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University of Texas at Austin

William S. Hart:

An Inventory of His Collection of Photographs at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Hart, William Surrey, 1864-1946
Title: William S. Hart Collection of Photographs
Dates: 1917-1921
Extent: 9 boxes (1,604 items; 3.78 linear feet)
Abstract: The collection, assembled by movie producer LeRoy Stone, consists of photographs documenting Hart's professional life as both an actor and a director in Hollywood from 1917 to 1921. It includes portraits, production stills, credits, sketches, and background photos.
Call Number: Photography Collection PH-00144
Language: English
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase, 1973 (R5931)
Processed by: Teresa J. Bogar, 1997

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

The William S. Hart Collection consists of nine boxes of photographs documenting Hart's professional life as both an actor and a director in Hollywood from 1917 to 1921. The images include portraits, production stills, credits, sketches, and background photos. The collection was assembled by LeRoy Stone, who produced many of Hart's features. Arrangement is by accession number as assigned by the Ransom Center. The folders reflect Stone's organization of the items by portraits, individual and company production stills, and miscellaneous photos.
The photographs document Hart's personal and dramatic vision of the American West and reveal his stature as man and artist. During his brief, successful career in silent films (1914-1925), Hart made about 20 short films and nearly 50 feature films. The bulk of the collection provides stills for 22 of these features (see alphabetical list of film titles at the end of this inventory). The personal photos include candid shots taken of Hart speaking at a political rally in Brooklyn, N.Y., and 'civilization photos' depicting various unidentified urban scenes.
The studios backing the production of Hart's silent features include Triangle Film Corporation (which absorbed the New York Motion Picture Company, the Reliance-Majestic Company, and Keystone Comedies), under the direction of Thomas H. Ince; Paramount-Artcraft; and William S. Hart Productions. The production stills in the collection were photographed by Joe August (1890-1947).
The collection also contains production stills from films starring Hart's contemporaries, such as actor Charles Ray (Claws of the Hun; His Mother's Boy; 9 O'Clock Town; Eaglet of White Wild), and actresses Enid Bennett and Dorothy Dalton. It is probable that these stills were included in the collection because Stone produced the films.
Also present are portraits of actresses in Hollywood during the 1910s and 1920s. The studio photographers represented are Evans and Witzel, both of Los Angeles, and Moody, of New York. Signed portraits of Gloria Swanson and Alma Hanlon are a highlight.

Related Material

The Ransom Center also holds the William S. Hart Manuscript Collection consisting of thirty-five film scripts.

Index Terms


August, Joseph H., 1890-1947.
Stone, LeRoy.


Paramount Artcraft Pictures.
Triangle Film Corporation.
William S. Hart Co.


Hart, William Surrey, 1864-1946.
Actors--United States--1910-1930--Portrait photographs.
Actresses--United States--1910-1930--Portrait photographs.
Western films--United States--1910-1930.

Document Types

Film stills.
Gelatin silver prints.
Publicity photographs.

Folder List