Archives & Special Collections
Tom Fontana Collection


Donor: Great Lakes United
Date of Acquisition: May, 2007
Processed: February, 2008
7 boxes; 10.5 linear ft; contents: (ca.) 1984-(ca.) 2004

Historical Background

Tom Fontana, a Buffalo native and 1973 graduate of Buffalo State College, is the award-winning writer and producer of three acclaimed television series, " St. Elsewhere", "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Oz".

Tom has generously placed his collection of scripts and materials associated with the production of the television series and the television movies in the Special Collections of E. H. Butler Library. His collection also contains videotapes of many of the episodes of the series he has written and produced.

Other accomplishments of Tom's include his involvement as a writer and producer on the series "Tattinger's", "Home Fires" and "The Beat". He wrote the ABC special "The Fourth Wiseman", "FireHouse: the Movie" a pilot for CBS, and "Homicide: Life Everlasting", a TV movie of the week for NBC. He also wrote a made-for-television movie "Judas" which premiered February 15, 2002 at Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY. This premier honored a fellow graduate of the school, Sean Rooney who died September 11th during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Tom taught a class on ensemble writing at Buffalo State College in the fall of 2003. On November 19, 2003, Tom's new play, "The Day Jack London Got Pinched", taken from the memoirs of the 19th century writer was premiered at the college.

Currently, Tom is working with Barry Levinson and James Yoshimura, on a pilot entitled "The Circuit" for Fox Broadcasting. The hour long drama will focus on a New York City jury.

On November 24, 2003 Tom was inducted into the Western New York Entertainment Hall of Fame at the Shea's Performing Arts Cener. Past inductees include Lucille Ball, Buffalo Bob Smith, Broadway's George Abbott and Michael Bennett, playwright A.R. Gurney and jazz musician Grover Washington Jr. Tom's portrait, by Buffalo artist George Palmer, will hang in the lobby of the Shea's theater.

Tom has written several plays which have been produced in New York City, San Francisco and at the Studio Arena in Buffalo. His collection contains one of his unpublished plays entitled "A Slice of Buffalo, A Peace of Paris."

Tom has his own web site where he discusses new projects.

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Scripts from Homicide: Life on the Street

Baby Itís You Part 1 - Box 75
Blood Ties Part 3 - Box 75
Double Blind - Box 60
City That Bleeds - Box 52
Cradle to Grave - Box 52
End Game - Box 52
Fallen Heroes - Box 80
Finnegans Wake - Box 80
Fox, FBI - Box 52
Fits Like A Glove - Box 52
Gypsy Luck - Box 78
Kellerman, P.I. - Box 94
Law and Order . Part 1 - Box 106
Law and Order . Part 2 - Box 106
Nothing Personal - Box 52
Old And The Dead - Box 52
People Next Door - Box 116/123
Practice To Deceive - Box 60
Red, Red Wine (? Untitled) - Box 94
Saigon Rose - Box 75
Silent Service - Box 75
Sitting Ducks - Box 80
Subway - Box 75
Trifles Light As Air - Box 116/123
Why Chromosome - Box 116

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Tom's 1973 Elms yearbook photograph         Tom as the 1997 commencement speaker; he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the 
State University of New York

Tom's cartoon depicting the creative process

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Library Home


Archives houses various college publications, scrapbooks, memorabilia and statistics from 1860 on, as well as college annual reports, budgets, and salary information.

Our special collections include scores of unique collections of local history, regional interest, and national significance.

Many of these collections are in BUTL 218 (map). To use these materials, please review our policies, and schedule an appointment using the contact information below.


Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Archivist: Daniel DiLandro
Telephone: 716-878-6308
Fax: 716-878-3134

Staff Assistant: Margaret Hatfield
Telephone: 716-878-6304
Fax: 716-878-3134

Fronczak Room Curator: Wanda Slawinska
Telephone: 716-878-6208
Fax: 716-878-3134

This page was last updated on March 23, 2009.