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Film and Television

Your guide to film and television research at UCLA. Find articles, books, videos, and more.

Finding Print Screenplays at UCLA & Other Local Archives

UCLA Library Special Collections houses unpublished copies and versions of scripts for both film and television. Most of these scripts are not listed in the Library Catalog by title, so it works best to use Special Collections scripts finding aids to identify them. Additional unpublished scripts may be available as part of specific archival collections. These scripts must be used in Library Special Collections. Please contact them directly for duplication requests.

The UCLA Arts Library collects published scripts only and shelves them together on the entry level floor. These scripts are available for regular loan.

Search Tips for Searching the UCLA Library Catalog:

The UCLA Library collects commercially published scripts, most of which are final shooting scripts. Many of these are housed in the Arts Library as part of the Selected Film and Television Scripts collection, which is circulating. Some scripts and screenplays will also be available at other UCLA libraries or SRLF, particularly foreign language scripts. Due to historical inconsistencies in cataloging practice, not every script will have a uniform subject heading or any heading at all. For scripts in Library Special Collections, please see finding aids in the box above.

Some hints on using the UC Library Search to find titles:

  1. If you are looking for a specific title and get too many hits, also search by the name of the screenwriter or author (NOT the director). This often helps narrow down hits quickly.
  2. To browse screenplays, try a more general Subject search for the term "Motion picture plays."
  3. However, keep in mind that many published scripts (especially for television) have no subject heading at all, and will only have the words "script," "scripts," "film script," "shooting script," "final shooting script," or "screenplay" in the title or keywords. You can alternatively do a subject search for the name of a film or program, and this will sometimes produce a title that includes the script.

Though some screenplays and TV scripts have been published, this is often not the case. Additionally, earlier drafts and revisions are typically not available in published form. Such materials are typically held in special collections and archives.

Sometimes, scripts are not published separately as a stand alone book. However, some screenwriting magazines or anthologies do publish scripts in their entirety. The UCLA Library historically subscribed to a number of these magazines, including Scenario, Creative Screenwriting, Hollywood Scriptwriter, and Scr(i)pt. One way to access scripts in these, other than browsing, is to search in a database or print resource that indexes screenplays.

Online sellers of scripts; drafts/versions available may vary.

Online Scripts from UCLA E-Resources

Scripts on the Internet

Free internet sources for scripts and transcripts. Some of these sites aren't "official" repositories by screenwriters or studios, and may contain early drafts rather than the final shooting script.