Hollywood, Moral Censorship, and the Motion Picture Production Code, 1927-1968

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The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Production Code Administration Files collection documents forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry. The Production Code was written in 1929 by Martin J. Quigley, an influential editor and publisher of motion picture trade periodicals, and Reverend Daniel A. Lord, a Jesuit advisor to Hollywood filmmakers. Officially accepted in 1930 by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), the precursor organization to the MPAA, the Production Code presented guidelines governing American movie production. The five hundred titles selected were chosen by the staff of the library's Special Collections Department, with advice from film historian Leonard J. Leff.

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Archives Unbound Series

Introducing Archives Unbound -- a vast new resource that combines the best of legacy microfilms from Gale and Primary Source Media and new, never-before-filmed collections. Specifically developed to address the needs of individual scholars, universities, and organizations, Archives Unbound is unique not only for its expansive, multi-disciplinary content but also for the distinct new intuitive search platform by which it is accessed.

Features and Benefits

  • Although most of the correspondence in the files relates to the content of screenplays, the files do not contain the actual scripts that were submitted for evaluation.
  • Files do include other types of literary materials, such as stories, synopses, reader's reports, and treatments.
  • Producers were required to submit all song lyrics for scrutiny and possible revision, and as a result the files illustrate the work of virtually every lyricist working in Hollywood and on Broadway during this time period.
  • Files arranged by movie title.