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Preston Wood Script Collection

Identifier: MSS 0513

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 65 boxes of material beginning in 1942 (University of Florida, WRUF - Radio) and ending in 1981 with the CBS television drama, "Jessica Novak". The PRESTON WOOD SCRIPT COLLECTION contains hundreds of scripts, in various formats (outline, first and second drafts, revisions and final shooting scripts). In addition, a patron may find writer's and producer's notes and research materials (such as official forms and notes from the office of Los Angeles Coroner, Thomas Naguchi, used to add realism to the NBC crime/medical drama "Quincy" ), clippings and articles from various trade newspapers and journals with reviews of episodes written by Preston Wood, signed memos from studio and production executives (Jack Webb, etc), contracts and union "writing credit" documents, and actual cassette recordings of story conferences between writers, producers and actors. The collection is filed chronologically, by television series title (Dragnet (NBC-TV) 1967-70). Preston Wood did extensive work on a number of series ("Bonanza", " Adam-12", etc.), but also wrote scattered episodes for a number of programs during the 1950s, 60s and 70s ("Mr. Novak", "The Wild Wild West", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E", "The D.A.", etc). This material is filed, alphabetically in MISCELLANEOUS boxes for each decade.

The PRESTON WOOD SCRIPT COLLECTION is a valuable resource for writers and students of radio and television history. The researcher can follow the career of Mr. Wood, from the beginning, through the various stages of his professional life and also follow each step in the writing process from the story idea, outline and first draft to the rewrites and final shooting script.


  • Creation: 1942 - 1983



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Preston Wood (Born: March 15, 1923 - Died: January 13, 2011) began his career in broadcasting as a University of Florida undergrad in the early 1940s. In Gainesville, churning out stacks of commercial scripts and public service announcements for WRUF-Radio, he discovered his passion for the written word. Following military service in World War II, Preston Wood paid his professional dues, rewriting a musical comedy for legendary showman, J.J. Shubert in New York City. Now at the center of the broadcasting universe, Mr. Wood wrote comedy for the Kraft Music Hall and for radio pioneers such as Goodman Ace, Robert Q. Lewis and Paul Winchell. In addition to his comedy writing, Preston Wood also worked steadily as a television director on such programs as "The Bigelow Show" and "We, The People" starring such diverse personalities as Mickey Mantle, Cole Porter and President Harry S. Truman.

After a few years as a television account executive with various firms, Mr. Wood was hired as a program development executive for NBC in 1958. He served in this capacity until 1961, when he decided to focus his energies as a freelance television writer. For the next 25 years, Preston Wood wrote or co-wrote scripts for all three major networks and for many of the top 10 shows of the period including "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke", "Hawaii 5-0". "The Addams Family", "Cimarron Strip" and "Quincy". Mr. Wood's longest lasting professional association was with Jack Webb and the Mark VII productions of "Dragnet", "Adam-12", "Emergency" and "Sierra".


33 Linear Feet (65 Boxes)

Language of Materials



One of the more prolific of scriptwriters from the "Golden Age" of radio and television drama and comedy, Preston Wood has produced an amazing and varied list of credits in his sixty-year career. The PRESTON WOOD SCRIPT COLLECTION spans every genre from the western to science fiction and includes many of the classic television episodes cited by broadcast historians and baby boomer fans of the 50s, 60s and 70s.


The Preston Wood Script Collection is arranged chronologically by production.


University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

The PRESTON WOOD COLLECTION was acquired in 2000 and recently added to the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts.

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of selected items in the Preston Wood Script Collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

A Guide to the Preston Wood Script Collection
Finding aid created by Jim Liversidge
June 2015 (Updated November 2022)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America