Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Cecile Starr papers, 1925-2001

Summary Information


Personal documents, photographs, audio cassettes, and printed material of the filmmaker, frlm writer, and educator Cecile Starr.

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 5 linear feet (5 linear feet 10 boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.



This collection is arranged in nine series. Seris I: Starr family; Series II: Cecile Starr; Series III: Aram Boyajian; Series IV: New York Film Activities, 1940s & 1950s; SeriesV: Teaching at Columbia University, 1955-1961; Series VI: Film Criticism; Series: VII: Articles with Related Correspondence; Series VIII: Film Activities, 1980s-1990s; Series IX: Cassette Recordings



Personal documents, photographs, audio cassettes (primarily interviews of Starr and others), and printed material. Family and personal correspondence; professional correspondence; materials relating to Southern writers including James Agee, and Randall Jarrell; materials related to her 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at Columbia University, the New School, and elsewhere; and manuscripts and preparation materials for published and unpublished articles.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

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.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers Added to RLIN HR 05/30/2002.

Revision Description

2009-03-05 File created.

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

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.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Agreements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Announcements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Audio cassettes 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 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Obituaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Receipts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Resumes (personnel records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rosters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wills Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
diplomas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Agee, James, 1909-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors, American Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boyajian, Aram 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, frlm writer, and educator Cecile Starr was born in Nashville, TN (July 14, 1921) and grew up in New Orleans, LA. She received a B.A. in Romance Languages (LSU, 1941) and a masters degree in Adult Education (Columbia University. Teachers College, 1952); after which she taught film history and criticism in Columbia's Graduate Film department (1955-1961).

Starr worked as non-thratrical writer and editor for the quarterly "Film Forum Review" (1946-1949) and the weekly "Saturday Review" (1949-1959). She also published free-lance articles in "The New York Times" and various film journals (sometimes on highly controversal subjects). Starr wrote or edited four books: "Ideas on Film" (1951); "Film Society Primer" (1956); "Discovering the Movies" (1972); "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 Staff has 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, and in 1991 she received one of the Anthology Film Archive's Fiulm Preservation award.

Starr married filmmaker Aram Boyajian in 1957. They have two children and one grandson.