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Finding Aid to the Richard Jay Silverthorn Papers, 1952-1986

Finding aid prepared by Danielle Perez-Granado, (c) 2013

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Silverthorn, Richard Jay
Title
Richard Jay Silverthorn papers
Collection no.
Coll2013.069
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1970-1986
Date [inclusive]
1952-1986
Extent
8.1 linear feet., 4 archive boxes + 6 binder boxes + 3 archive cartons + 1 flat box.
Language
English
Abstract
Manuscripts, screenplays, adaptations, research materials, publisher and personal correspondence, handwritten and typed notes, personal and business related financial records, resumes, clippings, awards, photographs, and films of Richard Jay Silverthorn, 1952-1986. Born Marshall Stuart Goldman, Silverthorn was a writer, filmmaker, and gay activist.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Richard Jay Silverthorn Papers, Coll2013.069, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Biographical Information

Richard Jay Silverthorn was born Marshall Stuart Goldman in Buffalo, New York in 1952. Silverthorn attended the University of Rochester from 1970-1974, graduating with a BA in English. He then moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California film school, graduating in 1978 with a Master of Fine Arts (Cinema). As a film student, Silverthorn received accolades at the SPREE Awards for his gay films in 1975 (2nd place for Dichotomy) and in 1977 (1st place for  Two Faggots and 2nd place for  The Tea Room Scene). It was because Marshall Goldman had received attention for his gay films that his mother asked him to change his name. He also won many awards for his final student film,  Who is Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway? in which he played numerous characters as well as created special effects and animation.

Silverthorn wrote manuscripts, screenplays, and various adaptations of his original work and the work of others, notably Ray Bradbury's Frost and Fire and a trilogy based on Frank LaLoggia's 1981 film  Fear No Evil which Silverthorn acted in and created the make-up for. Silverthorn ceaselessly wrote and revised while attempting to land production and actor roles as well as book deals. In 1983 he partnered with former head of the USC film school, Maynard T. Smith, to create Simian Word Processing, a business geared toward providing publishing services for graduate students completing their dissertations. He also dabbled in the management of actor Nick Spittelli from 1984-1985. Silverthorn had one book published,  Satan’s Spawn (Avon Books, 1988) which was the third book of his "Satan Trilogy" originally titled  Lucifer. Remaining in Los Angeles until his death on March 23, 1987 from AIDS-related complications, Silverthorn's last years were spent creating an exhaustive family tree for the descendants of Rabbi David Zisilis.

Source: Richard Jay Silverthorn Papers, Coll2013.069, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes manuscripts, screenplays, adaptations, research materials, publisher and personal correspondence, handwritten and typed notes, personal and business related financial records, resumes, clippings, awards, photographs, and films created by Richard Jay Silverthorn, 1952-1986. The bulk of the collection consists of his writings, numerous iterations and adaptations of key stories including Campus Faggot,  Cookie, and  Beelzebub, book one of the "Satan Trilogy." Professional correspondence including publisher and agent letters, entertainment industry information, and financial records of his business with Maynard T. Smith, Simian Word Processing, are included along with family tree research and correspondence, clippings, Jewish and Satanist activity documentation, and healthcare correspondence. Photographs, found loose and within albums, document his personal and professional life from 1970-1986, including the original copy of his family tree.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Writings

Series 2. Professional Work

Series 3. Personal Papers

Series 4. Photographs

Series 5. Audiovisual Materials

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2013
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. The original reels of film in this collection (Series 5) are deposited in conjunction with the Outfest Legacy Project at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Advance notice is required for researchers wishing to access the films.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Donated by John O'Brien who received the collection from Maynard T. Smith having acquired the collection following Silverthorn's death. Date of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Formerly boxes 103-333, 103-346 and 103-351. Collection processed by Danielle Perez-Granado, July 2013.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials

The following publications have been separated from the Richard Jay Silverthorn collection and entered into the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' library and periodicals database:

ACLU of Southern California. Gay Rights Guardian (4:11), November 1979.

The Advocate. Issue 281, November 29, 1979.

Jennings, Newt. Truckin' for Chicken. Santee, CA: Surree Limited, Inc., 1976.

