Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Cecile Starr papers, 1925-2001

Summary Information

Abstract

Personal documents, correspondence, photographs, audiocassettes, and printed material of the filmmaker, film writer, and educator Cecile Starr (1921-2014).

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1191
Bib ID 4079913 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Starr, Cecile
Title Cecile Starr papers, 1925-2001
Physical Description 15 linear feet (36 manuscript boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access

Two folders of the collection contain medical records of Cecile Starr and possibly other individuals. These are closed to researchers until 2089.

This collection is located on-site.

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 rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in ten series.

Description

Summary

Personal and professional papers of the filmmaker, film writer, and educator Cecile Starr (1921-2014). Material formats include personal documents, photographs, audiocassettes (primarily interviews of Starr and others), and printed material. The content includes family and personal correspondence; professional correspondence; materials relating to Southern writers including James Agee and Randall Jarrell; materials related to Starr's secondary, college, and university education; teaching materials regarding filmmaking courses taught at Columbia University, the New School, and elsewhere; and manuscripts and preparation materials for published and unpublished articles. There are also records related to Starr's film distribution activities and the Women's Independent Film Exchange (W.I.F.E.), which Starr co-founded and co-directed.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

Two folders of the collection contain medical records of Cecile Starr and possibly other individuals. These are closed to researchers until 2089.

This collection is located on-site.

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 rbml@columbia.edu 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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Cecile Starr papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accruals

Four additions to the collection were received in 2009, 2011, and 2014. These materials are located in Boxes 12-36.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Cecile Starr, 1998.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Papers: Source of acquisition--Starr, Cecile. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1998. Accession number--M-1998.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Added to RLIN HR 05/30/2002.

The four additions to the collection were physically integrated during processing. Components of the additions were intellectually integrated into Series I, II, and VII. They also make up the entirety of Series X: Subject files. These materials were processed by Jennifer B. Lee, June 2021.

Container list uploaded and front matter edited by Celeste Brewer, June 2021.

Revision Description

2009-03-05 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2021-06-24 Finding aid updated to incorporate additions to the collection. CLB

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Agreements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Announcements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audiocassettes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Autobiographies (literary works) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Certificates Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Contracts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Financial records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fliers (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invitations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Licenses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lists (document genres) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Obituaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Receipts (financial records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reviews (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Résumés (personnel records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rosters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wills Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
diplomas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Agee, James, 1909-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boyajian, Aram (Filmmaker) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Independent filmmakers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jarrell, Randall, 1914-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorials Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Motion picture industry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Motion picture producers and directors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Motion pictures -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New School University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women motion picture producers and directors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Filmmaker, film writer, and educator Cecile Starr (1921-2014) was born in Nashville, Tennessee on July 14, 1921, and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received a B.A. in Romance Languages from Louisiana State University in 1941 and a masters degree in Adult Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1952. She then taught film history and criticism in Columbia's Graduate Film department from 1955 until 1961.

Starr worked as non-theatrical writer and editor for the quarterly "Film Forum Review" from 1946 until 1949 and the weekly "Saturday Review" from 1949 until 1959. She also published freelance articles in "The New York Times" and various film journals, sometimes on highly controversial subjects. Starr wrote or edited four books: "Ideas on Film" (1951); "Film Society Primer" (1956); "Discovering the Movies" (1972); and "Experimental Animation", with Robert Russett (1976, revised 1988). As a scriptwriter and producer, her films include the award-winning "Fellow Citizen, A. Lincoln" and "Islamic Carpets."

For 35 years Starr worked as a part-time, home-based distributor, renting and selling films on behalf of friends and colleagues, including Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker, Helen Levitt, Mary Ellen Bute, Hans Richter and others. In 1977 she founded and became co-director of the Women's Independent Film Exchange (W.I.F.E.), and in 1991 she received one of the Anthology Film Archive's Film Preservation awards.

Starr married filmmaker Aram Boyajian in 1957. They had two children and one grandson. Cecile Starr died in Vermont in December 2014.