Austin History Center

Robert A. Burns Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Burns, Robert A.
Title: Robert A. Burns Papers
Dates: 1972-1977
Abstract: Robert Burns was a movie art director, and owned a local Austin graphic design business called the RH Factor. Posters, broadsides, business cards, and programs for local businesses Burns designed, and newspaper clippings about "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," which Burns worked on, can be found in his papers.
Accession number: AR.O.003
Quantity: 2.2 linear feet (1 box and 1 oversized box)
Location: Archives stacks, qAR
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Sketch

Robert Burns was the proprietor of a local graphic arts business called the RH Factor, located at 812 W. 12th Street. The business produced a number of designs for many local businesses. A native of Austin, Burns attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a degree in drama and was editor of a campus magazine (now defunct) called The Texas Ranger. In addition to his graphic design enterprise, Burns was involved in other local projects, including the Free and Easy publication, which Burns helped to edit and publish from May, 1974 until February, 1976; and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie, for which he served as art director. This helped launch his career as a professional art director, and he spent some time in Los Angeles on other, larger horror movies. He died in 2004 at the age of 60.

Scope and Contents

The Robert A. Burns papers are comprised of examples of designs created by Robert Burns at his graphic design business, the RH Factor. Advertisements include programs, posters, broadsides, and business cards, mostly for motion-picture businesses like Cinema Texas. Posters of note include "Memories of Meat," which was designed for "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" movie; an advertisement for the RH Factor; and a poster for Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan's early band, the Blackbirds. Newspaper clippings about "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and Burns himself, along with a bibliography about his poster designs can also be found within the collection.


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Burns, Robert A.
Tyler, Wink.
Vaughan, Jimmie.
Vaughan, Stevie Ray.
Subjects (Organizations)
Black Bird.
Bronco Brothers.
Center Stage.
Cinema 40.
Cinema Texas.
Coasters (Musical group).
Freewheeling Bicycle Shop.
Grok Brooks.
King Kong (Musical group).
Leather Nun (Musical group).
Luckenbach World's Fair.
RH Factor, The.
Riverside Golf Center.
Sugarloaf (Musical group).
Texas Opry House.
University of Texas at Austin.
Business enterprises--Texas--Austin.
Motion picture industry--Texas--Austin.
Posters, American--20th Century.
School boards--Elections--Texas--Austin.
Austin (Tex.)--Commerce.
Austin (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Austin (Tex.)--Social life and customs.
Austin (Tex.)--Songs and music.
Document Types
Greeting cards.

Related Material

General Collection

  • A 810 BU Robert A. Burns, Impulse Film Script.1976.
  • A 810 BU Robert A. Burns, Mad Dog Film Script.1977.
  • A 810 BU, Mad Dog: Prospectus for Feature Movie Production, November 10, 1977, Lycanthrope Limited.1977.

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Robert A. Burns

Archives & Manuscripts

Separated Material

Later donations by Robert A. Burns were not related to his own papers and so were separated into other collections:

General Collection

  • A VHS 929.1 OU, Out of your Tree! Crazy About Genealogy.1993.

Archives & Manuscripts

  • AR.O.006 Grimes and Leath Families Papers

Artifacts Collection

  • Bon Ton Bakery coin

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Robert A. Burns Papers (AR.O.003). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1977/025

Donation Date: 1977

Processing Information

Original donation arranged by Evan Moore in 1977. Collection rearranged, finding aid created and encoded by Toni Cirilli in 2019.

Other Finding Aid

See detailed inventory of collection here.

See attached spreadsheet for a full list of oversized posters included in the collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Robert A. Burns Papers, 1973-1977, undated

Box Folder
1 1 RH Factor printed works, 1973-1977, undated
2 Newspaper articles and Robert Burns bibliography, 1974-1977, undated
Location BoxItem
qAR 7/088-093 Robert A. Burns posters, undated
8/001-073 Robert A. Burns posters, 1971-1977, undated