Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Robert Crosson Papers
MSS 0587  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (132.16 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Crosson, Robert, 1929-
    Title: Robert Crosson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1945-2001
    Extent: 21.20 linear feet (45 archives boxes, 1 card file box and 3 oversize folders)
    Abstract: The papers of Robert Crosson, Hollywood actor and contemporary Los Angeles poet, contain manuscript and typescript drafts for Crosson's published collected works, especially GEOGRAPHIES (1981), ABANDONED LATITUDES: NEW WRITINGS BY 3 LOS ANGELES POETS (1983), CALLIOPE (1988), and THE BLUE SOPRANO (1994); individual poems published in small literary magazines; and unpublished poetry and prose, including his novel "Round-Trip to Midland." Of particular interest are Crosson's daybooks which record his daily activities, thoughts and writings for over four decades. Also included are video and audio recordings, photographs of Crosson, and collages. The papers are arranged in eight series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS BY CROSSON, 4) DAYBOOKS, 5) ARTWORKS BY CROSSON, 6) CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 7) REEL-TO-REEL AUDIO RECORDINGS, and 8) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0587
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English

    Access

    Collection is open for research

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Robert Crosson Papers, MSS 0587. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Biography

    Born in 1929, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Crosson moved with his family to Pomona, California, in 1944. He graduated from Pomona High School in 1948, attended Mt. San Antonio College and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in English and theatre arts in 1951.
    Between 1952 and 1960, Crosson pursued an acting career and appeared in numerous television programs, including "Captain Midnight," "Dragnet," "Superman," "Studio 57," and the "Millionaire," as well as the Paramount pictures, WHITE CHRISTMAS and LAST DAY OF MY LIFE.
    At the end of the 1950s, Crosson moved to Europe to write, but returned after two years making little progress. He entered the masters program in library science at UCLA, but soon gave up to work on his novel, "Midland." Crosson worked as a dishwasher, restaurant manager and eventually supported himself and his writing as a house painter and carpenter until 1996 when his health began to decline.
    Crosson's first published book, GEOGRAPHIES (1981), was followed by ABANDONED LATITUDES: THREE LOS ANGELES WRITERS (1983), CALLIOPE (1988), THE BLUE SOPRANO (1994), and a chapbook entitled IN THE ETHERS OF THE AMAZON, POEMS 1984-1997. His work entitled "Round-Trip to Midland" remains unpublished. Crosson's daybooks document his daily activities of writing, house painting and carpentry. His collage making began after his first stay in a convalescent hospital in 1998.
    Crosson died on December 10, 2001.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Robert Crosson Papers document the literary career of a Los Angeles poet and writer. Materials include typescript drafts for published collected poetry and individually published poems, as well as unpublished poetry, plays and prose. Included are his daybooks (1980-2000) in which he recorded his writing and descriptions of daily activities. The collection contains collages, drawings and slides of Crosson's watercolors; audiorecordings of Crosson's poetry readings; correspondence; and miscellaneous materials, especially photographs of Crosson and a scrapbook documenting his acting career.
    The Robert Crosson Papers are arranged in eight series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS BY CROSSON, 4) DAYBOOKS, 5) ARTWORK BY CROSSON, 6) CASSETTE RECORDINGS, 7) REEL-TO-REEL RECORDINGS, and 8) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    SERIES 1: MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS
    The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series, arranged alphabetically, contains formal and informal portraits of Crosson and photographs of friends. Also included is a scrapbook that documents Crosson's professional acting career and includes clippings of reviews, program announcements, correspondence, documents, black-and-white portraits of Crosson, and photographs of movie scenes.
    SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
    The CORRESPONDENCE series is arranged alphabetically and includes correspondence with Paul Vangelisti, Lee Hickman and Lourie Madden.
    SERIES 3: WRITINGS BY CROSSON
    The WRITINGS BY CROSSON series is arranged in three subseries: A) College Papers, B) Published Works, and C) Unpublished Works.
    A) The College Papers subseries spans the years 1947-1952 and consists of notebooks and manuscripts from high school and college writing classes.
    B) The Published Works subseries, arranged chronologically, contains drafts of typescripts for GEOGRAPHIES: WILLIAM JAMES, GERTRUDE STEIN, GENERAL BOOTH AND IVES (1980); ABANDONED LATITUDES: NEW WRITINGS BY 3 LOS ANGELES POETS (1983), CALLIOPE (1988) and BLUE SOPRANO (1994). Also included are drafts of poems published in small literary magazines.
    C) The Unpublished Works subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains drafts of plays, poetry and novels. Included are individual works, collected manuscripts, and drafts of Crosson's unpublished novel entitled "Round-Trip to Midland."
    SERIES 4: DAYBOOKS
    The DAYBOOKS series contains notebooks (1957-2001, arranged chronologically, that record thoughts and daily events in Crosson's life. Also included are pasted in clippings, photographs, correspondence, and drawings by Crosson and others.
    SERIES 5: ARTWORKS BY CROSSON
    The ARTWORKS BY CROSSON contains collages (1998-2001) created by Crosson during his stays in convalescent facilities. Also included are drawings and slides of his watercolor paintings.
    SERIES 6: CASSETTE RECORDINGS
    The CASSETTE RECORDINGS series is arranged in four subseries: A) Videorecordings, B) Audiocattettes - Readings by Crosson, C) Audiocassettes - Readings by Others, and D) Audiocassettes - Interviews.
    A) The Videorecordings subseries contains a dubbed copy of MIKE'S MURDER, a movie that Crosson acted in, as well as clippings and reviews for the work. Also included are two videorecordings of Crosson reading his poetry.
    B) The Audiocassettes - Readings by Crosson subseries, arranged by title, contains audio recordings of poetry readings by Crosson and spans the years 1977-1997. Includes Crosson's reading of GEOGRAPHIES, "Old Venice Jailhouse, PARTY: A REUNION, and Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself."
    C) The Audiocassettes - Readings by Others subseries consist of readings by other poets and includes a reading by Paul Vangelisti entitled the "Villa."
    D) The Audiocassettes - Interviews subseries contains recordings of interviews with Crosson and spans the years 1978-1982.
    SERIES 7: REEL-TO-REEL RECORDINGS
    The REEL-TO-REEL RECORDINGS series is arranged in two subseries: A) Readings by Crosson, B) Readings with Others.
    A) The Readings by Crosson subseries contains recordings of readings of prose and selected unpublished writings.
    B) The Readings with Others subseries contains recordings of readings with others.
    SERIES 8: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES
    The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES contain original items from the collection which have high acid content. These papers are photocopied and segregated at the end of the collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Crosson, Robert, 1929- -- Archives
    American poetry -- 20th century