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Army’s archives to Academy

Variety columnist's files given to Herrick Library

One of the most impressive address books in Hollywood has been turned over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library.

Academy president Tom Sherak was on hand at the Variety offices last week as Selma Archerd, widow of long-time Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd, handed over the 10 boxes that made up his address book. The 3″-by-5″ white cards are all handwritten and contain phone numbers dating back to an era when five-digit numbers were the norm. Archerd, who died Sept. 8 at age 87, spent 57 of those years writing for Daily Variety.

“Anyone who was anyone is in these cards, he never threw any of them out,” Selma Archerd said.

Cards ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Ronnie Reagan of movie fame are in the collection, alongside Prince Philip, Elvis Presley, Sam Goldwyn, A.C. Lyles, O.J. Simpson and even Kato Kaelin. When a source changed numbers, spouses or addresses, Archerd simply crossed out the old and added the new.

Sherak immediately looked himself up in the cards and was pleased to see his info intact alongside his son William’s card.

Acquisitions archivist for the Academy library, Howard Prouty, said the card file will be available for researchers in the library’s special collections department.

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