Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Jess Kimmel papers, ca. 1926-1982; bulk ca. 1940s-1950s (Collection PASC.362)
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (125.88 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Title: Jess Kimmel papers
    Collection number: PASC.362
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Physical Description: 10.5 linear ft. (21 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1940-1950
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1926-1982, (bulk ca. 1940s-1950s)
    Abstract: Jess Kimmel was a director and producer for radio, television and stage from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. The collection consists of script material, occasional notes, production information and/or publicity and materials believed to be related to Kimmel's service in the US Army during World War II.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.
    Creator: Kimmel, Jess

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jess Kimmel papers (Collection PASC 362). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Jess Kimmel was born in March 3, 1915 in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated with a B.A. from New York University in 1937. Upon his graduation he worked briefly as a stage actor and then turned to production and direction. During his career he worked on several productions such The Alchemist, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Merry Widow Revue and The Shrike. He served in the US Army from 1940 to 1946. It is unclear what job he performed in the army, but material found in the collection suggests he was involved in the Army Service Forces Special Service Division. In 1954, he became the director for Universal-International's Talent Workshop, a program designed to expand the studio's talent development program. Around 1956 he made the transition to television and was under contract to ABC, CBS, and NBC. His television credits include: The Bob Hope Show, Colgate Comedy Hour, The Red Button's Show, and Your Show of Shows, among others. He died May 1961 in New York.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to the career of director and producer Jess Kimmel. The bulk of the collection is script material related to radio, stage, television projects, and unidentified projects. It is not evident if all the projects represented were produced, but it is believed Kimmel was involved with each project in some capacity. Additionally, there are occasional notes, production information and/or publicity. Television projects represent Fireball Fun For All, Omnibus, Pace of Chicago, and Your Show of Shows. The stage project files document The Alchemist, Cyrano de Bergerac, and The Merry Widow Revue, among others. Radio material contains scripts and sketches for projects such as The Ghost of Benjamin Sweet and My Client Curley. There is also planning documents and publicity for the Philadelphia Independence Homecoming Celebration, which was part of state and local rallies built around four-day independence homecoming to be held at Philadelphia in commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 1951. The printed materials include a small amount of published plays, theatre programs, and publications related to the entertainment industry.
    There are materials believed to be related to Kimmel's service in the US Army during World War II including service manuals, many of which pertain to entertainment, morale and recreation. The Soldier Show folios and publications were produced by the Special Service Division, Army Service Forces and used for stage presentations and radio broadcasts in military areas by members of the armed forces and civilians engaged in the war effort, assessment tests, and other training material and notes.
    A small portion of the collection was originally filed in unlabeled binders. The processor assigned each binder a number documented in the notes field to distinguish the files originally contained within them and to maintain original order. The binders were removed for preservation purposes. A portion of the unidentified project material found in the binders appears to be have been related to entertainment for the armed forces; it is unknown if these were performed or broadcast.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Armed Forces Entertainment
    2. Film Projects
    3. Radio Projects
    4. Television Projects
    5. Theater Projects
    6. Unidentified Projects
    7. Printed Material

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Jess Kimmel--Archival resources.
    Television producers and directors--Archival resources.
    Theatrical producers and directors--Archival resources.
    United States. Army Service Forces. Special Service Division--Archival resources.