Collection ASM0094 - Edgar Hay Papers

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Edgar Hay Papers


  • 1920-1977 (Creation)
  • 1928-1958 (Creation)


14 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Actor, writer and publicist Edgar Hay moved to Miami in 1920 and entered the local theater scene. Before coming to Miami, Hay embarked on a brief stage career and also served in World War I. Although he lacked formal training, Hay obtained roles in several musical plays, and returned to Broadway for a short period after the war. In Miami, Hay acted in plays and wrote newspaper columns about local productions. The Federal Theater Project of the Works Progress Administration produced his play, "Rhapsody in Two Flats," in the 1930's. Hay also wrote a number of other plays, articles and short stories, and held several public relations positions.

Hay joined an order of Freemasons while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1918, and in 1920 "through the Masonic friendship of ...Frank B. Stoneman editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald," Hay obtained employment in Miami. Hay wrote his first column for the Herald, "Miami Rambles" between 1920 and 1924. During the 1920's, Hay also became active in Miami theater, performing with the original Miami Community theater and Parkway Playhouse.

From 1925 to 1928 Hay worked as publicist for the City of Coral Gables, and then resumed work with the Herald writing a column "Show Folks." Hay also worked as a copywriter and account executive for Loomis and Hall, Inc. In 1939, he left the Herald to devote full time to advertising and accepted public relations positions at the Florida Power and Light Company and Pan American World Air Ways, Inc. In 1944 he joined the Office of Special Information for the Air Service Command at the Miami Air Depot. After leaving his position as an associate of Arthur E. Curtis, Hay joined the University of Miami Office of Public Information where he remained until 1961.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Edgar Hay Papers contain articles, short stories and other writings, correspondence, photographs and scrapbooks with clippings of the column "Show Folks" which he wrote for the Miami Herald.

System of arrangement

SERIES I: WRITINGS includes articles from Hay's personal experiences as a newspaper reporter, as well as promotional material on Miami for tourism publications. One of Hay's stories deals with the hanging of a smuggler. Although the judge issued a ruling that barred press from the hanging, Hay disguised himself as an undertaker and covered the story for the Miami Herald. In 1945 Hay was invited to Caracas to supervise a tourism campaign, and he

arrived in the midst of a revolution. The articles "Revolution with a Bomb--Venezuela Style" and "Revolution with a Sense of Humor," describe his experiences in Venezuela. Hay's books, Gators and Crocs of Florida and Masonic Power in the United States, as well as his stories, plays, songs and other works also appear in the papers.

SERIES II: CORRESPONDENCE, dated 1930-77, concerns business activities, the publication of Hay's works, criticisms of his writings, and articles written for the University of Miami Office of Public Information. Correspondence also relates to the production of Hay's play "Rhapsody in Two Flats," by the Works

Progress Administration. Programs and other materials document the Miami Federal Players performances and clippings from the Miami Herald contain favorable reviews.

SERIES III: TOPICAL FILES, includes files on a variety of Hay's experiences, and contain photographs, programs and other materials from his trip to Europe in 1931 with the Beaux Arts Society. Clippings dated 1931-35 detail. Hay's appearances in theater productions. Programs and pamphlets document many University of Miami events during the years 1953-58. Photographs illustrate Hay's trip to Caracas and the uprising he witnessed in 1945. Others photos contain views of actors and productions of the Civic Theater of Miami, as well as the theater's reopening in the 1950's. Photographs of Hay, his family and others are also

arranged in this series.

Scrapbooks in SERIES IV, dated 1928-38, contain newspaper clippings from the Miami Herald column "Show Folks."

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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.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Edgar Hay Papers Finding Aid © 1993 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

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127.5 KiB


May 18, 2018 3:02 PM

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