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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Mary Pickford papers span the years 1893-1983 (bulk 1940s-1970s) and encompass approximately 160 linear feet. The papers consist of production files, primarily scripts and story material; subject files; correspondence; financial and accounting records; clippings; and scrapbooks. There is material on Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Charles "Buddy" Rogers, and Pickfair, the Hollywood estate she built with Fairbanks. The photograph series consists of some 25,000 items, including photographic prints, frame enlargements, film frames, color slides, transparencies, copy negatives, and original nitrate negatives, from which the library has struck modern archival fiber reference prints. The motion picture production photographs span the years 1909-1933. The feature films consist of production photographs from all 52 of Pickford's completed features as well as a few uncompleted projects. The photographs consist of scene, off camera, candid, publicity portrait, set reference, and miscellaneous publicity photographs. The short films span the years 1909-1913 and consist of production photographs (mostly frame enlargements made from 35mm fine- grain masters) for 78 of the more than 100 Biograph shorts in which Pickford appeared. There is limited photographic coverage on the approximately 40 short films Pickford made for the Independent Motion Picture Co. (IMP) in 1911. Two U.S. Government films Pickford made during World War I to promote the sale of Liberty Bonds are represented. The biography photographs span the years 1893-1980 and include portraits, general publicity photographs not related to specific films, photographs of Pickfair, and photographs and snapshots relating to the Pickford family and the Rogers family. The portraits include works by Russell Ball, Nelson Evans, Charlotte Fairchild, Fred Hartsook, George Hurrell, Albert Witzel, and others. There is material on her stage career before she began acting in films, as well as general publicity photographs, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, that relate not only to her activities in the film industry, particularly with regard to United Artists, but also to her charitable and civic work. A large number of photographs document Pickford's numerous public appearances with other celebrities and dignitaries. Douglas Fairbanks and Charles "Buddy" Rogers are well represented.
Background
Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born actress, producer, director, and film executive active in filmmaking from 1909 to 1936. From 1915 through the mid-1920s she was arguably the most popular and best-known woman in the world, known affectionately as "America's Sweetheart." In 1919, with Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith as her partners, she launched United Artists. She served as first vice president of United Artists from 1936 until the company was sold in 1953. She was married to actor Owen Moore from 1911 to 1920, to actor Douglas Fairbanks from 1920 to 1936, and to actor Charles "Buddy" Rogers from 1937 until her death. Pickford was a founder and life member of the Academy. She received a 1928/29 Academy Award for best actress for COQUETTE (1929) and a 1975 Honorary Academy Award.
Extent
113 linear feet of papers. 47 linear feet of photographs.
Restrictions
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.
Availability
Available by appointment only.