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  • Tags: Arts and Entertainment
  • Collection: Center for Archival Collections
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MMS 1768 f - Lincoln, Nettie Willard

Scrapbooks, 1893-1946. Theatrical scrapbooks.


MS 1086 - Cla-Zel Theatre Project

The records for the Cla-Zel Theatre Project were donated for the Center for Archival Collections, Bowling Green State University in December of 2007 by Paul Yon.

The records for this project include many financial documents, projects, correspondence letters including both letters and e-mails, and other historical documents relating to the project and the history of the Cla-Zel Theatre.

Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation. Collection is open to the public and was processed in February of 2008, by Ryan Mizak.


MS 1091 - Margit Heskett Collection

The Margit Heskett Collection includes 5 linear feet of correspondence, files, literary productions, printed materials, news clippings, photographs, sound recordings and motion picture film documenting her life as a dancer, scholar and innovative instructor of dance at Bowling Green State University from 1965-1979. The collection begins with Margit’s parents’ correspondence in Europe in1913 and ends with her own memorial service in 2010.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mrs. Heskett in April 2008 and subsequent materials were added by her executor Dr. Richard Hebein upon her death in 2010. No restrictions have been placed upon its use for scholarly purposes. WBGU Television maintains copyright control over filmed dance sequences included in the collection. Eric Honneffer completed the finding aid in August 2008 and made updates in 2012.


MS 1136 - Nancy G. Steen Collection

The Nancy G. Steen Collection consists of three linear feet of correspondence, files, literary productions, reviews, bibliographies, videographies and discographies, as well as printed material, photographs, and artifacts documenting the family life and personal interests of the former Rare Books Librarian of Bowling Green State University. The collection spans the years of approximately 1864-2012. It is divided into two parts: Part 1- Jose Carreras and Personal Interests of Nancy Steen (1954-2005) and Part 2 – Family Papers (1864-2012).

The donation and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through the cooperation of Sherrill L. Gray on February 21, 2008. The collection was processed and the finding aid was prepared by Lee N. McLaird, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections in February 2010. The family papers of Miss Steen were added to the collection by Sherrill L. Gray in December 2011. This addition was processed and the finding aid was prepared by Eric Honneffer between 2012 and March 2013.


MS 184 - John A. Himmelein Papers

The papers of John A. Himmelein date from 1892 to 1905. The history of his theatrical company, "The Ideals," is reflected in this collection which consists of correspondence, contracts, receipts, box office statements, play ads, broadsides and programs, newspaper clippings, sheet music, and numerous plays used by the company.

The John A. Himmelein papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in May 1982 through the cooperation of his niece, Mrs. Robert I. Coulon, and Paul D. Yon, Associate Director of the CAC. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The collection was processed and the register drafted in Fall 1982 by Karen Snow, graduate assistant in History.

Additional John A. Himmelein papers are located at the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio. Dating from 1907 to 1934, these records document the later activities of Himmelein's theatrical business. The O.H.S. collection inventory follows:

  1. Box Office Statements: January 31, 1923 to June 17, 1924, n.d.
  2. Contracts: 1915-1928
  3. Correspondence: 1907-1928, n.d.
  4. Programs: October ll, 1934
  5. Receipts: 1911, 1915


MS 23 mf - Kinsey Komedy Kompany

The Kinsey Komedy Kompany Scrapbook Collection was loaned to the Center for Archival Collections by Dan McGinnis, Librarian at the Kaubisch Memorial Public Library, Fostoria, Ohio, for microfilming in May 1972. This collection consists of scrapbooks compiled from newspaper clippings, playbills, posters, programs, tickets, business cards, and correspondence, all of which document the travels and performances of this repertory troupe. Inclusive dates for this four volume collection are from 1902 to 1963, although many items are not dated.

No restrictions have been placed on the use of this one roll microfilm edition. The register was compiled by Kathleen M. McGoff, graduate student, Bowling Green State University, and completed by Ann Bowers, Manuscript Curator, Center for Archival Collections.


MS 289 - Mary Elizabeth Whitney Collection

Mary Elizabeth Whitney taught in the Department of Health Physical Education and Recreation at Bowling Green State University from 1952 until her retirement in 1974. She specialized in dance instruction. The half a cubic foot collection includes correspondence, an interview with her, news clippings/articles, dance programs, photographs and books. Her papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Dolores Black, January 18, 1983. There are no restrictions placed upon the use of the collection for research purposes. The collection was processed and finding aid written by Eric Honneffer, November, 2009.


