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Sherman theatre collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

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Sherman theatre collection, 1871-1938 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Sherman theatre collection, 1871-1938Add to your cart.

ID: 1/3/MSS 175

Primary Creator: Sherman, Robert L. (Robert Lowery) (b. 1867)

Extent: 87.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1970

Subjects: Chicago Manuscript Company., Collins, Whitney., Piracy (Copyright), Sherman, Robert L. (Robert Lowery), 1867-, Theatrical Publishing, Writers' War Board.

Forms of Material: Clarke, Barrett. - Correspondence, Correspondence., Hughes, Glenn, 1894-1964 - Correspondence, Manuscripts for publication., Melodrama., Playbills, Quinn, Arthur Hobson, 1875-1960 - Correspondence, Sherman, Robert L. (Robert Lowery), 1867- - Correspondence, Sherman, Robert L. (Robert Lowery), 1867- - Manuscripts

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists mainly of play manuscripts copyrighted and published by the Chicago Manuscript Company between 1893 and 1917 and are mostly American melodramas. Many of the manuscripts contain set diagrams, property lists, light plots, and costume plots. At least half contain either directing notes, technical cues or other information from production. Most show some cuts and/or additions to the script made by either an editor or some director. The collection includes 2, 229 separate titles with many duplicate copies of various plays.

The collection also contains some 30 boxes of actor's sides for various plays. Those plays not published by the Chicago Manuscript Company were added to the collection by Robert Sherman. These manuscripts include radio dramas, television scripts, and plays--many written by Sherman or adapted from plays in the collection, and cover the period of 1922-1950.

In addition to the play manuscripts, the collection contains all the notes, correspondence, order forms, and actual orders for Sherman's book: Actors and Authors, History of the Chicago Stage. These materials include numerous playbills from Chicago theaters.

Also included is correspondence and contracts. These letters are all addressed to Robert Sherman or his family, or are copies of letters from Robert Sherman to various recipients. These letters include correspondence from Arthur Hobson Quinn, Glenn Hughes, and Barrett Clarke. There are numerous letters dealing with copyright questions.

Also of note are production photos of a production of Girl Without a Chance by Whitney Collins, as set of letters and instructions from the Writer's War Board of World War Two, and a complete set of contracts for a touring production of a Broadway musical.

Biographical Note

Robert L. Sherman was a theater manager who bought the holdings of the Chicago Manuscript Company after the owner's death. The Chicago Theater Company had been owned and managed for many years by Alexander Byers who acquired most of the plays he published by pirating them outright. Most of the thievery was accomplished by making minimal changes to plays. Sherman, given the opportunity to acquire the holdings, recognized the significance of these plays very early in the twentieth century. Born in 1866, Sherman began his acting career in a touring production of his own play My Friend from Arkansas. He later became a manager of tent repertoire companies,  president of the Midwest Manager's Association, and a director of the United Manger's Association. He also authored and printed three books, (Actors and Authors, Drama Cyclodedia, and History of the Chicago Stage, Vol.1) wrote dozens of plays and radio and television scripts, and purchased Byer's plays which he tried to sell to every major University library in the country. He also tried to market the scripts to the major movie studios in Hollywood during the 1930's and 40's.

Subject/Index Terms

Chicago Manuscript Company.
Collins, Whitney.
Piracy (Copyright)
Sherman, Robert L. (Robert Lowery), 1867-
Theatrical Publishing
Writers' War Board.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Related Materials: Sherman Theatre photographic collection.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Sherman Theatre collection, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Box and Folder Listing


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Box 59Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "The Prison Flower"Add to your cart.

Type: 4 Act Play

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 2: "The Prisoner of Algiers"Add to your cart.

Author:  Frank Lindon 

Type: 4 Act Drama w/ Prologue 

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of Typescript for Prologue and Act 1 only w/ pencil editing notes; poor condition.

Folder 3: "Prisoner of Zenda"Add to your cart.

Author: Edward Rose 

Type: 4 Act Play w/ Prologue 

Items in File: 2

Description:  1 cc each of 2 slightly different versions; both fair condition.

