Established in 1996, the Film Music Archives contains materials that BYU began collecting more than two decades ago. First acquired were the files and recordings of Republic Pictures and Max Steiner, acknowledged founder of modern film music, whose collection documents his more than 300 scores.
BYU also owns the papers, scores, and music of Academy Award–winning composer Hugo Friedhofer (The Best Years of Our Lives). The Kenneth Darby Papers document the choral specialist’s career at Twentieth Century–Fox, where he and composer Alfred Newman collaborated on such classic films as The King and I, Porgy and Bess, and Camelot.
The papers of John Addison (Academy Award for Tom Jones  and an Emmy for the theme to TV’s “Murder She Wrote” ) and Jerry Fielding (work on Otto Premminger’s Advise and Consent , Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch , and Clint Eastwood’s The Outlaw Josey Wales) are also owned by BYU. The archives include the collection of Ernest Gold, who composed the music for Stanley Kramer’s On the Beach (1958) and for Judgment at Nuremberg, Ship of Fools, and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Gold received an Academy Award for his score for Otto Premminger’s Exodus.
A virtual history of the long-play soundtrack album is documented in the Craig Spaulding Collection of nearly 3,000 original soundtrack albums dating from Pinocchio (1940) and The Jungle Book (1942) to the demise of the vinyl LP in 1989. In addition to collecting material for research, the Film Music Archives produces a series of premiere soundtrack releases from original materials in BYU’s collection.