Hot Meat Honeymoon, 1 film reel (Super 8).

NOVA News catalogs.

Silverthorn, Richard Jay. Satan's Spawn. New York: Avon Books, 1988.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Gay men's writings
  • Manuscripts
  • Plays
  • Satanism--Fiction

Personal Name(s)

  • Smith, Maynard T.

Subject(s)

  • AIDS (Disease)--Patients
  • Film makeup
  • Horror films--Production and direction
  • Jewish gay men
  • Screenplays

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Series 1. Writings 1974-1985 

Scope and Contents

This series contains screenplays, manuscripts, and stage adaptations of Silverthorn's original and adapted writings including Campus Faggot, Silverthorn’s coming-out story.  Cookie, a tragic fictional autobiography, has numerous iterations as a manuscript, screenplay, and monologue. The bulk of the series are notes, research, and outlines for the “Satan Trilogy,” including drafts of the first book,  Beelzebub as a manuscript and screenplay. Correspondence and notes between Silverthorn and Ray Bradbury discuss his screen adaptation of  Frost and Fire. Notes and ideas for shorter or future projects are included.

Arrangement

Series 1. Writings is arranged alphabetically by major works.

Box Folder

 The Adventures of Pregnant Mary: A Neo-Victorian Romance undated 

1 1

 Alcoholism Film 1978-1981 

1 2

 Campus Faggot 

Box Folder

 Screenplay 5th Draft 1978   [2 folders]

1 3-4

 Screenplay 1978 

1 5

 Synopsis 1978-1980 

1 6

 Novel 1980   [2 folders]

1 7-8

 2nd Draft 1980   [3 folders]

1 9-11

 2nd Draft 1980   [2 folders]

1 12-13

 Sample Chapters 1980 

1 14

 Novel Outline undated 

1 15

 Manuscript 1974-1985   [3 folders]

1 16-18

 Chapter Outline and Sample Chapters for Agent Presentation 1985 

1 19

 Chapter Outline and Sample Chapters 1985 

1 20

 Stage Adaptation 1982   [3 folders]

1 21-23

 Cookie 

Box Folder

 Novel - First Draft 1979 

1 24

 Novel - First Rough Draft 1980-1981   [2 folders]

1 25-26

 Novel 1980-1983   [3 folders]

1 27-29

 Manuscript 1980-1983   [3 folders]

2 1-3

 Clean Draft for Scanning 1980-1983   [3 folders]

2 4-6

 Novel and Screenplay Synopsis undated 

2 7

 Screenplay 2nd Draft 1976 

2 8

 Screenplay Revised 1976-1980 

2 9

 Screenplay 1985 

2 10

 Correspondence and Drafts 1976 

2 11

 Novel Presentation for Publishers - Synopsis and Sample Chapters 1983 

2 12

 Monologue 1984   [3 folders]

2 13-15
Box Folder

 Film Ideas undated 

2 16

 Freddy the Fairy 1979 

2 17

 Freeway Film 1980-1981 

2 18

 Frost and Fire 

Box Folder

 Class Notes 1975-1976 

2 19

 Option and First Draft 1976-1978 

2 20

 3rd Draft 1977 

2 21
Box Folder

 Gay Short Stories undated 

2 22

 Menagerie undated 

2 23

 The Messiah: When the Prophet Comes 1980 

2 24

 Miscellaneous Scripts and Outlines undated 

2 25

 Porno Scripts undated 

2 26

 Night Club Act Ideas undated 

2 27

 New Film Ideas 1978-1979 

2 28

 Satan Trilogy 

Box Folder

 Rough Notes and Outlines 1980-1981 

2 29

 Synopsis and Stationary 1980-1983 

2 30

 Original Manuscript and Chapter Outlines 1981   [2 folders]

2 31-32

 Book of Satan Original Manuscript 1982 

2 33

 Chapter Outline 1983 

2 34

 Outline 1983 

2 35

 Beelzebub, First of the Aiwasz Manuscript undated 

2 36

 Beelzebub, First of the Aiwasz Manuscript undated 

3 1

 Beelzebub Manuscript 1983   [3 folders]

