Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers

The Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers collection documents every aspect of the film production process through the papers of notable independent filmmakers including Orson Welles, Robert Altman, Alan Rudolph, Nancy Savoca, John Sayles, and Jonathan Demme, as well as distributors Ira Deutchman and Robert Shaye.

Materials consists primarily of:

  • scripts in various drafts and versions
  • production documents including correspondence and financial records
  • on-set photographs and film stills
  • publicity and reception materials
  • material related to unproduced, unfinished, and incomplete projects 

In some collections, there are sketches, drawings, personal letters, notebooks, scrapbooks, diaries, and family photographs. Some collections include props, costumes, one-sheets, and awards. There is a limited amount of moving image material, which is not a collecting focus. 

We aim to collect papers of those who work primarily outside of the Hollywood film studio system. This growing collection is housed in the Special Collections Research Center, which is becoming a major destination for research on maverick American filmmakers. 

History of the collection

The collection began in 2005 with the acquisition of a rich and extensive body of primary source material documenting the personal life and creative activities of Orson Welles.


  1. Robert Altman Papers

    Massive array of scripts, photos, props, costumes, and more from Altman’s career directing television and film.

  2. Jonathan Demme Papers

    Vast assortment of scripts, costumes, research, audiovisual materials, and more, reflecting Demme’s varied career.

  3. Alan Rudolph Papers

    Production notes, script drafts and revisions, and on-set photos.

  4. Nancy Savoca Papers

    Materials representing nearly three decades of genuine indie filmmaking, including notes, photos, and script drafts, as well scripts for unproduced work.

  5. John Sayles Papers

    Scripts, production documents, storyboards, personal writings, and more, including manuscripts of novels, short stories, and plays.

  6. Orson Welles Papers

    Extensive archival materials covering all areas of Welles’s creative output, plus a substantial amount of personal material.


  1. Ira Deutchman Papers

    Festival catalogs, one-sheets, and distribution materials, plus correspondence providing a unique insider perspective on the filmmaking industry.

  2. Robert Shaye Papers

    Personal and business papers from the early years of New Line Cinema, plus articles, clippings, and select production materials.

Additional finding aids

Black and white photo of a director behind a large film camera and pointing, while another man sits in a chair next to it with his arms crossed wearing sunglasses and a visor.

Orson Welles on the set of Citizen Kane.