The Frank Galati Papers fill 38 boxes and span the years 1948-2006; the bulk of the papers date between 1965 and 2005. The papers consist mostly of scripts and other notes from the plays he wrote, directed or in which he acted.
Biographical files include personal information about Galati and his family (Box 1, Folder 2). They also include resumes (Box 1, Folder 1), drafts of speeches he made (Box 1, Folder 6) and materials from awards he received and workshops he attended (Box 1, Folder 7). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The education subseries includes materials from Galati's academic career. It contains clippings, correspondence and programs from shows he appeared in and directed at Northwestern (Box 3, Folders 1-3) as well as papers he wrote as a student, including his dissertation (Box 3, Folder 6). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The materials in the teaching subseries include course notebooks and other teaching materials from the courses he led at Northwestern University, along with flyers from the productions he directed at South Florida (Box 3, Folder 7). It also includes teaching evaluations (Box 6, Folder 3), commencement programs from Northwestern University and DePaul University (Box 6, Folders 8-9) and materials from the Department of Interpretation at Northwestern University (Box 6, Folder 4). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The screenplays subseries contains screenplays written by Galati. The folders marked “other” contain screenplays written by other authors that were in Galati's possession. Most of the screenplays have multiple drafts, including All the King's Men and A Confederacy of Dunces. The files for The Living End contain a rough draft written by Galati in a composition book (Box 10, Folder 2). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The scripts subseries contains scripts for plays written by other authors but in Galat's possession. It includes plays like Peacekeeper, by Northwestern graduate Keith Reddin (Box 13, Folder 10), as well as Eleutheria (Box 13, Folder 7, by Samuel Beckett) and A Notebook of Trigorin (Box 13, Folder 9, by Tennessee Williams). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The shows subseries makes up the bulk of the collection. It contains clippings, correspondence, scripts, personnel lists, production schedules and set designs from a number of Galati's plays. It also contains performance notes and outlines. The folders on The Accidental Tourist contain mailings from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pertaining to the 1989 Oscars, when Galati was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (Box 14, Folder 9). The correspondence in the subseries consists mostly of notes from friends and actors he directed in the plays. The correspondence folder on The Grapes of Wrath contains acknowledgements from actors like Lois Smith, Gary Sinise and John C. Reilly (Box 23, Folder 5). Items within each file are arranged chronologically.
The oversize materials subseries contains rough drafts, handwritten by Galati, of scripts for A Confederacy of Dunces and Random Harvest. It also contains issues of magazines and newspapers with articles about Galati in them and the publisher's copy of Anne Tyler's Breathing Lessons that Galati used to adapt the play. Box 39 contains a scrapbook kept by Frank Galati, Sr., while he was at Darien High School in Darien, Illinois. The scrapbook holds newspaper clippings of athletic and other achievements from when Galati, Sr., was at Darien.