Collection ASM0006 - American Play Company collection

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American Play Company collection


  • 1800s-1950s (Creation)


92.08 linear feet (221 letter document boxes)

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The American Play Company collection includes approximately two thousand and five hundred (2,500) play scripts from the American Play Company of New York City. The files include published and unpublished plays from the nineteenth century through the 1950s. The collection is a donation of Sheldon Abend, President of the American Play Company. Playwrights represented in this gift include sir James M. Barrie, David Belasco, Clare Boothe, George M. Cohan, John Colton, Clyde Fitch, John Galsworthy, Ruth Gordon, Oscar Hammerstein, Moss Hart, Ben Hecht, George S. Kaufman and many others.

The play scripts include original typescripts, carbon copies of typescripts, and printed texts of plays. Many scripts contain handwritten annotations such as dialogue insertions, corrections, and deletions. The play scripts includes productions of all genre and type, for a period of approximately one hundred and fifty years. Scripts contain production annotations for stage, lighting, sound, and casting purposes. The collection offers scholars and students the opportunity to examine play scripts with the personal annotations of production personnel, facts that provide unique information on the original production of plays. Notations for costumes, sets, and stage props offer insights to production styles and techniques, information not generally available in many published versions of plays.

System of arrangement

SERIES I, ALPHABETICAL FILES (AUTHOR), A - L, consists of 168 boxes of published and unpublished play scripts arranged in alphabetical sequence by the author of the play. For each author, the plays are arranged in alphabetical order by the title of the play. A title index of plays is also available for consultation.

SERIES II, MARGINALIA DUPLICATES (AUTHOR), A - L, consists of additional copies of published and unpublished plays. These texts often possess comments and markings not present in titles found in SERIES I.

SERIES III, UNLISTED AUTHORS, consists of a group of plays arranged in alphabetical order by title, as no author of the work is known.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

This collection is kept in an off-campus storage facility. Please contact Special Collections at with the boxes you are interested in prior to your visit, and allow up to 1 week for delivery of materials.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

American Play Company collection Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

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5 MiB


May 18, 2018 1:12 PM

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