Accessing Collections

The Writers Guild Foundation Archive welcomes interest in the collections.  The materials are made available to WGA members, staff, researchers, students and the general public, with minimal restrictions and conditions described below.

The collections include writers from the dawn of cinema, early radio, the Golden Age of Television, and current writers for film, television, radio and new media. The archival holdings consist mainly of scripts, annotated drafts and production material, but may include oral histories, photographs, correspondence and ephemera. The archive also collects materials from Writers Guild Foundation events and Writers Guild of America West programs, awards and historical records. 

Searching

Our holdings are arranged primarily by name of writer and can be found in our catalog by browsing Archival Collections or searching by titles and/or individual names. Many notable collections are listed at the Online Archive of California and we are continually adding more.

In addition to writers, our records show producers, directors, executives, WGA staff and other industry professionals who have materials in the collections. If you are unable to locate a writer in the listing, materials may be part of other collections or unprocessed.

Guidelines for Use of the Collections

Due to the fragile and irreplaceable nature of the collections, the Writers Guild Foundation requires users to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Materials do not circulate and are to be used only in the reading room.

  • Users must check in at the library desk, and provide a form of identification, such as driver’s license, passport, or Guild ID, to use the library and archives.

  • All backpacks, bags, briefcases and large personal items must be placed in an assigned locker in the locker room near the entrance to the library.

  • Pencils, laptop computers, and paper are allowed. Wireless internet is available.

  • Food and beverages (aside from water) are not permitted. Cell phones must be turned off.

  • After checking in, users must fill out a materials request form to access archival items.

  • Materials must be handled with proper care and kept in their original order.

  • Use of materials may be restricted due to physical condition, confidentiality constraints, donor restrictions, copyright issues or unprocessed state.

Requests for Reproductions

As a rule, reproductions (photocopies, digital scans, and photographs) are not provided or permitted. At the discretion of the Archive Director and depending on copyright and privacy restrictions, researchers may use their own digital camera to take pictures of materials.

Citation

When citing materials in the collections, please credit the Writers Guild Foundation Archive as the repository for the materials. Please contact the Archive Director to obtain permission to publish reproductions of materials, as publishing materials is not covered under the fair use doctrine. The researcher must also obtain permission from the copyright holder before publishing. As a courtesy, please provide the Writers Guild Foundation with a copy of your publication that was based on research at the archives.

Contact

The Writers Guild Foundation Archive welcomes research questions about our unique holdings. Please call or email library@wgfoundation.org for a preliminary reference request before visiting the archives to determine if the information you seek is in the collections. Since some collections are unprocessed, the staff requires time for researching requests and retrieving materials which may be stored offsite. Requests are answered in the order received and may take up to three business days for a response. All scripts and archival material, whether digital or paper format, must be consulted on-site at the library.

If you work in the industry and have material that fits our scope, we want to hear from you! If you might want to donate to our Library and Archive, please email or call the Archivist at (323) 782-4680.

If you need information more quickly, please call the main Library desk at 323-782-4544.