Elsa Lanchester papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Elsa Lanchester papers
Date (inclusive): 1895-1976
Date (bulk): 1930s-1970s
Collection number: 225
Creator: Lanchester, Elsa
Extent: 39 linear feet of papers.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Available by appointment only.

Publication rights

Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

Preferred Citation

Elsa Lanchester papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Bequest of the Elsa Lanchester estate, 1987


Elsa Lanchester was a British-born actress active in film from 1927 to 1980. She married actor Charles Laughton in 1929 and the couple moved to Hollywood in 1934. Lanchester received two Academy Award nominations in the actress in a supporting role category for COME TO THE STABLE (1949) and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1958).

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Elsa Lanchester papers span the years 1895-1976 (bulk 1930s-1970s) and encompass 39 linear feet. The collection includes scripts; correspondence; clippings; writings by Lanchester, including voluminous files with manuscripts, correspondence, clippings, and interview transcripts related to her published ("Elsa Lanchester Herself") and unpublished (?he Lanchester Case,?on her mother, and ?augh It Off,?a cookbook) works; juvenilia, including childhood art; genealogy; and photographs. There is considerable material related to Charles Laughton, including material for his ?eadings?f classic literature.


Arranged in the following series: Not arranged in series.

Indexing Terms

Lanchester, Elsa , 1902-1986--Archives.