De Niro Collection opens in Austin

University museum to house props, costumes, scripts

The Robert De Niro Collection of film-related materials has opened to researchers and the public at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin.

Donated by De Niro in 2006, the collection, including more than 1,300 boxes of papers, film, movie props and costumes, documents his professional career from the 1960s through 2005.

Filling more than 300 archival boxes, the paper portion of the collection includes De Niro's heavily annotated scripts and correspondence, makeup and wardrobe photographs, wardrobe continuity books, costume designs and posters and extensive production, publicity and research material.

"This is an important and incredibly rich collection," said Steve Wilson, associate curator of film at the Ransom Center. "It covers so many aspects of filmmaking, from scripts and screenwriting to costumes and film and video. Scholars and students can follow the development of such films as 'The Deer Hunter' from the printed page to the screen. I simply don't know of another film archive quite like it."

With about 8,500 items filling more than 1,000 boxes, the costumes and props within the collection constitute the center's largest single costume holding and include such iconic items as the leopard-print boxing robe worn by De Niro in "Raging Bull" and the voluminous, body-length coats of the creature in "Frankenstein."

The collection, appraised at more than $5 million, took more than two years to process, organize and catalog.
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