MS 305 - Black Swamp Players

This collection is comprised of documents pertaining to the community theater group of Bowling Green, Ohio, The Black Swamp Players, from 1968 to the present. It includes minutes of meetings, correspondence, history of the organization, reports, and printed materials, including newsletters, pamphlets and play programs. Also included in this collection are playbills, posters and photographs which may be borrowed for limited time periods by members of The Black Swamp Players.

The records were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in April 1983 through the cooperation of The Black Swamp Players and its president at the time, Richard G. Lenhart. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and scholarly research. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. The register was prepared by Robert A. Dunkelberger in September 1984, revised by Susan Irwin in 1990, by Paul Buckingham in September 1993, and by Daniel Acosta Elkan in March 2015.


MS 306 - R. Serge Denisoff Collection

The R. Serge Denisoff Collection contains 15 cubic feet of literary manuscripts and research files dating from approximately 1960-1990. The collection documents several of Denisoff's numerous book projects while the remainder is comprised of research papers by other authors on sociological, musical and popular culture topics. The collection was transferred to the Center for Archival Collections (CAC) from the Popular Culture Library on March 19, 1987.

No restrictions have been placed upon the use of this collection for scholarly research purposes. The finding aid was completed by Eric Honneffer in May 2006.


MS 332 - Robinson Locke Papers

The correspondence and scrapbook material of Robinson Locke, a newspaper editor, owner, and theater critic date from 1885-1922. The documents detail Locke's career primarily as a theater critic, by providing his reviews and descriptions of various plays. Moreover, a number of letters, telegrams, and news articles document various plays, Locke's personal life, and the public response to his review of plays. Also included in the collection are a number of printed materials profiling Locke's many personal contacts both in and outside of the theatrical world. In addition, a small number of financial files are included in the collection that provide a limited amount of information.

The records were donated and transferred to the Center for Archival Collections in October 1983 through the cooperation of Barbara Floyd of the Ohio Historical Society. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purpose of preservation and scholarly research.


MS 350 - Evelyn Steidtmann Collection

The Evelyn Steidtmann Collection is essentially a 1.5 cubic foot archives (1944-1994) documenting over fifty years of contract bridge playing in Bowling Green, Ohio. Known to many by the nickname "Mrs. Bridge", Evelyn Steidtmann was a tireless player and proponent of the game. Beginning in the early 1940's she taught bridge classes at the Bowling Green Women's Club. She then began teaching bridge at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). With her guidance the BGSU Campus Bridge Club (called the Campus Bridge Club in this collection) was formed in 1950 and remained active until 1984. The Bowling Green Bridge Club began in 1967 and continues to the present, as a result of Mrs. Steidtmann's involvement. Correspondence, class and membership rosters, programs, bridge instructional materials, newsclipping and photographs may be found in this collection. Also included are documents relating to Evelyn Steidtmann's participation in the BGSU World Student Association which she and her husband helped establish in 1949 to provide social activities and programs for foreign students visiting or attending BGSU.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections by Mrs. Steidtmann in the late 1980's. No restrictions have been placed on its use for research purposes. The finding aid was prepared by Eric Honneffer in March 2005.


MS 58 mf - Ginnivan Dramatic Company Players & Neil O'Brien's Minstrels

The records of the Ginnivan Dramatic Company Players and Neil O'Brien's Minstrels date from 1920-1969.

These records were microfilmed by the Center for Archival Collections in 1980, through the cooperation of Mr. Harold B. Obee. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection.


MS 583 - Harold Obee Collection (Bowling Green, Ohio)

The Harold Obee collection is comprised of 3.5 cubic feet of predominantly research files, student papers, printed materials, and news clippings focused upon the study of drama and theater history. Collection dates run from 1906-1989 with major concentration between 1948 and 1978. Dr Obee was especially interesting in compiling a collection of source materials relevant to the development, history, and activities of community and college theaters throughout Ohio. About half of the documents in the collection are evidence of this effort. The remainder focuses upon general theater and speech instruction.

