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William P. Blatty Papers

Identifier: GTM-730327

Scope and Contents

The collection contains typed manuscripts and galley proofs for novels and screenplays by William P. Blatty. It also contains research materials related to the Exorcist, including letters from Father William S. Bowdern (1968-1975).


  • 1953-2010


Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Note

William P. Blatty (1928-2017) was a noted author and movie screenwriter. Born in New York City on January 7, 1928, Blatty won a scholarship to Georgetown University, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1950. Later, he earned an M.A. in Literature from George Washington University. From 1951 to 1954, Blatty served in the U.S. Air Force Psychological Warfare Division. In 1954, he was stationed in Lebabon with the United States Information Agency (USIA).

Willaim P. Blatty was the author of "The Exorcist" (1973), "The Ninth Configuration" (1980), and "The Exorcist III" (1990). In 1973, he wrote the screen play to the movie version of "The Exorcist," and he won an Academy Award for his efforts. Much of the film was shot in Georgetown.

William P. Blatty died on January 12, 2007 in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 89.

[Sources: (1) "William Peter Blatty, Author of 'The Exorcist," Dies at 89" in "The Washington Post" obituary 1/13/2017. (2) International Movie Database Online.]


3.5 Cubic Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of William P. Blatty, 1973, 2004, 2009, 2011; and Bernard M. Wagner, 1974.

Related Materials

See also Saturday Evening Post article by William Peter Blatty (GTM-20231116).

Processing Information

Blatty materials from the following collections have been relocated to Box 7 of this collection.

Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection 4, GTM-090701

- letters from Father Bowdern (1968-1975, originals + photocopies)[Folder, 1:6]

- notes/source material for “The Exorcist.” [Folder 1:7]

- photo of Gerald Lankester Harding [Folder 1:7]

Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection 5, GTM-100701

- William Blatty -- "Dimiter" / Proofs.

- William Blatty -- "Legion" /Proofs.

William P. Blatty Papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo
  • 2023-11: Related Materials note edited by John Zarrillo

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057