Pitt made a significant move to preserve Romero’s legacy by acquiring many of his archive materials, with plans to add them to the University Library System (ULS). Contributed on behalf of the George Romero Estate and the George A. Romero Foundation by his widow Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, his daughter Tina Romero, and his business partner and friend, Peter Grunwald, the archives span 50 years and include original screenplay drafts with script notes, props, promotional materials, and video.
“George was a natural teacher,” states Grunwald in a press release. “He would have loved knowing that his collection would be used to educate and inspire future generations.”
Highlights of the George A. Romero Collection include an original annotated script for Night of the Living Dead, his unfinished adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, Dawn of the Dead set photos, and a foam latex zombie head.
In addition, a multimedia exhibit will open to the public on the third floor of Pitt's Hillman Library, which is undergoing renovations expected to complete in 2020.
“This is a major achievement for the Archives & Special Collections at the ULS, the University of Pittsburgh and the city,” states Hillman librarian and ULS director, Kornelia Tancheva, in a press release. “It will position us as an important player in the ongoing city-wide celebration of the work and life of George Romero, and we look forward to collaborating with the Romero Foundation and the individual donors as we build a horror studies archive.”
A team that includes Pitt film and media studies graduate students will begin processing the Romero Collection this summer. Pitt and ULS plan on celebrating the collection with activities this fall.
In addition to the ULS collection, the City of Pittsburgh memorialized the groundbreaking filmmaker with Romero Lives!, a celebration launched on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 release of Night of the Living Dead.
“George’s contributions to filmmaking in Pittsburgh, to horror as social and political cinema, as well as to the independent film tradition, are unmatched and transformative,” states Pitt professor and a Romero Foundation board member, Adam Lowenstein, in a press release. “This remarkable collection will allow his achievements to be seen through a revelatory lens that sheds light not only on an individual career, but on crucial issues in film and culture.”