Some of the collection's earliest documents (1906-1912) include programs from both the Chidester and Everybody's Theaters in Bowling Green, Ohio. Research cards produced from Ohio theater resources located at Ohio repositories and libraries provide details about theater programs, performances, and events from the 19th into the 20th centuries at theaters in such Ohio cities as Cincinnati, Toledo, Findlay, and Bowling Green. A hand drawn floor plan made in approximately 1960 of the auditorium of the Chidester Theater (formerly the Hankey-Taber Opera House) based on the memory of Minibelle Conley will be of interest to Bowling Green historians. Season theater schedules from the Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Ontario, Canada), Cincinnati Playhouse from the 1980's, and miscellaneous tourist brochures are included among the printed materials.

The collection was donated to the CAC by Ellen Obee with the cooperation of the Popular Culture Library, March 26, 1990. No restrictions have been placed upon the use of the collection from scholarly purposes. The collection was arranged and finding aid completed by Eric Honneffer, April 2007.


MS 642 - Bowling Green State University Faculty & Student Folklore Collection

The Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Faculty and Student Folklore Collection was transferred to the Center for Archival Collection (CAC) on August 28, 1990 from the Popular Culture Library by Brenda McCallum, Head of the Popular Culture Library. An addition cubic foot of records were given to the Center for Archival Collections by the Popular Culture Department in July, 2012. The eleven cubic feet of records, dating from 1951-1994, are comprised of student project files, Black Swamp Folklife Festival files, and miscellaneous folklore files.

No restrictions have been placed on the use of this collection. The finding aid was prepared by Eric Honneffer in June 2005 and updated by Joan Eardly, Student Archival Assistant, in October 2012.


MS 658 - Wallace Nutting Collectors' Club

Records of the Wallace Nutting Collector's Club include photocopies of correspondence, subject files, newsletters, articles, interviews, catalogs, and other printed material related to the artist Wallace Nutting and the activities of the Club.

The records were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in February 1993 through the cooperation of Ann Coffman of Albany, NY, the collector of this material. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in April 2004.


MS 708 - The Pearson Games Collection

The Pearson Games Collection is comprised of approximately 3 1/2 cubic feet of design, research and publicity documents from 1982-1986 for the BG-opoly and BGSU Trivia games. BGSU faculty member Dr. Michael Pearson and his wife Gayl created and funded production of the games. BG-opoly was developed by Gayl Pearson as a non-profit, public service project to commemorate the Bowling Green sesquicentennial in 1983. She designed the BGSU Trivia game in recognition of the university's seventy-fifth anniversary in 1985. As co-advisor to the B.G.S.U. Chapter of the American Marketing Association (A.M.A.), Michael Pearson relinquished the promotion and selling of the trivia game to the A.M.A. - the largest professional student organization on campus at that time.

The collection was transferred to the Center for Archival Collections (CAC) by the Pearsons on August 7, 1995. No restrictions have been placed on its use for research purposes. The collection was arranged and the finding aid was completed by Eric Honneffer in August 2006.


MS 735 - "Wild" Bill Davison Collection - MS 735

The "Wild" Bill Davison Collection documents the life of a jazz cornetist. The collection focuses on his public and private life between 1906 through 1989. The collection consists of over 30 linear feet of correspondence, magazines, news clippings, photographs, posters, art work, and books.

The collection was donated by Anne Davison on March 10, 1995. Recordings and selected books and sheet music are housed in the Music Library and Sound Recording Archives, Bowling Green State University. The main collection is housed at the Center for Archival Collections. The collection is open to the public and duplication is permitted for research purposes. The collection was processed by Jennifer Hults, graduate assistant. The finding aid was completed in January 1997.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection

The Gish Film Theater Collection was established by Dr. Ralph Wolfe, Curator of the Gish Film Theater and Gish Professor of Film Studies. In discussions with the Director of the Center for Archival Collections, Dr. Wolfe decided that the Center would be the appropriate repository for documents and materials he collected or had donated to the Gish Film Theater.

The first documents were transferred in 1987 and included much on the establishment of the Gish Film Theater and on Dorothy and Lillian Gish. The Jean Arthur Papers were donated by Ralph Wolfe in 1988 with an addition to the Papers donated in 1996 by Dr. Wolfe and in 1997 by John Oller, who wrote her biography, Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew. Maidie Norman donated her scrapbooks in 1994. Dr. Wolfe continually donates documentation on the Theater and Eva Marie Saint.

