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Guide to the San José State University Theater Arts Collection
MSS-2009-09-01  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Organizational History
  • Bibliography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: San José State University Theater Arts Collection
    Dates: 1900-1988
    Bulk Dates: 1950-1957
    Collection number: MSS-2009-09-01
    Creator: San José State University
    Collection Size: 4 boxes (4.67 linear feet)
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: The San José State University Theater Arts Collection, 1900-1988 (bulk 1950-1957) documents theatrical plays and ballets arranged and presented by the university's Speech and Drama Department. The collection consists of department theater programs, photographs, magazines, souvenir ballet programs, mailers, fliers, and various other print materials. In addition, the collection includes materials from national and international theater productions, such as theatrical programs, magazines, and souvenir ballet programs. This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Speech and Drama Department Production Materials, 1937-1988 (bulk 1950-1955); and Series II. National and International Theater Production Materials, 1900-1969 (bulk 1950-1957).
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    San José State University Theater Arts Collection, MSS-2009-09-01, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Silke Higgins. Finding aid EAD encoded by Silke Higgins. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008.The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

    Organizational History

    In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized $200,000 to construct a new building on the same site. Completed in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes, Minns' Normal School is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations, and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West.
    The history of the San José State University Theater Arts Department is well documented by former professors Hugh Gillis and Robert Jenkins. According to Gillis and Jenkins, while some of the first main stage plays on campus can be traced to the years 1898 and 1899, it was not until 1927 that the Speech Arts Department was formally founded by Dr. Thomas MacQuarrie, the sixteenth president of the college. Initially chaired by Virginia Sanderson, the small department rapidly evolved. In 1936, the Speech Arts Department, at that time headed by Elizabeth Jenks, was divided into two separate areas of speech and drama, which resulted in growing enrollment numbers, especially after an upper division course for Radio Speaking was added to the curriculum. After World War II, the Speech and Drama Department reached new heights with professionally arranged main stage plays, which were sold to the public as an entire season. In the late 1940s a curriculum for Radio and Television was added, and the 1950s saw the addition of a Master of Arts degree in Drama. The department is now known as the San José State University TV-Radio-Film-Theatre Department, offering students a skilled learning environment that consistently arranges well-received productions, as well as providing news and entertainment via its own campus radio station (KSJS-FM).

    Bibliography

    Gilbert, Benjamin F., and Burdick, Charles. Washington Square, 1857-1979: The History of San José State University. San José, California: San José State University, 1980.
    Jenkins, R., and Gillis, Hugh W. The History of the Department. http://www.tvradiofilmtheatre.com/bobhistory.html  (accessed October 9, 2009).
    San José State University. About SJSU. http://www.sjsu.edu/about_sjsu/ 
    Walsh, James P. San José State University: An Interpretive History, 1950-2000. San José, California: San José State University, 2003.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The San José State University Theater Arts Collection, 1900-1988 (bulk 1950-1957) documents theatrical plays and ballets arranged and presented by the university's Speech and Drama Department. The collection consists of department theater programs, photographs, magazines, souvenir ballet programs, mailers, fliers, and various other print materials. In addition, the collection includes materials from national and international theater productions, such as theatrical programs, magazines, and souvenir ballet programs.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Speech and Drama Department Production Materials, 1937-1988 (bulk 1950-1955); and Series II. National and International Theater Production Materials, 1900-1969 (bulk 1950-1957).

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    San José State University -- Speech and Drama Dept
    San José State Normal School -- History
    San José State Teachers College -- History
    San José State College -- History
    California State University, San José -- History
    San José State University -- History
    Education, Higher -- California -- San José
    Education -- California -- San José
    Drama
    Theater Programs
    Theater Periodicals
    Ballet Programs
    College theater -- California -- San José