar for role in Paper Chase; acted in television show of same name; died October 31, 1988.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of correspondence, director's scripts for stage, movies, radio, & television, newspaper clippings, ephemera, and videotapes of television interviews, commercials, and television performances.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Correspondence (Boxes 1-8, 28-39, 50, 58-64, 78-83, 100-105, 131, 136).
    2. Scripts - stage, TV, radio, film, opera (Boxes 9-26, 56-57, 65-69, 75-76).
    3. Production material (Boxes 40-45, 85, 93-94, 107).
    4. Lectures and addresses (Boxes 45-47).
    5. Professional organizations (Boxes 48-49).
    6. Manuscript material (Boxes 27, 51-53, 70-74, 88-92, 95-96, 106, 129-130).
    7. Memorabilia (Boxes 54-56, 97-99).
    8. Scrapbooks (Boxes 77, 86-87).
    9. Audio, film, video (Boxes 108-115, 137).
    10. Photographs (Boxes 132-135, 138-139).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Houseman, John--Archives.
    Theatrical producers and directors--United States--Archival resources.
    Motion picture producers and directors--United States--Archival resources.
    Film scripts.
    Radio plays.
    Television plays.