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Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection is comprised of records from the Department of Theatre Arts, its predecessor departments (Public Speaking; Speech and Drama) and their activities as well as the records of the Cornell Dramatic Club and Cornell University Theatre. The collection is organized into four series: Public Speaking and Debate Contests; Speech and Drama Courses; Department Administration Files; and Cornell University Theatre and Cornell Dramatic Club. The bulk of the collection material relates to the CDC and CU Theatre. Also includes publications relating to "An American Festival: A Celebration of Heritage, Community, and the Arts to Mark the Opening of the Cornell University Center for Theatre Arts, September 17-27, 1989" include programs, "Final Report & Evaluation," by John W. Suter. Also From the Ground Up: Grassroots Theater in Historical and Contemporary Perspective, edited by Dudley Cocke, Harry Newman, and Janet Salmons-Rue, Community Based Arts Project, Cornell University, 1993.

The first series, Public Speaking and Debate Contests, contains speeches from the Woodford Prize contest in public speaking, programs for the Class of 1886 Memorial Prize, the Class of 1894 Memorial Prize in Debate, and the Woodford Prize, and correspondence files relating to the contests. The collections of speeches and programs are not complete. Additional Woodford Prize materials can be found in the Prize Essay collection, #7-9-1317

The materials in the second series, Speech and Drama Courses, largely date from the 1950s and 1960s and include syllabi, exams, instructors' guides, and assignment sheets.

The third series, Department Administration Files, dates largely from the 1970s and 1980s but also includes materials from the 1950s and 1960s. It includes select faculty meeting and executive committee minutes, annual reports, fellowship and endowment correspondence, and other correspondence files on a variety of administrative issues. The series contains a few administrative files on the speech clinic that was associated with the Department of Speech and Drama.

The fourth series, Cornell University Theatre and Cornell Dramatic Club, comprises the largest group of materials in the collection. It contains business and financial records of the CDC, CU Theatre and Summer Theatre, box office reports, correspondence, membership lists, and a variety of other subject files on Cornell theater activities. The series contains eight subseries: Alexander Drummond; Walter H. Stainton; George McCalmon; Publicity and Correspondence; Scripts and Prompt Books; Scrapbooks and Memorabilia; Programs, Posters and other Printed Materials; and Photographs and Slides. The subseries of materials for Drummond, Stainton and McCalmon contain files from their involvement as directors of the CDC and/or CU Theatre. Alexander Drummond and Walter Stainton also have separate collections of their papers in the University Archives (RMC collection numbers 14-24-435 and 14-24-573 respectively). The subseries Publicity and Correspondence dates form the 1950s and 1960s and contains materials relating to the promotion of individual plays. The subseries Programs, Posters, and other Printed Materials contains programs, playbills, posters, broadsides, and other printed materials. The CDC and CU Theatre programs are organized chronologically by season. Programs for productions performed by outside groups but sponsored by the CDC or CU Theatre are listed separately. The collection does not contain a complete run of programs from Cornell theater productions. Additionally the programs listed in the guide represent only those programs housed in the collection and not a complete list of theater productions at Cornell. Lists of CDC productions from 1908 to 1960 can be found in the general files of the CU Theatre and CDC series. The Programs subseries also contains programs from other Cornell theater groups such as Kermis and the Cornell Women's Dramatic Club (which merged with the CDC in 1925).

Show all series level scope and content notes