Some documents, photographs and artifacts are on display at the Gish Film Theater and materials are circulated from and back to the Collection on an annual basis. This Collection is open to the researching public. The collection was arranged and described by Ann Bowers, University Archivist in March 1998. Materials on display are handled by the Center's Document Conservator, Eric Honneffer.

A chronology for the Gish Film Theater (PDF file) can be found at the bottom of this page.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection: Dorothy Gish Papers

The Dorothy Gish Papers include some articles and newsclippings, a booklet entitled "Remembering Dorothy Gish," and photographs.

Dorothy Gish was born March 11, 1898 in Dayton, Ohio. After her father left the family, Dorothy's mother moved herself and her two daughters, Dorothy and Lillian, to New York City. Soon all three of them had stage parts and began touring. Through a mutual friend, Gladys Smith (who became Mary Pickford), they were introduced to the film director, D.W. Griffith. He hired them to play extras in his movies and it was not long before both Dorothy and Lillian began starring in his films. In 1919, Griffith let Lillian direct her sister in the movie, Remodeling Her Husband, for which Griffith received a profit of $150,000 and in which Dorothy met and married (in 1920) her leading man, James Rennie.

Both Dorothy and Lillian ended their relationship with Griffith after the film Orphans of the Storm, and left him for Inspiration Pictures, a new company formed by Richard Barthelmess and Charles H. Duell. Dorothy starred in several of their films including The Bright Shawl, Romola, and Night Life of New York.

During the late 1920s and 1930s, Dorothy returned to the stage and starred in several plays on Broadway. She also enjoyed working in radio. Early in the 1930s, Dorothy and James separated and were divorced in 1935. In 1944, Dorothy returned to Hollywood and became popular in the "talkies" starring in Our Hearts Were Young And Gay, and Centennial Summer. She returned to Broadway and starred in The Magnificent Yankee and The Man.

Her last two films were The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951) and The Cardinal (1964). In 1968 she contracted pneumonia and died on June 4, 1968.

The Dorothy Gish papers are not very extensive. The most important series is the photographs. These photographs document her life with her mother and Lillian, her films and Broadway plays, and her marriage to and divorce from James Rennie. The photographs are individually identified in the inventory and date from approximately 1920 to 1964. Only one newsclipping documenting a film tribute to Dorothy Gish held at the Gish Film Theater is included. Most helpful is a booklet entitled "Remembering Dorothy Gish" which provides much background information about her and her films and plays. Two copies are available and both are signed by Lillian Gish. Last, a flag which flew over the United States Capitol on March 11, 1990, given to Lillian Gish in memory of her sister, Dorothy, is located with the Lillian Gish Papers. A certificate about the flag is located with the Dorothy Gish Papers.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection: Eva Marie Saint Papers

Eva Marie Saint was born in Newark, New Jersey and followed her sister, Adelaide, to Bowling Green State University. At Bowling Green State University she was urged to participate in stage plays by Eldon Smith and her talent to act was soon discovered. After graduating in 1946, she moved to New York City where she worked on radio, modeled, and did some commercials for television. In 1950, she began studying at the Actor's Studio and soon came to the attention of producers. There she also become acquainted with director, Jeffrey Hayden. They married in 1951.

While working in television, she was asked to star with Lillian Gish in the Broadway play, The Trip to Bountiful. She was noticed by director Elia Kazan who asked her to read for the part of Edie for the movie, On the Waterfront (1954). She won the role starring with Marlon Brando and won the Oscar for that role. She gave birth to her son, Darrell, only days after winning the Oscar. A daughter, Laurette, arrived three years later. She then starred in That Certain Feeling with Bob Hope in 1956, followed by A Hatful of Rain in 1957. Between 1957 and 1972, Eva Marie appeared in varied roles in twelve films. She has been very selective and has a record of working with first-rate directors and actors. A few of her films include Raintree County (1957), North by Northwest (1959), Exodus (1960), The Sandpiper (1965), Grand Prix (1966), and The Stalking Moon (1969). She has made many films for television and continues to star in stage productions.

Eva Marie received an honorary degree from Bowling Green State University in 1982 and her husband, Jeffrey Hayden also received an honorary degree in 1991. She also received the Distingushed Alumnus Award in 1960 and a theater in University Hall was named for her in 1987. She and Jeffrey make their home in California.