3 2-4

 Beelzebub Screenplay 1984   [2 folders]

3 5-6

 Catholic Beliefs (St. Bernadette) Notes undated 

3 7

 Church of Satan Correspondence 1980-1984 

3 8

 Mussolini Historical Research Notes and Bibliography (Satan Trilogy) undated 

3 9

 Napolean III Historical Notes (for Beelzebub) undated 

3 10

 Witchcraft and Demons Notes undated 

3 11

 Publisher Correspondence 1982-1983 

3 12

 Satan Trilogy and Personal Sketches undated 

6 2

 Illustrations (In Order with Page References to Text) 1984 

6 3
Box Folder

 Sports Screenplay 1979-1981 

3 13

 The Tea Room Scene 1975 

3 14

 Time Portal to Auschwitz (The Twilight Zone) 1985 

3 15

 The Trial of Henry Zita 1976 

3 16

 Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway? 

Box Folder

 Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway? 1978-1983 

3 17

 Egypt Research ( Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway?) undated 

6 1
Box Folder

 Zarcoff Scripts 1974-1975 

3 18

 Notebooks undated   [2 folders]

5 6-7

 American International Film Festival Award - Best Student Film for Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway? 1980 

5 8

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Series 2:  Series 2. Professional Work 1974-1986 

Scope and Contents

This series contains resumes and professional correspondence including cover letters and rejection letters, temp agency records, and production costs and information related to his films. In addition, business and financial papers of Simian Word Processing are included.

Arrangement

Series 2. Professional Work is arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 Employment Checks and Resumes 1978-1979 

3 19

 Employment History and Job Hunting 1978-1981 

3 20

 Industry Information undated   [2 folders]

3 21-22

 Richard B. Kaplan Attorney Correspondence for Fear No Evil 1985-1986 

3 23

 Mafia Kingpin circa 1981 

3 24

 Publisher Correspondence 1974-1985 

3 25

 Screenplay/Manuscript Correspondence 1974-1979 

3 26

 Simian Word Processing 

Box Folder

 Partnership Agreement 1983-1984   [2 folders]

3 27-28

 Administrative Records 1983-1984   [2 folders]

3 29-30

 1st Fiscal Year Invoices and Receipts 1984   [2 folders]

3 31-32

 Service Administrative Records 1984 

3 33

 2nd Fiscal Year Invoices, Receipts, and Administrative Records 1984-1985 

4 1

 Tax Returns - 1st Fiscal Year 1985 

4 2

 3rd Fiscal Year Invoices, Receipts, and Administrative Records 1985 

4 3

 Tax Forms 1986 

4 4

 Partnership Agreement 1984 

6 8

 Checks and Check Stubs 1985-1986 

7 1

 Check Stubs 1984-1985 

7 2
Box

 Simian and Personal Finances 1976-1986 

7

 Rubber Stamp 1983-1986 

14
Box Folder

 Smith, Maynard T. undated 

4 5

 Spittelli, Nick 1982-1983 

4 6

 Temp Agencies undated 

4 7

 Two Faggots Receipts 1975-1979 

4 8

 Word Processing Certificates and Secretarial Resumes 1983-1986 

4 9

 Fear No Evil - Names and Addresses, Makeup Budget undated 

6 4

 Mark of the Beast /  Fear No Evil Notes and Production Records 1979-1981   [3 folders]

6 5-7

 SPREE Article, Award for Two Faggots 1975 

4 35

 Who is Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway? Awards undated 

14 1

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Series 3:  Series 3. Personal Papers 1965-1986 

Scope and Contents

This series contains clippings and activist ephemera maintained by Silverthorn. Along with Beth Chayim Chadashim, Gay Jews Conference, and Simon Wiesenthal Center information, AIDS Project Los Angeles and Department of Health and Human Services correspondence are included along with research and correspondence for his Segel/Siegal family tree project. Noteworthy is his journal entitled “I Will Get into the Movies” written between 1978-1979.

