Dan C. Hazen SALALM Fellowship Application-Research Track
Progress Report—May 15, 2017
Gayle Williams, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Latin American Screenplays in Print: An Annotated Bibliography
Notification of being awarded $1500.00 in February 2017 allowed me to plan travel in March 2017 to Riverside, California in order to view archival shooting scripts held at the Special Collections & University Archives Department of the Tomás Rivera Library of the University of California at Riverside. Per WorldCat, this library is the sole holder of these titles and they do not circulate so on-site examination was necessary.
I anticipated that this would be a very short trip since it should only require a day or two to view the screenplays. Before making an airline reservation, I realized I should take advantage of the proximity of other local holdings since I already planned to rent a car and could take an additional day if need be. Screenplay holdings at UCSD, UCLA, and USC did not anything with which I was already familiar. However, I discovered there was a similar cache of archival shooting scripts held Special Collections & Archives at the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A mere 400 miles away!
After viewing maps and consulting with California colleagues, I determined it would be feasible to visit both libraries by lengthening my trip. I spent the week of March 13 (FIU’s spring break) arriving first in Riverside for two days. I would then drive up to Santa Cruz with only a full day in which to examine holdings. Both special collections departments use the Aeon request system which allowed me to create accounts and request all titles needed in advance of my arrival. Having them ready and waiting for me helped move along my examination since, in both libraries, I could only view 2-3 at a time.
These screenplays are not nicely published commercial entities but actual working scripts created for the purpose of making a movie. However, their existence does not automatically mean that the intended film title would be made. I took copious notes to follow up when I prepared to add their records to my Word document. My post-examination research confirmed that some scripts did not become actual films. The scripts at UC Santa Cruz were donated by Julianne Burton-Carvajal, a leading Latin American film scholar, upon her retirement from UCSC. Many of hers were for Cuban films but there were a few for Mexico as well. The Riverside collection may have come from purchase opportunities offered by one California bookdealer in the 1990s but some scripts for Mexican films also came out of their B. Traven collection!
In summary, this was a fruitful and beneficial trip (despite the ominous vibe experienced by driving through the James Dean Memorial Highway intersection). Expanding my visit allowed me to add nearly thirty new titles to my bibliography. I still have more decisions to make about the feasibility of one more library visit over the summer before final preparation of the manuscript. My thanks go to the SALALM Dan C. Hazen Fellowship Review Committee for their generosity.