Rod Serling papers, 1943-1971

Serling, Rod, 1924-1975

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Format Mixed Materials; Microforms; Sound Recordings; Videos, Slides, Films
  • Physical Details
    • 32.0 c.f. (80 archives boxes and 1 folder)
    • 2 tape recordings
    • 15 photographs
    • 2 films
    • 1 reel of microfilm (35 mm)
    • 2.0 c.f. of dictabelts
    • 1 computer disc (369.7 GB)
  • Finding Aids
    • Register to the processed portion


  • Papers of a television and motion picture writer best known for his tales of the supernatural. Included are correspondence, scripts, speeches and articles, reports, press releases, and clippings. Half of the collection consists of files on his produced and unproduced writings for television, motion pictures, radio, and the theater.
  • Coverage of "Twilight Zone" (CBS), for which Serling was also executive producer, and anthologies such as "Armstrong Circle Theatre" (NBC), "Bob Hope's Chrysler Theatre" (NBC), "Climax" (CBS), "Kraft Television Theatre" (NBC), "Lux Video Theatre" (NBC), "Playhouse 90" (CBS), "Studio One" (CBS), and "United States Steel Hour" (CBS) is most complete. Particularly noteworthy in the "Playhouse 90" files are revisions of his Emmy Award-winning teleplays "A Town Has Turned to Dust" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight." With the motion picture material is Serling's screenplay for the 1962 Columbia film version of the latter work. Among the other motion pictures represented are "Planet of the Apes" (20th Century-Fox, 1968) and "Seven Days in May" (Paramount, 1964).
  • The remainder of the collection is made up of subject files and correspondence. The range of topics varies from discussions of Serling's practice of the writer's craft to marketing of his ideas and scripts, production difficulties (primarily censorship and violence on the air), his teaching and public speaking, financial records, and fan mail.
  • The audio within the collection include screenplays, short stories, novels, speeches, and correspondence dictated by Rod Serling to his assistant Marjorie (Marge) Lansford. The dictation of screenplays and written works include both new material and changes to previously written materials. Serling often wrote multiple versions of the same story, under different names, before finalizing his drafts under one title. All dictabelts have been digitized and are available to researchers in Madison only.


  • Files concerning "Seven Days in May" are also available on microfilm.
  • Presented by Rod Serling, Pacific Palisades, California, 1965-1973.
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