Arrangement

Series 3. Personal Papers is arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder

 Aids Project Los Angeles Correspondence 1986 

4 10

 Beth Chayim Chadashim and the Gay Jews Conference 1978-1979 

4 11

 Beth Cahyim Chadashim, Simon Weisenthal Center, and Other Jewish Papers and Pamphlets circa 1981   [2 folders]

4 12-13

 Birthday Times 1986 

4 14

 Buffalo Articles about Silverthorn 1970-1974 

4 15

 Clippings undated 

4 16

 Clippings undated   [2 folders]

6 9-10

 Department of Health and Human Services Correspondence 1986 

4 17
Box

 Gay Pride Ribbon Pin undated 

14
Box Folder

 Insurance Records 1982-1983 

4 18

 I Will Get Into the Movies (Journal) 1978-1979 

4 19

 Martin, Bob Cartoons undated 

4 20

 Middle School Business Classwork 1965 

4 21

 Movie and Theater Programs and Posters circa 1970-1986 

4 22

 New York - Los Angeles Airplane Tickets 1974 

4 23

 Notes undated 

4 24

 Other Student Outlines 1974-1978 

4 25

 Personal Correspondence 1980-1982 

4 26

 Political and Activist Mailings undated 

4 27

 Erotica Clippings undated 

4 28

 Russell Company Letter undated 

4 29

 Segel/Siegel Family Tree 

Box Folder

 Research and Correspondence 1983-1986 

4 30

 Photocopies and Articles 1984 

4 31

 Rough Draft 1985 

4 32

 Library of Congress 1985 

4 33
Box Folder

 Selective Service ID Card 1972 

4 34

 Taxes 1978-1983 

4 36

 Taxes and Stock Papers 1984-1986 

5 1

 Time Machine Comic Book 1967 

5 2

 University of Rochester 1974-1984 

5 3

 University of Southern California 1974-1981 

5 4

 Voting Ballot and Driver's Test 1979-1980 

5 5

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Series 4:  Series 4. Photographs 1970-1986 

Scope and Contents

This series contains mostly personal photographs from albums documenting Silverthorn’s college and family life between 1970 and 1986. Many loose photos and clippings that had been displayed in his apartments, as well as production stills and tests for Who is Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway? and other makeup work are also in the collection. Personal headshots and portfolio work of Nick Spitelli are also included.

Arrangement

Series 4. Photographs is arranged chronologically.

Box

 Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway? Photo Album 1977-1980   10 b&w and color photographs and 12 color negatives.

8

 Bald Photos Proof Sheet and Wound Makeup Negatives 1982   1 b&w photograph and 10 b&w and color negatives.

8

 Who Is Richard J. Silverthorn Anyway? Production Stills Photo Album 1977-1978   80 b&w and color photographs. Last 6 theater photographs found loose.

8

 Richard Jay Silverthorn Headshot with Hair 1980   1 b&w photograph and 1 b&w negative.

8

 Headshot by Wayne 1981   2 b&w photographs and 2 resumes.

8

 Middle Age Makeup Bad Test #1 1981   2 b&w proof sheets.

8

 Hollywood Reporter Ad All Contact Sheets and Negatives 1981   5 b&w proof sheets and 13 b&w negatives.

8

 Old, Middle Young Makeup Proofs 1981   2 b&w proof sheets and 3 b&w negatives.

8

 Hollywood Reporter Ad 1981   1 b&w photograph, original mock-up and copy, copies of ad and headshot.

8

 Scratched Negatives Head Shot 1983   1 b&w proof sheet, 3 b&w photographs, and 7 b&w negatives.

8

 Headshot Soft Focus 1983   1 b&w proof sheet, 2 b&w photographs, and 4 b&w negatives.

8

 Headshot and Letter for Mafia Kingpin Correspondence 1983   3 b&w photographs and 1 b&w negative.

8

 Laloggia and Lugosi "Lady in White" Rodd's Zombie Makeup 1985   1 b&w proof sheet and 5 b&w negatives.

8

 Nelson Goldman Rodd Makeup 1985   1 b&w proof sheet and 5 b&w negatives.

8

 Childhood Photo Study Mock Up 1986   3 b&w and color photographs mounted and 5 copies of articles.

8

 Monsters Mailer undated   4 b&w and color photographs found loose in envelope.

8

 Dental X-Rays undated   15 b&w negatives.