Folder 4: "Prisoners Paroled"Add to your cart.

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; both with pencil notes; both fair condition.

Folder 5: "Private John Allen"Add to your cart.

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 6: "The Private Secretary"Add to your cart.

Author: Charles Hawtrey 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; good condition.

Folder 7: "A Problem Story"Add to your cart.

Author: Frank Lindon 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair and good condition.

Notes:

SEE ALSO: "The Man Outside"

Folder 8: "The Prodical Daughter" or "The Double-Standard of Morals"Add to your cart.

Author: W.E. Jenson 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript which includes supernunmiary, gas and limelight plots; fair condition.

Folder 9: " A Prodigal Parent"Add to your cart.

Author:  Charles A. Warren

Type: 3 Act Comedy 

Items in File: 2

Description: 2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 10: "The Professor Drops His Net"Add to your cart.

Author: Scott Perkins 

Type: Synopsis submitted for Screenplay 

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 typescript of a synopsis submitted for a screenplay; fair condition.

Folder 11: "Professor Edwin Price's Musical and Dramatic Entertainment"Add to your cart.

Author:  Edwin Price

Type: Musical Review 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Notes: Title page reads, "Arranged Especially for the Use of High Class Amateur Societies"

Folder 12: "Professor Mooners Trouble"Add to your cart.

Author: Carlos Mortooni 

Type: 2 Act Musical Farce 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 13: "The Professor's Predicament"Add to your cart.

Author: Burton Stanley 

Type: 4 Act Play

Items in File: 3

Description:  1 HWMs which uses edited pages from another cc of typescript;  fair condition.

2 ccof typescript; fair condition.

Folder 14: "The Prolifigate"Add to your cart.

Author:  Arhtur W. Pinero

Type: 4 Act Melodrama

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Notes: Typescripts include 2 endings.

Folder 15: "The Promoter and the Boob"Add to your cart.

Author: Lincoln J. Kibby 

Type: 2 Act Comedy 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 16: "The Promoters"Add to your cart.

Author:  F. Griffth

Type: 1 Act Musical Farce

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 17: "Proud Prince"Add to your cart.

Author: Justin Huntly McCarthy 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  1 HWMs w/ printed performance program pasted inside front cover and a 2 page printed article titled "The Legend of King Robert of Sicily" attached; fair condition.

1 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 18: "The Provider"Add to your cart.

Author: Mathew Berry 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 19: "Puddin' Head Wilson"Add to your cart.

Author: Frank Mayo, ad. 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 2

Description:  1 cc of typescript from Producers Pla Co. w/ pencil notes; fair condition.

1 cc of different typescript of same version; poor condition.

Folder 20: "Pulse of Greater New York"Add to your cart.

Author: R.G. Morris 

Type: 4 Act Play 

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of typescript; fair condition.

Folder 21: "Pulse of New York"Add to your cart.

Type: 4 Act Melodrama 

Items in File: 2

Description:  1 cc each of 2 different typescripts of  same version.  Both fair condition.

Folder 22: "The Punkin' Husker"Add to your cart.

Type: 4 Act Play

Items in File: 2

Description:  2 cc of typescript; 1 good 1 fair condition.

Folder 23: "Pussy Cafe"Add to your cart.

Type: Comedy Sketch

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of typescript; poor condition.

Folder 24: "Putting It Over"Add to your cart.

Author: Larry E. Johnson 

Type: 3 Act Dramatic Comedy

Items in File: 3

Description:  1 cc of typescript w/ green cover unbound; poor condition.

1 cc o typescript w/ Producer's Play Co. cover.  Contains extensive production notes; poor condition.

1 cc of typescript w/ plain cover - title written in ink. Contains extensive pencil production notes and edits; poor condition.

Folder 25: "Putting On Airs"Add to your cart.

Author: Allan A. Hoffman 

Type: 3 Act comedy

Items in File: 1

Description:  1 cc of typescript from International Play Co., San Francisco; fair condition.


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