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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series I: Review Files, 1931-2010
Series II: Writings, 1930s-2007
Series IV: Columbia University, 1959-2012
Series V: Personal and Biographical Material, 1934-2011, undated, undated
At a Glance
Material is arranged in six series and several subseries.
Scope and Content
Judith Crist (1922-2012), was a film critic, journalist, and long-time adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism (1958-2012). Her papers include clippings, correspondence, interviews, mementos, notes, photographs, review files, telephone logs, and audiovisual materials.
The largest set of files is the Review Files. These files contain information on individual films and theater productions, scripts of Crist's television reviews, and clippings of reviews by other critics. Crist's own reviews are primarily filed in Series II: Writings.
Crist's correspondence and subject files are found in Series III: Alphabetical Files. These files include brochures, clippings, correspondence (incoming, as well as carbons of Crist's responses), flyers, itineraries, invitations, meeting minutes, memoranda, notes, programs, and various informational materials. The series includes files related to individuals, as well as television shows, magazines, and other projects, such as the New York Film Critics Circle, Saturday Review, Tarrytown Film Festival, the Today Show, TV Guide, and WOR.
Crist's articles, book manuscripts, columns, and reviews are filed in Series II: Writings. This series primarily contains magazine and newspaper clippings of Crist's published work, as well as clippings scrapbooks. There are no manuscripts for this work in the writings files; it is possible that there are some drafts filed in the alphabetical files in Series III. The series does contain manuscripts and proofs related to Crist's book, The Private Eye, The Cowboy and the Very Naked Girl: Judith Crist's TV Guide to the Movies, as well as some unpublished fiction from the early 1940s. Crist's writing work for school magazines and publications is filed with her academic records in Subseries V.2.
The papers include audiovisual materials. The audio recordings are primarily related to the Tarrytown Film Festival (1970s-1980s). The video recordings include appearances, interviews, and spots by Crist, as well as video of her reviews for WOR-TV.
The collection includes some materials related to Crist's work as an adjunct professor, and her involvement with alumni committees, at the Columbia University School of Journalism. The papers include administrative correspondence and memoranda, correspondence with former students, her class rules, and writing examples that she used in her class, "Personal and Professional Style".
The papers also include some biographical and personal material, including articles about Crist, academic records, address books, awards, biographical statements, cards, correspondence, drawings, interviews, photographs, scrapbooks, and mementos, which include caricatures of Crist and a few inscribed items.
While the majority of Crist's papers are held at Columbia University, Crist also gave some papers to Syracuse University during her lifetime. The records held at Syracuse include additional correspondence, as well as copies of Crist's published articles and reviews, television scripts, and annotated typescripts, particularly for the 1960s and early 1970s.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
There are no boxes numbered 59, 70-72, 87-88, 95, 102, 106, 126, or 130 in the collection.
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions, except that class notebooks are restricted in accordance with FERPA guidelines.
Some unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list. Commercial materials are not routinely digitized. Email email@example.com for more information.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Judith Crist Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
No additions are expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Catherine C. Ricciardi and Emily Burns (GSAS 2018) 2014-2016.
Finding aid written Catherine C. Ricciardi December 2016.
2016-12-09 File created.
2016-12-09 xml document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Judith Crist, née Klein, was born in Manhattan, New York, on May 22, 1922. Crist attended Morris High School in the Bronx, and earned a B.A. degree from Hunter College in 1941, and a M.S. in Journalism from the Columbia University School in Journalism in 1945.
She began her career at the New York Herald-Tribune in 1945, starting as the assistant to the women's editor. She later became a general assignment reporter, and won a George Polk Award in 1951 for her education coverage.
Crist stayed at the New York Herald Tribune until it became the World Journal Tribune and ceased publication shortly thereafter in 1967. She began writing theater reviews for the paper in 1957, while continuing to cover news, and became arts editor in 1960. Three years later, during a newspaper strike, she reviewed movies and theater for WABC, and her talent was noticed by the Today Show, which hired her as a theater and film critic the following year. After the strike, Crist became the film critic for New York Herald Tribune in 1963, the first woman to be a full time film critic at a major newspaper. She was also the founding critic at New York Magazine, which began as a Sunday supplement for the Tribune in 1963, and became an independent publication in 1968.
Throughout the 1970s-1990s, Crist worked as a critic in both print and television. She was the film critic for TV Guide (1966-1988), a critic-at-large for the Ladies Home Journal (1966-1967), and also wrote reviews for Saturday Review and Coming Attractions magazine. She also published a collection of reviews, The Private Eye, the Cowboy, and the Very Naked Girl: Movies from Cleo to Clyde (1968). On television, she continued as a critic for the Today Show (1964-1973), and later reviewed films for WOR-TV Channel 9. She also held Judith Crist Film Weekends in Tarrytown, New York (1971-2006) during this time period.
Crist continued to work in journalism outside of her work as a critic. She taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism for over fifty years (1958-2012) and was also active in the school's alumni association and committees. In addition, Crist continued to write articles on topics outside of theater and film throughout her career.
She married William Crist (1912-1993), a public relations consultant, in 1947, and they had one son, Steven Crist.
Crist died in New York City on August 8, 2012.