The Dutch Astrid Franse recently discovered she had had a unique Marilyn Monroe archive in a box under her desk for years. Astrid and her husband own a store called Bennies Fifties and frequently visit the United States to buy things for their store. It was on one of these trips that she found a box containing the unique material, ‘My partner and I bought the box almost twenty years ago in America, where we were looking for old jukeboxes and other things for our store. We could take a quick look inside the box and saw some newspaper articles and magazine covers. It was take it or leave it, there where already other people willing to buy it’.
Recently Miss Franse was archiving everything and discovered that the box was the archive of the Blue Book Modelling Agency, the agency where Marilyn started her modelling career. The box belonged to Emmeline Snively, founder of the agency, who took Marilyn (then Norma Jean Dougherty) under her wing in 1939. The archive contains a lot of pictures, negatives, telegrams, personal notes, correspondence and even a script. ‘Miss Snively introduced Marilyn in the movie industry and always followed her career. You can tell from the correspondence in the box that she tried to sell it to writers, editors and producers for years after Marilyn’s death, but never had any luck’, said Miss Franse.
She wants to keep the pieces in the archive together, instead of only selling the popular pieces, saying: ‘I want this story to be told, through a book or a documentary. All the material gives you a unique view of Marilyn’s early years, before her breakthrough in the movie industry. This whole story has become my baby’.