The Eva Marie Saint Papers includes correspondence, photographs, promotional material and videotapes. The correspondence includes letters written between her and her husband, Jeffrey Hayden, and Ralph Wolfe. The newspaper articles and promotional material document both Eva Marie's and Jeffrey's interest and involvement with Bowling Green State University, and their various artistic endeavors. The photographs document Eva Marie while a student at the University, as an actress, and her visits, along with her husband's, to the University. The first videotape was produced by the University and documents Eva Marie's life as a student, as an actress and as a benefactor of the University. The second videotape is the film, Primary Colors: Story of Corita, which was written by Jeffrey Hayden and narrated by Eva Marie.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection: Jean Arthur Collection

The Jean Arthur Papers include scrapbooks, correspondence, news clippings, photographs, publications, tape recordings, and family papers. The bulk of the papers date from the 1930s to 1991.

Jean Arthur was born Gladys Greene in New York in 1900. On leaving school at 15, she became a photographer's and artist's model until, through the assistance of Norma Shearer, she did a film test and began working for 20th Century Fox. She appeared in mediocre westerns, thrillers and adventure silent films. She successfully made the transition into the talkies with her cracked and husky voice. Her movies and parts, though, continued to be mediocre, so in 1932 she left Hollywood for the New York stage. Returning to Hollywood, she finally received a lead in the comedy thriller, The Whole Town's Talking, (1935) with Edward G. Robinson that showed her true acting potential. This was followed by The Plainsman (1936). Her contract with Columbia Pictures allowed her approval over script and direction which usually ended up in interminable quarrels. Nevertheless, she went on to star in three classic Frank Capra movies, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936),You Can't Take It With You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). She also starred in such other classics as Easy Living (1937), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), The Talk of the Town (1942), and The More the Merrier (1943). On the day her contract with Columbia was over, she was overjoyed and turned away from acting. She studied philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. In 1945 she appeared in the stage version of Born Yesterday but did not complete the tour. Paramount Pictures returned her to Hollywood in 1948 to star in the movie A Foreign Affair.

In 1950, Arthur played Peter Pan on Broadway and won critical acclaim for her performances. She completed her last movie, Shane, in 1953. She starred in her own television show in 1966 which did not last beyond the season. Her last role was in the play The First Sunday in October (1975) with Henry Fonda, although she quickly gave up the role. She continued to receive film offers during the 1970s but was never tempted to work in films or stage again. Her film career, however, had spanned three decades and produced over seventy films. She taught drama at Vassar and at the North Carolina School of the Arts, but her last years were spent as a recluse in her home in Carmel, California. She died June 19, 1991. She had been married twice, to Julian Anker, a photographer, in 1928, and to Frank Ross, a producer, in 1932. Both marriages ended in divorce and there were no children.

Her Papers consist of two separate collections; one donated by Ralph Wolfe and the other by John Oller who wrote her biography Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (1997). The first collection is comprised of correspondence, photographs, articles, promotional materials, newsclippings and scrapbooks. The correspondence includes some personal letters and correspondence from Bowling Green State University regarding her honorary degree, which was awarded to her in 1988. The articles include two about Jean Arthur and her career in Film Comment and Journal of Popular Film and Television. The promotional material includes programs about Jean Arthur's films shown at the Gish Film Theater and a poster about her film, The Talk of the Town. The newsclippings are about her films, her role as Peter Pan, and her death. The photographs are mostly publicity prints of Jean Arthur posed and in some of her roles. The scrapbooks contain photographs, programs and newsclippings from such movies as Talk of the Town, and A Lady Takes A Chance. Her Broadway role as Peter Pan is also the subject of some of the scrapbooks. One scrapbook documents her childhood, her father's paintings, and her home at Carmel by the Sea.

