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Linda Harris Mehr

June 10, 2004|Leslee Komaiko

Hollywood native Linda Harris Mehr is the director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Margaret Herrick Library, a position she's held for 22 years.

Who was Margaret Herrick? She was one of the first librarians connected with the academy. She was married to Donald Gledhill, an early director of the academy; she took over running it when her husband went to war in 1943 and continued to run it until 1971. When she retired, they named the library in her honor.

Do you get many celebrity visitors? We do. There are directors who have come here to study past versions of works, actors who come to look at scripts to explore themes.

Is the library a good place to be discovered? I doubt that. It's a place to explore all aspects of film history or current activities of the business. As far as casting agents coming here to find people sitting on a library chair, I doubt that.

What is the largest donation to the library? I think the script collection from Turner MGM, which came in 1,503 bankers' boxes.

I understand you have the brooch Vivien Leigh wore at the end of "Gone With the Wind." It's a part of what is known as the Hollywood Museum collection. [There was supposed to have been a Hollywood Museum years ago.] Walter Plunkett, the designer who created her costumes, borrowed it from his mother. When his mother passed away, he donated it to this collection. We periodically put it on exhibit.

-- Leslee Komaiko

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