The series consists of files on various projects undertaken by John McGreevy's production company, John McGreevy Productions, arranged alphabetically by project title. The file titles reflect McGreevy's own arrangement. Occasionally material relating to a different project may be found filed under an unrelated title (for instance, pages from a Sir Wilfrid Laurier script appear on the reverse of documents in the Bubbles and Getty Project files; a script from Empire of the Bay can be found in the Pearson file).
In general, the files include the following: correspondence and memoranda, project proposals, outlines and treatments, scripts, transcripts of interviews, research material, notes, financial records, contracts and agreements, production material, clippings and publicity material.
The series reflects John McGreevy's frequent and longtime collaboration with Peter Ustinov on documentaries, including such projects as An Evening with Sir Peter Ustinov; Ballet Opera House; Children of Russia; Inside the Vatican; Peter Ustinov in China; Peter Ustinov's Russia, Sir Peter Ustinov's Voyage Across the Eighties and Ustinov on the Orient Express. Files for An Evening with Sir Peter Ustinov, featuring Peter Ustinov's one man show presented at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, contain documentation on financial arrangements with Mirvish Productions and a letter from Nicholas Goldschmidt. The Inside the Vatican files include correspondence from Ted Arcand (Canadian Ambassasor to the Holy See), Cardinal G. Emmett Carter of Toronto, Most Reverend Archbishop John P. Foley (Pontifical Council for Social Communications), and Peter Ustinov; scripts and notes by Gary Michael Dault; correspondence regarding a proposal by Hurricane Films for an In Confidence with Peter Ustinov series; photographs and nine caricature portraits by Peter Ustinov, including two of John McGreevy.
Files for Peter Ustinov's Russia contain correspondence with CTV documenting their involvement with the actual editing of the documentary; correspondence with Adrienne Clarkson; production notebooks kept by Jennifer Puncher while shooting in Russia; transcripts of a conversation between McGreevy and Ustinov; and a photo of McGreevy and Ustinov. Files for Ustinov on the Orient Express contain correspondence with the owners of the Orient Express and a script by Gary Michael Dault with some annotations by Peter Ustinov. Note that original handwritten manuscript notes by Peter Ustinov, including annotated scripts, are found within files for many of these projects.
Cities and Return Journey were series which featured prominent individuals and their cities. Files for Cities include documentation regarding the launch of the Glenn Gould film at Toronto City Hall; correspondence or memoranda from Anthony Burgess, Lutz Dille, Jonathan Miller, R.D. Laing, Elie Weisel, Glenn Gould, Studs Terkel, Christopher Grieve; a script for the Melina Mercouri episode; a transcript of a Greek newspaper article about McGreevy; signatures of Chicago musicians; correspondence about the publishing of the accompanying book by Lester & Orpen Dennys; and seven publicity photographs. Files for Return Journey include several treatments by Peter Blow; correspondence from actors Victor Banerjee, Margot Kidder and Stephanie Powers; documentation regarding the response in Egypt to McGreevy's script for Omar Sharif; and some photographs.
Other projects, some unrealized, are represented in this series. The Ben Dunkelman: Reluctant Warrior files document a co-production with CRB Foundation's Canadian Heritage Project and Israel Broadcasting. Files on Born Talking, a series on language featuring Jonathan Miller, contain correspondence from Jonathan Miller 1986 and transcripts of conversations with Oliver Sacks, Noam Chomsky, among others. Files on Mr. Sam, a project based on Peter Newman's The Bronfman Dynasty, include: documentation on McGreevy's efforts to finance the project, with incorporation papers, minutes, by-laws & resolutions for Dynasty Productions, the company he formed for this purpose; a script by Charles Israel and notes on proposed actors; correspondence from Sam Drache 1980-1981, Sydney Newman 1981, Fil Fraser 1979, Peter C. Newman 1979-1982; and correspondence regarding legal advice. The Glenn Gould files include a script by Reg Gadney and John McGreevy. The Dieppe: Designed to Fail files include a draft typescript of Brigadier General W. Denis Whitaker and Shelagh Whitaker's book and a film outline by Jeremy Hole. The Freud file includes a letter from Liana and Anthony Burgess 1978. Files on In the Beginning, a documentary for Adrienne Clarkson's Summer Festival, include a letter from Clarkson to McGreevy regarding her love of reading and a contract, and releases signed by Margaret Atwood, Morley Callaghan, Robertson Davies and Saul Bellow. John Neville: An Actor for All Seasons files include correspondence from Maureen Forrester 1984, Jeanie Hersenhoren, Murray Frum 1989, John Neville , and a presentation folder for the Royal Bank Award prepared by the Neville nominating committee which included Norman Jewison, Karen Kain and John McGreevy. Files on Locomotion, a multi-media event commissioned by Canadian National for Vancouver's Expo '86, include McGreevy's pitch to CN and photographs of McGreevy and Gordon Pinsent. The Mila and Friends file contains documentation regarding a proposed series hosted by Mila Mulroney. The PEN documentary files include transcripts of proceedings featuring Robertson Davies, John Kenneth Galbraith, Nadine Gordimer, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag and Toni Morrison. Files on Quintet - Visions of Five, the 1984 Toronto International Music and Dance Festival, include contracts signed by David Hockney. The Sisters files include Wendy Lill's script for Primedia Production's television adaptation.