More Information

UCLA Library is now home to the personal archive of one of the most prolific composers of modern film music: James Horner. The generous gift of Horner’s papers by his wife, Sara, will make accessible 41 boxes containing thousands of items that illuminate the craft, talent and professional relationships of Horner, whose credits include the Academy Award-winning score for Titanic (1997), the best-selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time.

“The materials in the James Horner collection document the full range of topics associated with the work of film and television composition, orchestration and arrangement, as well as the relationships created while working with industry professionals,” said Miki Bulos, the Library’s performing arts curator. “Students in a range of disciplines – from film composition and filmmaking to musicology and music industry studies – will find this an invaluable resource to complement their academic and creative work.”

During his career as a composer, conductor and orchestrator, Horner scored over 100 films for influential directors, including James Cameron, Ron Howard and Phil Robinson. Among the films he is best known for are Braveheart (1995), Field of Dreams (1989), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Cocoon (1985). And in the wake of Titanic, he scored Avatar, which has remained the highest-grossing film of all time since its 2009 release.

Alumnus Tomàs Peire Serrate organized the collection while he was a doctoral student in music composition.

“I think a detailed look at his scores can inspire composers not only in relation to his musical genius writing to picture but just musically,” Serrate said.

Horner earned his M.A. in music from UCLA in 1976, receiving the Henry Mancini Scholarship Award. After his death in 2015, Sara — also a UCLA alumnus — created the James Horner Composition Endowed Scholarship to support students pursuing degrees in music composition.

“UCLA is the perfect home for James’s work,” said Sara. “The university helped James with extensive support early in his career, and I hope through the gift of his papers and through the scholarship created in his name to be able to help others. I am also grateful and happy that his papers will be joining some of his father’s papers, the Oscar-winning art director Harry Horner.”