Students at the University of Texas at Austin will have a new way to engage with the “Mad Men” series thanks to its creator, executive producer, writer and director Matthew Weiner and studio Lionsgate. The acclaimed show’s archive will be donated to the school’s Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library.
Students, faculty and visitors will be able to interact with and study script drafts and notes, props, costumes, digital records, and video relating to the series.
“‘Mad Men’ is a groundbreaking program, noteworthy for the high quality of its writing, acting and design, as well as for the insightful depiction of American culture through the lens of the past,” said Steve Wilson, the Ransom Center’s curator of film. “Through the ‘Mad Men’ holdings, students and scholars will gain new insights into the creative decisions that shaped the series and a greater understanding of the evolution of motion pictures.”
The workplace drama following the professional and personal lives of advertising men and women of Madison Avenue first premiered in 2007. Over the course of the show’s 92 episodes, it earned four consecutive Emmy awards, three Golden Globes, a Peabody, three Producers Guild Awards, six Writers Guild Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and five Television Critics Association Awards.
“It’s our hope that the ‘Mad Men’ archive can satisfy academic curiosity and also provide creative inspiration,” Weiner said. “Both artists and scholars can retrace our steps and see how we became interested in the parts of the story we were interested in, and how the creation of the physical world as well as the characters and storylines in the show were the work of many talented people.”
Other donations include inspiration boards and lookbooks of period fashion, home and office design, set and costume drawings, scripts, shooting schedules and call sheets. Production footage includes dailies, screen tests, gag and demo reels, trailers and publicity material.
Through Feb. 1, the Ransom Center’s lobby will house a selection of materials from the archive for viewing. After cataloging, the archive will be available for exhibition, teaching and research.