Kotsilibas-Davis, James (1941-2003)

The James Kotsilibas-Davis collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, professional materials, research materials, audio materials, photographs, and other items.

The collection includes manuscripts for America: The Way We Were, Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming, and Orphans of the Storm: The Lives of Lillian and Dorothy Gish. Shorter works are also present, such as “The Fabulous Thirties”; “Great Wonders of the World” (essay); “Ziegfeld Follies Reunion” by Michelle Cousin (radio transcript); various interview transcripts; and untitled fragments, proposals, and notes.

Correspondence in the collection consists chiefly of personal letters to and from Kotsilibas-Davis (1977-1988), though a letter to Myrna Loy from William Valentine is included, as well.

Collected printed materials include newsclippings, flyers, posters, proofs, and publications such as The Diners’ Club Magazine, The New Yorker, Psychology: Health, Happiness, Success, and The Woman. Other items include author’s copies and reviews from Bloomsbury and Kotsilibas-Davis’s Bookworld review of Barbara Learning’s Bette Davis. Printed materials regarding Myrna Loy are particularly comprehensive and consist of newspapers (1977-95); clippings (1966-95); photocopies (1987-92); newsletters (1966-67); and programs, flyers, and pamphlets (1987). Issues of publications pertaining to Loy—American Cinematographer, Bunte, Life, McCall’s, The New Yorker, People, and Travel-Holiday, among others—constitute additional items.

The collection’s professional materials—printed materials, correspondence, photographs, and notes—are filed under headings such as “McCrea,” “Myrna Loy Photographs,” “Resumes of Kotsilibas-Davis,” and more.

Collected research materials pertain principally to Marilyn Monroe, Myrna Loy, and the Gish family. A press release regarding “Santa Monica Heritage Museum: Myrna Loy, Cinema Legend with a Social Conscience” is also present.

The collection includes a comprehensive set of audio cassettes on a wide variety of subjects: “Betty Black,” “Dolly Haas,” “Francesca and John Beaufort,” “MGM,” “Politic,” “Radio Show,” and “Tony Slide,” among others. The cassette collection totals over 100 items.

Photographs in the collection include both black and white and color prints. Notables include over 500 black and white prints of Myrna Loy, including one of Kotsilibas-Davis, Colleen Dewhurst, George Cukor, Myrna Loy, and others in front of MGM studios; 120 black and white prints of the Gish family (marked with occasional annotations); and a color photo of a Latin Club Dinner.

Miscellaneous items include various contracts; royalty statements; oversized materials; and a Myrna Loy cardboard mask with a wooden handle.

Notable Figures
1. Barrymore, Ethel, 1879-1959
2. Barrymore, John, 1882-1942
3. Gish, Dorothy
4. Gish, Lillian, 1893-1993
5. Loy, Myrna, 1905-1993
6. Kotsilibas-Davis, James
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. History and Biography Subject Guide