8

 USC Stills, Family Photos, and Personal Photograph Album 1974-1978   220 b&w and color photographs.

9

 Personal and Family Photograph Album circa 1981   155 b&w and color photographs and 5 color copies.

9

 Family Photograph Album undated   75 b&w and color photographs.

10

 Christopher Street West Gay Pride Festival Photograph Album 1980   134 b&w and color photographs.

10

 Makeup, Shawn, Halloween, Kuran, CRM Photograph Album 1980-1981   54 b&w and color photographs.

10

 Personal and Family Photograph Album 1982-1983   73 b&w and color photographs.

10

 Portland Street Wall Photographs and Clippings (found loose) undated   61 b&w and color photographs and clippings.

11

 Wall Photographs and Clippings (found loose) 1976-1986   62 b&w and color photographs and clippings.

11

 University of Rochester Photographs (found loose) 1970-1974   112 b&w and color photographs and 3 color slides. Slides and last 4 photographs separately found loose.

11

 Segel Tree Negatives and Prints 1983-1986   2 b&w photographs, 2 color slides, and 10 b&w and color negatives.

12

 Pine Hill Cemetery 1984   5 b&w photographs, 1 proof sheet, and 5 b&w and color negatives.

12

 Segel Family Tree Photos and Articles 1984   5 b&w and color photographs, 3 proof sheets, and 7 b&w and color negatives.

12

 Family Tree Dupe Negatives, Photographs and Correspondence undated   37 b&w and color photographs and 31 b&w negatives.

12

 Shawn Jackson Negatives and Photographs circa 1981   72 b&w and color photographs, and 25 b&w and color negatives.

12

 Nick Spittelli Slides, Negatives and Photographs 1982-1983   16 b&w and color photographs, 14 b&w proof sheets, 22 color slides, and 79 b&w and color negatives.

12

 Adonis by Silverthorn 1984   1 b&w photograph, 1 b&w copy.

12

 Segel Family Tree Master Pages circa 1985   87 b&w and color photographs mounted for copying along with family tree history.

13

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Series 5:  Audiovisual Materials 1968-1985 

Scope and Contents

This series contains original films and recorded materials. Included are Silverthorn's films Dichotomy,  Who is Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway?,  Tearoom Scene, and his 1976 film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's  Frost and Fire.

Arrangement

Series 5. Audiovisual Materials is arranged by format.

Conditions Governing Access

The original reels of film in this series are deposited in conjunction with the Outfest Legacy Project at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Advance notice is required for researchers wishing to access these items.

 Audiotape 

Item

 Carousel; Mark Fornoff Singing Harmony for  Carousel; Bull Session 1985   1 reel-to-reel audiotape (1/4 inch).

ARR0384

 Lord of the Flies; Chorus Assemblies; Mark Twain circa 1968-1972   1 reel-to-reel audiotape (1/4 inch).

ARR0385

 Film 

Item

 Dichotomy undated   1 film reel (16mm).

Existence and Location of Copies note

2 DVD reference copies available onsite, #VDD0049.

VV1072

 Gilded Cage; Blob Stuff; Takes from Schizo undated   1 film reel (16mm).

VV1073
Box

 Frost and Fire 1976   1 film reel (Super 8).

14
Item

 Self Synthesis undated   1 film reel (Super 8).

VV1076
Box

 Steve Beeson's Outtakes, Who is R J Silverthorn Anyway?; Billy Kraine's Outtakes,  The Day Jackie Cracked undated   1 film reel (Super 8).

14
Item

 Tearoom Scene, Print #1 1975   1 film reel (16mm).

VV1074

 Tearoom Scene, Print #2 1975   1 film reel (16mm).

Existence and Location of Copies note

2 DVD reference copies available onsite, #VDD0096.

VV1075

 Who's Richard Jay Silverthorn Anyway? undated   1 film reel (16mm).

VV1071

 Videotape 

Item

 Dichotomy;  Two Faggots;  Tearoom Scene circa 1970-1980   1 videocassette (VHS).

VV0068

 [Untitled Video from University of Rochester] 1973   1 open reel videotape (1/2 inch).

VR0020

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