Collection ASM0117 - Fred Koch collection

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Fred Koch collection


  • 1823-1944 (Creation)
  • 1905-1944 (Creation)


41 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Frederick H. Koch was born at Covington, Kentucky September 12, 1877. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated in 1900. In 1905 he began his professional career as instructor in English at the University of North Dakota; and held in turn the posts of assistant professor (1907), associate professor (1914), and Professor of Dramatic Literature (1917). There he founded the Sock and Buskin Society in 1901 of which Maxwell Anderson was an original member. He later founded the Dakota Playmakers in 1910.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The personal papers of Frederick H. Koch, dramatist and educator, were donated to the University of Miami Archives by his son Fred H. Koch Jr., a Professor in Drama here at the University of Miami from 1939 to 1977.  The collection was received in the early 1950's.  Frederick H. Koch was a famous dramatist and gained fame from the founding of two major college theatre troupes as well as through his involvement in the production of native American folk drama.

The Frederick H. Koch Collection contains the personal papers of Frederick H. Koch and material he collected throughout his lifetime.  The material extends from 1823 to 1947, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period of time between 1905 and 1944.  The bulk of the collection is composed of theatre programs collected by Koch.  These come mainly from New York but there is a good selection of theatre programs from other parts of the United States.  Many of these programs date prior to Koch's birth.

The personal papers are composed mainly of material from Koch's work as an English and drama professor at the University of North Dakota (1905-1918) and the University of North Carolina (1918-1944), including a large number of folk plays written by his students.

The correspondence in the collection is mainly correspondence within the Koch family, including many letters between Koch and his four sons: Robert, Fred Jr., Bill, and George.

Of special interest to the University of Miami is a folder containing material related to the University and the University of Miami Playmakers founded by Fred H. Koch Jr. in the 1940's.

System of arrangement


Box No. 01

North Dakota Material. 1905-1918.

This series contains material pertaining to Koch's tenure at the University of North Dakota including plays written by his students (1).


Box No. 02-08

University of N. Carolina/Playmakers Material. 1918-1944.

This series contains material about the Carolina Playmakers (2), articles written by or about Koch (3), lantern slides about the Carolina Playmakers (4),and class, lecture, and other university material (5-8).


Box No. 09-10

Correspondence/Green, Anderson, Wolfe/Miscellaneous. 1929-1944.

This series contains Koch's correspondence and material on Thomas Wolfe, Paul Green, and Maxwell Anderson (9-10). In addition, box 10 contains Koch miscellanea.


Box No. 11-32

Theatre Magazines/Theatre Programs. 1823-1944.

This series contains theatre magazines and play programs including some from the Carolina Playmakers (11-12). It also includes New York theatre programs

(13-25), and copies of the Playbill for New York theatres (26-29). The final section of the series is of theater programs of community and university theatres and the New York Theatre Guild (30-32).


Box No. 33-37

Koch Collection of Plays and Books.[N.d.]

This series contain plays and books collected by Koch throughout his lifetime (33-37).

Box No. 38-41

Playmakers and Rare Programs. 1823-1943.

This series contains theatre programs from the Carolina Playmakers (38), and rare theatre programs dating as early as 1823 (39-41).

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

Fred Koch Collection finding aid © 1981 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

See also Helen S. Sternfels Collection (ASM0186) for other New York playbills and programs.

Related descriptions

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181.6 KiB


May 18, 2018 3:12 PM

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