The second collection is that donated by John Oller which includes material he collected while researching and writing his biography of Jean Arthur. The collection consists of newspaper articles, photographs, correspondence and some family history, as well as audio cassettes of radio theater productions starring Arthur. Please note that if this collection is used in any research, it should be cited as the John Oller-Jean Arthur Collection.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection: Lillian Gish Papers

Lillian Diana Gish was born in 1893 in Springfield, Ohio to Mary Robinson McConnell Gish and James Gish. The family soon moved to Dayton where her sister Dorothy was born in 1898. Never one to stay long in one place, largely because of failed business ventures, James Gish moved the family to Baltimore where he became a partner in a candy business. He then left for New York City and Mrs. Gish soon followed with her two daughters. Soon after his family's arrival, James abandoned them. Although Lillian remembers occasional visits by her father, he never was able to provide financial support. Mrs. Gish kept her two daughters from starving by taking in boarders and working at various jobs. Some of her boarders were actresses and through their influence, Mrs. Gish was hired by the Proctor Stock Co, a traveling theatrical group based in New York City. Whenever young children were needed in the plays, Lillian and Dorothy would work. Thus at the age of five, Lillian began acting and had her stage debut in Risingsun, Ohio.

Lillian, Dorothy, and Mrs. Gish worked for several years for this Company, many times each acting in different plays and traveling separate from one another. Lillian would be watched over by other actresses while away from her mother. In 1910, while all were back in New York City, Lillian saw a former childhood friend, Gladys Smith, now an actress named Mary Pickford. Gladys introduced both Dorothy and Lillian to D. W. Griffith and that same day he gave them a screen test and hired them for the silent films he was directing and producing. Some of the more famous films in which Lillian starred and Griffith directed include Birth of a Nation (1915), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1922). After this last film, Griffith told Lillian he could not pay her what she was worth and that she should go out on her own.

With much of her own money, Lillian made two successful movies in Italy, The White Sister and Romola. She continued acting and made a very easy transition from silent movies to the "talkies" in 1930 with One Romantic Night. She soon signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which called for her to do six pictures in two years and she would be paid one million dollars. She also returned to the stage in 1930 starring in Uncle Vanya on Broadway. She continued on the stage playing Ophelia to John Gielgud's Hamlet in 1936 and in 1941 she began a record-breaking 66-week run in Life With Father. As Miss Gish (she most often was referred to as Miss Gish reflecting the great respect given to her by critics, directors, producers and fans) grew older, roles became more difficult to obtain, especially in the films. But she did act in the occasional and successful film, such as The Comedians, Night of the Hunter, and The Undefeated. She also starred in television productions such as Arsenic and Old Lace with Helen Hayes, and Trip to Bountiful.

Commenting on Miss Gish's last screen performance in the 1987, Whales of August, Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times, "There's not a gesture or a line-reading that doesn't reflect her nearly three-quarters of a century in front of a camera. Scenes are not purloined when she's on screen." Miss Gish died on February 27, 1993.

In 1976, a small theater was remodeled in Hanna Hall, Bowling Green State University, and dedicated to Lillian and Dorothy Gish. Largely through the efforts of English Professor, Ralph Wolfe, this theater was again remodeled to include an exhibit area in which memorabilia from both Dorothy and Lillian is on display. Also through his efforts, Lillian donated many other items to Bowling Green State University, which then were placed at the Center for Archival Collections to form the basis of the Gish Film Theater Collection. Lillian visited the campus on several occasions and also received an honorary degree in 1976. Lillian has provided support for the theater and endowed a scholarship in both her name and Dorothy's which annually is presented to an outstanding film studies student.

The Lillian Gish Papers are the most extensive part of the Gish Film Theater Collection. The Papers include correspondence, books, articles, newsclippings, photographs, scrapbooks, awards and honors, videos, artwork, dress and costume pieces and various artifacts. Most of the artifacts and all of the costume pieces and dresses are either on display at the Gish Film Theater or stored at the Center for Archival Collection's Preservation Lab. These documents and artifacts provide much background information on her film and stage career, her relationship with her mother and sister and other family members, her relationship with Bowling Green State University, and her relationship with her fans. Also housed within the Collection is Lillian Gish correspondence and mementoes from the estate of her financial adviser and friend Wilhelmina Pilger.The Lillian Gish Papers date from the 1910s to 1997.


MS 741 - Gish Film Theater Collection: Maidie Norman Papers

The Maidie Norman Record Group is comprised of three scrapbooks dating from 1913-1989. These scrapbooks largely document her acting career.

Maidie Norman was born in 1912 in Georgia. She spent most of her childhood and teen years in Lima, Ohio. She graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a B.A. in Literature and Theater Arts. She also received a Master of Arts in Theater Arts from Columbia University.

