January 21, 2022

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme’s Personal Archive Donated to University of Michigan Library

From the U. of Michigan:

The University of Michigan Library will welcome the archive of the late award-winning director, producer and screenwriter Jonathan Demme.

The donation from the Demme family was announced Aug. 3 at the Traverse City Film Festival ahead of a special screening of “Swimming to Cambodia,” a 1987 film directed by Demme.

The personal archive comprises approximately 35 linear feet of materials related to Demme’s 40-year-long career that was punctuated by films like “Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Something Wild” and “Beloved,” among many others.

Included are photographs, scripts, correspondence, personal notes, unfinished documentary film footage, promotional items, costumes and props, which will become part of the popular Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers collection, a trove of material that highlights visionaries in the genre of independent film.

Other U-M “mavericks” include Orson Welles, Robert Altman, Alan Rudolph, Nancy Savoca, John Sayles and Ira Deutchman.


Once processed, the materials will be made available both digitally and upon special request via the U-M Library’s Special Collections Research Center.


Demme, who died in April 2017 at the age of 73, is survived by his wife Joanne Howard and their three children.

“It has been incredibly important to find a home for Jonathan’s life’s work that will not only keep it intact, but view it as a rich source of engagement and creativity,” Howard said. “I’m grateful to have found that shared vision at the University of Michigan.

Learn More About the Collection and Demme in the Complete Announcement

See Also: Jonathan Demme (via IMDB)

See Also: Jonathan Demme Obit (via NY Times; August 26, 2017)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.