The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh announces the acquisition of the George A. Romero Archival Collection.
The University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh is delighted to announce the acquisition of The George A. Romero Archival Collection, a unique and comprehensive portrait of a filmmaking pioneer.
Comprised of three separate archives belonging to Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, his widow, Tina Romero, his daughter, and Peter Grunwald, his business partner and friend, the collection is unmatched in content and scope, consisting of hundreds of drafts of produced and unproduced screenplays; script notes; treatments; budgets; shooting schedules; cast lists; production tests; dailies; artwork; correspondence; contracts and agreements; news clippings and magazines; ephemera, including props and set dressing; promotional materials; posters; and a treasure trove of audio-visual materials. Taken together, the archives will allow students, filmmakers, and fans from around the world to trace Romero’s projects from inception to completion and offer rare insight into the career of a filmmaking legend.
Beginning in 1968 with Night of the Living Dead, Romero revolutionized the horror genre, infusing it with intelligence, humor, social consciousness, and, of course, unforgettable scares. “George’s contributions to filmmaking in Pittsburgh, to horror, social, and political cinema, as well as to the independent film tradition, are unmatched and transformative,” says Adam Lowenstein, professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. “This remarkable collection will allow his achievements to be seen through a revelatory lens that sheds light not only on an individual career, but on crucial issues in film and culture.”
"On behalf of the George Romero Estate and The George A. Romero Foundation, we are pleased that George's archive is where it belongs! At the esteemed University of Pittsburgh University Library System and the great city of Pittsburgh. We are excited to help contribute to the advancement of George's legacy as an icon and a filmmaker.”
- Suzanne Desrocher-Romero
George Romero’s widow
“When my dad came to Pittsburgh as a student at Carnegie Mellon, he never would have imagined that one day the city would be known as ‘The Zombie Capital of the World’. I’m so excited for people to discover some of the treasures I grew up with.”
- Tina Romero
George Romero’s daughter
“George was a natural teacher. He would have loved knowing that his collection would be used to educate and inspire future generations.”
- Peter Grunwald
George Romero’s business partner and friend
With the George A. Romero Archival Collection, the University Library System intends to establish an international scholarly resource for the research and study of horror and science fiction, which will build upon the existing strengths within Archives & Special Collections, such as full runs of the major science fiction pulp titles; thousands of science fiction paperbacks from the 1960s-1980s; an extensive archive of hundreds of comic books and fanzines; as well as stage performances of horror and science fiction plays; and film scripts from Romero’s contemporaries including John Carpenter and Wes Craven as well as screenplays by authors including Stephen King and Clive Barker. The department’s rare book collection contains a selection of fine press editions of seminal works, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as early hardcover editions of several important science fiction and horror titles. Mr. Romero will be among friends.
“With the addition of this truly unique collection, Pitt's University Library System continues to distinguish itself in the depth and breadth of its research resources--all to the benefit of an ever more inclusive community of scholars--in Pittsburgh and around the world."
- Ann E. Cudd
Pitt’s Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
"The acquisition of the Romero Archive is a major achievement for the Archives & Special Collections at the ULS, the University of Pittsburgh, and the city. It will position us as an important player in the ongoing city-wide celebration of the work and life of George Romero and as a research destination not only for scholars and students at Pitt, but also nationally and internationally. We are excited to have been able to work with the George A. Romero Foundation and the individual donors and look forward to our future collaboration as we continue to build a horror studies archive.”
- Kornelia Tancheva
Hillman University Librarian and Director University Library System
About George Romero
George Andrew Romero (February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017) was an American-Canadian filmmaker, writer, and editor. He was born in the Bronx and eventually came to Pittsburgh in the late 1950s where he attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) where he studied graphic arts.
Romero began his career making commercials and shorts including some sequences for Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Then in 1967 he and some friends shot Night of the Living Dead on a shoestring budget of around $100,000. Released in 1968, it became a cult classic and revolutionized independent film and the zombie genre. He followed Night up with numerous other movies including two more zombie films, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead; a vampire film, Martin; and collaborations with Stephen King on Creepshow and The Dark Half. In the early 2000s, Romero moved to Toronto where he made another trilogy of Dead movies.
Romero died in his sleep after a brief battle with lung cancer. His legacy on independent cinema and the horror genre are indelible. While starting out as a cult icon, his work eventually garnered critical acclaim, with Night of the Living Dead being added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1999 and in 2018 a 4K restoration was released based on a print from the Museum of Modern Art.