Since the 1930s, the library has been acquiring film scripts and building an impressive general reference collection that is regularly consulted by students, writers, actors and filmmakers, among others. Over the years, this collection has grown to include scripts for more than 11,000 produced films spanning the years 1910 to the present. In addition to screenplays for thousands of American feature films, the Script Collection also includes screenplays for silent productions, foreign language films, documentaries, animated features and shorts. Most screenplays are unpublished versions in variant forms, from step outlines and treatments to first drafts, revised and final drafts, and cutting continuities. Published scripts are also actively collected.
As part of the library’s Core Collection, this invaluable resource is available to researchers without an appointment when they visit the library. Please note that unpublished scripts may not be photocopied.
To find screenplays in the Core Collection, search the Library Catalog or use the Scripts Quick Search.
The library also maintains an online database of screenplay holdings found at six Southern California institutions, including the Academy. Known as the Motion Picture Scripts Database, this resource provides information on the location of scripts for more than 20,000 films.
The library’s Special Collections Department also houses tens of thousands of screenplays, including studio script collections from MGM and Paramount and multiple drafts in the papers of directors, screenwriters, producers, craftspeople and actors. These materials are available by appointment only; for information, contact the Special Collections Department.