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Dwain Esper papers, 1928-1984
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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
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Dwain Esper papers
    Collection number: 2301
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1.8 linear ft. (2 document boxes and 1 oversize flatbox)
    Date (inclusive): 1928-1984
    Abstract: This collection primarily contains material belonging to movie producer and director Dwain Esper and his wife Hildagarde, including photographs, correspondence, business records, and advertisements, many of which are connected to Esper's movies and career.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Esper, Dwain

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Dwain Esper Papers (Collection 2301). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Francis M. Woods and Kimberly Douglas, 2014.


    Dwain Esper (1892-1982) was an American producer and director of exploitation films including Narcotic (1933), Maniac (1934), Marihuana (1936), and Sex Madness (1938). He is best-known as producer/distributor of the cult classic Reefer Madness (1936). In 1920, Esper married Hildagarde Stadie (1895-1993), who also wrote some of his movies.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of correspondence, legal and copyright material, photographs, and advertisements related to Dwain Esper's films, and well as business and financial records. Also present are some personal papers and photographs, as well as two sex education booklets by Hildagarde Esper. There is no material in this collection related to the film Reefer Madness.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Film-related papers
    • Series 2. Business records
    • Series 3. Personal material
    • Series 4. Photographs
    • Series 5. Advertisements
    • Series 6. Books

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7810170 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Esper, Hildagarde
    Renay, Liz
    Exploitation films
    Maniac (Motion picture: 1934)