Skip to main content

Richard Jay Silverthorn papers

Identifier: Coll2013-069

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, 1933-1986. 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.


  • 1933 - 1986
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1986


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.

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 Maynard T. Smith, staff at USC Cinema, 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.


8.5 Linear Feet (4 archive boxes + 6 binder boxes + 4 archive cartons + 1 flat box.)

Language of Materials



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, 1933-1986. Born Marshall Stuart Goldman, Silverthorn was a writer, filmmaker, and gay activist.


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


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.

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.

Processing Information

Formerly boxes 103-333, 103-346 and 103-351. Collection processed by Danielle Perez-Granado, July 2013. Additional materials added by Kyle Morgan, 2015.

Finding aid to the Richard Jay Silverthorn papers, 1933-1986
Danielle Perez-Granado
(c) 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771