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Series XII: Scrapbooks and Clippings, 1915-1993

Call Number: YCAL MSS 436, Series XII

Scope and Contents

This series consists of scrapbook albums and files containing newspaper and magazine clippings and other printed ephemera documenting the activities of Theatre Guild staff as well as the company’s stage, radio, and television productions. Scrapbooks dating from 1919 to 1936 in the series include material from each of the Theatre Guild’s production seasons during those years, typically from September of one year to June of the next. Volumes documenting the Theatre Guild-American Theatre Society’s touring productions include albums focusing on specific as well as multiple cities. Several albums in the series document special events such as the Theatre Guild’s 25th and 40th anniversaries. The majority of the series consists of over 250 volumes described by the company as “pressbooks” containing press clippings of articles, reviews, and advertisements principally relating to Theatre Guild stage productions between 1919 and 1976.

In addition to scrapbooks documenting the Theatre Guild, there are six scrapbooks containing clippings regarding the Washington Square Players dating from 1915 to 1917, likely created by Lawrence Langner, a member of that theatre company. Six scrapbooks containing clippings and printed material relating to the Westport Country Playhouse date from 1931 to 1951.

Files containing clippings regarding people, subjects, and stage productions (both Theatre Guild and non-Theatre Guild) complement the material within the scrapbooks.


  • 1915-1993


Conditions Governing Access

Boxes 1267-1269, 1289-1292, 1303, 1319, and 1328-1333 are restricted pending preservation treatment.


Series XII is organized into four subseries: Scrapbooks, "Pressbooks," Non-Theatre Guild Scrapbooks, and Clipping Files.


75.8 Linear Feet (310 boxes)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Processing Information

“Pressbooks” were assigned volume numbers by Theatre Guild staff. These volumes number from 14 to 271, with several volume numbers missing and “A” volumes added to several volume numbers. No explanation of the numbering was found during processing and there is no indication of the whereabouts or contents of volumes 1-13. Volume numbers for the Washington Square Players and the Westport Country Playhouse that were assigned by library staff when they were acquired by the library have been reassigned during processing to reflect chronological order.

Nine scrapbooks dating from 1961 to 1968, containing clippings, subscription form letters, posters, etc., pertaining to the Theatre Guild-American Theatre Society had to be discarded due to a very serious pre-existing mold condition. Material within the volumes documented subscription seasons in Chicago, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, St. Paul, and Wilmington, and is believed to be duplicated to a great extent in files within Series IV.

The Clippings files were created during processing to provide an orderly arrangement of loose and foldered clippings that were found throughout the collection.

Numbers and notes in square brackets were assigned by library staff during processing to provide additional information or clarification.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

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