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Helen Armstead-Johnson miscellaneous theater collections, 1831-1993.

Author: Helen A JohnsonMontague RingBessie Oliver MillerUlysses S ThompsonLeigh R WhipperAll authors
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Helen Armstead-Johnson Miscellaneous Theater Collections (HAJMTC) are formed by over two hundred file-folder level collections (1 to 3 file folders per personality/event). The collections contain information dating from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century documenting early dramatic actors, minstrel shows, vaudeville, musical revues, 1920s and 30s Broadway productions, the protest dramas of the 1940s
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Genre/Form: Plays
Named Person: Ira Frederick Aldridge; Marian Anderson; Josephine Baker; Eubie Blake; John W Bubbles; Sam Byrd; Darryl Croxton; Asadata Dafora; Owen Dodson; Katherine Dunham; W C Handy; Roland Hayes; Langston Hughes; Caterina Jarboro; Eva Jessye; Henry John; Hall Johnson; James Weldon Johnson; Jim Mapp; John Frederick Matheus; Bessie Oliver Miller; Abbie Mitchell; Clarence Muse; Dolores Parker; Eleo Pomare; Leon René; Paul Robeson; Bill Robinson; Gertrude Saunders; Léopold Sédar Senghor; Archie Shepp; Jay Sidney; Noble Sissle; Eddie South; Ulysses S Thompson; Henry Troy; Leigh R Whipper; Fess Williams
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Helen A Johnson; Montague Ring; Bessie Oliver Miller; Ulysses S Thompson; Leigh R Whipper; Fess Williams; Margot Webb
OCLC Number: 122363936
Notes: The bulk of the photographs, artifacts and audio-visual materials making up the Helen Armstead-Johnson Theater Collection were either not associated with the manuscripts collections or were allocated to the Photographs and Prints Division, the Arts and Artifacts Division or the Moving Images and Recorded Sound Division, respectively upon receipt of the collection by the Center. Any photographs and artifacts separated while processing the miscellaneous collections were transferred to the appropriate divisions and are identified by a "See Also" note following the collection's description.
Description: 15.7 lin. ft. (46 hollinger boxes)

Abstract:

The Helen Armstead-Johnson Miscellaneous Theater Collections (HAJMTC) are formed by over two hundred file-folder level collections (1 to 3 file folders per personality/event). The collections contain information dating from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century documenting early dramatic actors, minstrel shows, vaudeville, musical revues, 1920s and 30s Broadway productions, the protest dramas of the 1940s and 50s, plays that came out of the Black Arts Movement of the late 60s and 70s, and theatrical productions of the 1980s and 90s. In addition to actors, playwrights, singers, musicians, and dancers (classical and popular) (e.g. Ira Frederick Aldridge, Eubie Blake and Katherine Dunham), and the productions they appeared in, there are collections for poets, and visual and plastic artists. There are eighteen collections documenting performers of the 19th century; twenty-nine collections covering the period 1900-1919; thirty-seven collections document the 1940s-1950s; and eleven collections for the 1980s and 1990s. The bulk of the collections cover the two most productive periods for black theater: ninety-two collections for the 1920s through the 1930s, and ninety collections representative of the Black Arts Movement.

A sampling of the documents found in the collection include Bessie Oliver Miller's (Flournoy Miller's wife) draft of her unpublished manuscript entitled "Forbidden Kin" (letters in the collection reflect attempts to have the book published); questionnaires that include personal and professional information on a variety of performers including Minto Cato and Joseph Attles; a transcript of the interview Helen Armstead-Johnson conducted with Ulysses S. Thompson; and Fess Williams' arrangement for "Roll Jordan Roll." The collections also document non-theater related black personalities such as Shirley Black (painter), James Lowe (lawyer), and Leopold Sedar Senghor, poet and former President of Senegal. These files include resumes, clippings, letters and speeches. The theater related collections are comprised of a variety of materials including reviews and feature articles, contracts, flyers, letters, manuscripts, skits and lyrics. The collection also includes files of newpaper clippings, manuscript music, flyers and broadsides, and separately described files of programs, play scripts and sheet music.

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