Henry Koster papers

Henry Koster papers

Dates: approximately 1936-1966

Contains scrapbooks, film reels, and annotated scripts all pertaining to the life and career of the filmmaker Henry Koster. The scripts were all final drafts of shooting scripts of films directed by Koster. Most are family comedies, with some musicals and dramas mixed in. The scrapbooks cover the production, release, and reception of several of his films from the 1930s to the 1950s. Creation dates for materials range from approximately 1936 to 1966.

  • Extent: 4 cartons (4 linear ft.). -- 3 oversize boxes (3 linear ft.). -- 14 film reels (4 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Koster, Henry, 1905-1988
  • Call Number: MSS 8834
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; Arts & Communications Archives; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602; http://sc.lib.byu.edu/
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Arranged in three series: 1. Henry Koster annotated scripts, approximately 1936-1966. 2. Henry Koster scrapbooks, approximately 1939-1957. 3. Henry Koster film collection, approximately 1936-1949.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Henry Koster Papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 8834; Henry Koster papers; Arts and Communications Archives; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 8834, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Created and collected by Henry Koster and donated to BYU in 1980.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Henry Koster; 1980.
Subject Terms
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Performing Arts; Motion pictures; Koster, Henry, 1905-1988
Genre / Form
Scripts (Documents); Scrapbooks
Processing Information
Processed; AJ Taysom and Mary-Celeste Ricks; 2016.
Appraisal Information
Arts and Communications.
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Koster (Henry) papers
Finding Aid Author
AJ Taysom and Mary-Celeste Ricks
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2016-05-17 16:03:25 -0600.
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

Henry Koster (1905-1988) was a German film director active between 1932 and 1966.

Born in Germany in 1905, Henry Koster directed his first picture in 1932 and fled Germany soon after Adolf Hitler took power. He went to France, and soon after traveled to Budapest where he met and married Kato Kiraly in 1934. Two years later, in 1936, he signed a contract with Universal Pictures and immigrated to America. His first big hit with Universal, Three Smart Girls (1936), saved the studio from near bankruptcy. From there he directed several hits with Universal Studios, eventually moving on to 20th Century fox in 1948. Two of the biggest hits of Koster’s career were Harvey (1950), a comedy starring James Stewart, and The Robe (1953), a biblical epic and the first ever film shot in CinemaScope. Both were tremendous successes and cemented Koster’s place as a premiere director of his time. In 1966, after more than 30 years of filmmaking, Koster retired from the Motion Picture Industry. He died in 1988, leaving behind his wife and three children.

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Ben Harry
Curator - Arts & Communications Archives