AUSTIN, Texas--There are rows and rows of boxes filled with classic film memorabilia on the top floor of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.
The collection includes photos from Gone with the Wind, storyboards from Rebel Without a Cause and an Academy Awards program guide from 1966. It was donated by screenwriter Ernest Lehman, famous for writing the Sound of Music and West Side Story.
The archives include scissors used in Alfred Hitchcock's film, Spellbound, plus a script from the film Sunset Boulevard. Actress Gloria Swanson made handwritten notes on pages, and you can read where she changed a famous Hollywood line. She crossed out the phrase, I'm ready for the close up, and changed it to I'm ready for my close up.
We take very seriously our mission to make these materials available to students and scholars, said film curator Steve Wilson.
The Harry Ransom Center stores the film archives on its top floor. While they are not on display to the public, you can make appointments to look at certain materials in a reading room.
The archives are invaluable to researchers including UT film student Colin Tait. He is studying Robert De Niro's film career in the 1970s for his doctoral dissertation. He hopes to one day turn his research into a book.
Having every paper, every script and every document really creates this amazing core sample of a person's entire career, said Tait.
In 2006, De Niro donated his personal collection of movie mementos. It includes more than 100 boxes of scripts, handwritten notes and correspondence with directors including Martin Scorsese.
The Ransom Center has costumes and props from De Niro's most recent role in the Oscar nominated film, Silver Linings Playbook. They include Philadelphia Eagles jerseys, a coat and a shirt, plus remotes and betting envelopes that his character used in the film.
So many of the collections here demonstrate or reveal the creative process, said collections assistant for costumes and personal effects Jill Morena.
You can find more information on the archives here.