Her film career included The Peanut Man, The Burning Cross, The Well, Torch Song, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Four for Texas, Man With a Gun, Airport 77, and Secrets of a Mother and Daughter. Her stage career included The Cradle Will Rock, Sugar Hill, A Raisin in the Sun, Deep are the Roots, and Andromache. She appeared on such radio shows as the Jack Benny Show, Amos and Andy, Beulah Show, Gildersleeve, Sear Mystery Theater and Dragnet. She also appeared in such television shows as Fireside Theater, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Young Dr. Kildare, Cannon, Mannix, Barnaby Jones, White Shadow, Ironside, Little House on the Prairie, and Hotel.

For Maidie Norman, her most important role was that of educator. When she received the Achievement Award from Bennett College in 1953, she was already well known, not only as an actress, but as a spokesperson at colleges throughout the nation. She had an immense knowledge of Black theater and literature and was very instrumental in developing one of the first Afro-American culture classes at UCLA. She also served as artist-in-residence at Stanford University, where she was the first to direct plays by Black authors. She was awarded several honors and was known for the dignity and artistry she gave to all of her stage, movie and television roles as well as for her promotion of Afro-American arts and education. Maidie Norman died May 2, 1998.

The first scrapbook in her collection, 1947-1988, provides details on her acting career. The motion picture, The Well, for which she received critical acclaim is discussed and critiqued. The rest of the scrapbook follows her career in film, stage and finally into television. The scrapbook was compiled by Lecil D. Wills, from the Archives of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the A. C. Bilbrew Black Resource Center of the Los Angeles County Library.

The second scrapbook, starts in 1913, when Maidie was only six months old. This scrapbook discusses her overall life through the 1980s, and also documents her acting career. In addition, her time spent teaching at Stanford University and acting in the Stanford Repertory Theater is documented. This scrapbook was compiled by Maidie Norman.

The third scrapbook, 1929-1995, provides a chronological look at the awards Maidie Norman has received during her life. Two which are documented included the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame Award, 1977, and in 1995, she was honored by her home state by receiving an Ohioana Career Award. This scrapbook also depicts Maidie's interest in painting and quilting. This scrapbook was compiled by Maidie Norman.

Although these scrapbooks contain mostly newsclippings, programs and a few photographs, they do provide a look at the difficulties of an African American woman in the acting profession and despite these difficulties, Maidie Norman's many achievements.


MS 770 - Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

In 1987, a call went out to the ATHE membership for a place to store the Association archives. Dr. Allen Kepke, Chair of the Bowling Green State University Theatre Department conferred with CAC Director, Paul Yon, and Kepke offered the university's services. ATHE President Harold Nichols signed the Deed of Gift and the collection was sent to the CAC in a piecemeal fashion. Separately, Theatre as a Liberal Art (an ATHE Forum group) President Mark Heckler sought a repository for his group's records--Kepke again responded and the records were sent to BGSU. Unfortunately, because of the turnover in the term of office in the organization, less and less complete records were sent.

In late August of 1992, ATHE President Gil Lazier appointed Brian Sajko Interim Archivist for ATHE and in October of 1992 the Board of Directors unanimously appointed Sajko as the founding Archivist of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Sajko was a Ph.D. student in Theatre at BGSU and a student in Mr. Yon's Archives Administration class. As Sajko began organizing the collection, he realized that for the collection to be complete, the records of all the Forum groups should be gathered--a call went out to the membership. Many missing pieces of the collection were sought. The collection also contained many documents which referred to the transition from the defunct American Theatre Association subgroup the University/College Theatre Association to the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

The collection, then, begins with some of the records of the University/College Theatre Association in 1984 and continues with the transitional period to the formation of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education in 1986. Since it is still an "active" collection, with material still received on an occasional basis, the dates of material available varies.

Types of records include publications, conference information, correspondence, legal documents, financial records, membership information, and minutes. These records focus on the final days of the university/College Theatre Association, the formation and current operation of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the records of the many Forum Groups associated with ATHE.

Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The collection was reprocessed to incorporate recent additions and register prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in February 2005, based on earlier work done by Brian Sajko. Future additions will be similarly added to the collection and the finding aid adjusted accordingly.


MS 778 - MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music

Preliminary inventory available at the Center for Archival Collections.