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Robert De Niro:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: De Niro, Robert, 1943-
Title: Robert De Niro Papers
Dates: 1960s-2011
Extent: 267 boxes, 110 oversize boxes, 284 bound volumes, 11 oversize folders (137.5 linear feet)
Abstract: The Robert De Niro Papers include scripts plus related production, publicity, and research materials for sixty-nine films documenting De Niro's career from the 1968 film Greetings through Limitless released in 2011. A smaller amount of materials document his early career, including stage and television work. There are also files on projects considered and other career-related materials.
Call Number: Film Collection FI-5100
Language: Predominantly English; some Italian -language materials are present.
Access:

Open for research; please see following Special Handling Instructions and Redactions Note.

Special Handling Instructions:

Most of the scripts in this collection have been left in an unaltered or minimally processed state to provide the reader with the look and feel of the original as De Niro used it. When handling unbound scripts, or scripts with inserted materials, users are asked to be extremely careful in retaining the original order of the material. Script pages folded length-wise by De Niro are likewise to remain folded in keeping with original order.

Potentially harmful or damaging materials such as paperclips, self-adhesive "sticky" notes, metal brads, and clasps were removed during physical processing. Processing notes were inserted where paperclips and sticky notes were removed. In many cases paper-clipped sections were placed in white paper sleeves. Some surrogate preservation photocopies were substituted for the original items, such as faxes, and the surrogate copies are identified by a statement at the top of the page. The original faxes have been retained with the photocopies, although in time the faxed pages will fade beyond recognition.

Redactions Note:

The production and research materials contain a number of items from which personal information has been redacted or restricted to protect an individual's privacy. Examples are social security, telephone, and account numbers; the names of medical patients and prisoners; and personnel records. The originals were removed and have been replaced with redacted photocopies, which have an identifying statement at the top.




Acquisition:

Gift, 2006-2008 (G12588)

Processed by:

Liz Murray, Katherine Mosley, and Bob Taylor, 2008; Ancelyn Krivak, 2012

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


The extraordinary breadth of actor, director, and producer Robert De Niro's cinematic career from the 1960s through 2011 is reflected in his collection of papers, film, movie props, and costumes at the Ransom Center. De Niro is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation and a key figure in "The New Hollywood," an artistic renaissance that began in the late 1960s. He appeared in many of the period's key films: Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Godfather: Part II (1974), and The Deer Hunter (1978). De Niro has produced more than two dozen films since the late 1980s and directed A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006).

The papers described in this finding aid include De Niro's heavily-annotated scripts and correspondence, stage play and photographic material from his early career, make-up and wardrobe photographs, wardrobe continuity books, costume designs, and posters, as well as extensive production, publicity, and research material. The collection focuses exclusively on De Niro's professional career: while some congratulatory correspondence and exchanges with his colleagues provide insight into the personal side of his working relationships, De Niro's private life remains private. The papers are arranged in three series: I. Films, 1968-2011 (243 boxes, 104 oversize boxes, 255 bound volumes, 9 oversize folders); II. De Niro Projects, 1960s-2007 (17 boxes, 19 bound volumes, 2 oversize folders); and III. Early Career and Career-Related, 1960s-2005 (7 boxes, 6 oversize boxes, 9 bound volumes).

Most of the papers are located in the first series, Films, which includes scripts plus related production, publicity, and research materials for sixty-nine films documenting De Niro's career from the 1968 film Greetings through Limitless released in 2011. While the type and amount of material present varies from film to film, there is not only abundant evidence of De Niro's rigorous preparation for his acting roles from the large amounts of research material present and his copious notations in scripts, but also insight into the collaborative nature of his work with a variety of noted writers, directors, actors, and other film artists. The evolution of many screenplays can also be traced, often from the original source material and through numerous drafts to the final shooting script. The close attention paid to the details of wardrobe, make-up, and hairstyle design and continuity is also evident and particularly well-represented in the production materials.

Series II., De Niro Projects, includes plays, screenplays, and television scripts received, reviewed, or considered. The majority of the works originate from writers and directors with whom De Niro has long been closely associated and include scripts for such notable film and television projects as Apocalypse Now, A Bridge Too Far, Gangs of New York, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hoffa, The Last Temptation of Christ, Rule #3, Street Kings, and Weeds .

The final series, Early Career and Career-Related, contains articles about De Niro, early contracts, correspondence, and photographs as well as materials related to awards, public appearances, and tributes. Of special note are photographs, résumés, programs, and reviews documenting De Niro's student work and early stage roles. Much of the correspondence in the collection is located in this series, often congratulatory in nature or related to shared projects. Correspondents include friends and industry colleagues, such as Kenneth Branagh, Michael Cimino, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Roland Joffé, Harvey Keitel, George Lucas, David Mamet, Al Pacino, Harold Pinter, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Lee Strasberg, Jack Valenti, and Harvey Weinstein, among others. A complete index of all correspondent names in this series is included in this finding aid.

A portion of an addition to the original accession was processed and added to the inventory in 2012. Some materials remain unprocessed and will be made available at a future date. These include a considerable amount of material received for The Good Shepherd (2006).


The Stella Adler, David Mamet, and Tom Stoppard collections at the Ransom Center contain additional De Niro-related material.


De Niro's costumes, film props, moving images, and personal effects are housed in related departments within the Ransom Center.