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Judy Freudberg Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 30 Aug 2012

Biographical History

Judy Freudberg (1949-2012) was an American television writer. A graduate of Syracuse University, she was a scriptwriter for Sesame Street for more than 35 years and was the co-creator and head writer of the "Elmo's World" segment. She also wrote sketches for celebrities appearing on Sesame Street, and co-wrote the screenplays for the animated features films The Land Before Time and An American Tail.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Judy Freudberg Papers consists of notes, drafts, scripts and story ideas for Sesame Street, Elmo's World and various other creative projects.

The Elmo's World series consists of an official guide to the show (including a sketch of the set) and notes and scripts (some partial) for six seasons as well as an Elmo's World special (undated). The miscellaneous material includes lists of Elmo's World home videos, ideas for show topics, notes and memos about the show, and other assorted items.

The Sesame Street series contains bound scripts, inserts, files for individual shows, and miscellaneous Sesame Street-related items. Bound scripts encompass 25 years and eleven seasons. Not all shows are represented, and the scripts that are present are partial only; presumably only the parts that Freudberg wrote are included but this cannot be verified. Inserts consist of very short pieces intended to be inserted into a show; the inserts for Season 41 include a CD labeled "SS Puppet Inventory Animals." Show files contain notes, memos, and various version of scripts (drafts, production meeting copies, final copies). A few also contain music or lyrics for songs. The show file for show #4126, Rocco's birthday party, includes a CD labeled "Operatic Lullaby." Miscellaneous material includes handwritten notes with ideas for sketches, copies of Sesame Street curriculum guides for several seasons, handouts from creative meetings and workshops, and assorted other items.

Subject files contains notes, ideas, scripts and pitch documents for a range of creative projects, ranging from two episodes for the WGBH series Between the Lions to pitch documents for Mrs. Sparklenose's Flying Fairy School to handwritten notes for what appears to be a novel.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is divided into the three series given above. Within each series, scripts, inserts and show files are arranged chronologically while subject files are arranged alphabetically by title or topic.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Five hardcover books have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items. The titles are:

Subject Headings


Freudberg, Judy.

Corporate Bodies

Children's Television Workshop.
Sesame Workshop.

Associated Titles

Elmo's world.
Sesame Street (Television program)


Muppets (Fictitious characters)
Television and children.
Television in preschool education.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Research notes.
Television scripts.
Treatments (documents)


Television writers.
Women television writers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Judy Freudberg Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Joan Leibovitz, Jean Ballin, and Lee Freudberg, 2012.

Table of Contents

Elmo's World

Sesame Street

Subject files