The collection consists of over 200 years of theater memorabilia, primarily from the Haymarket district in London, the bulk
of which dates between 1830 and 1930. Gerard and Georgia Larson assembled this collection over their lifetimes, focusing heavily
on collecting items related to famous nineteenth century actors such as Sir Henry Irving. This collection includes their extensive
autograph collection as well as a substantial collection of early playbills dating back ot the mid-eighteenth century, a promptbook
for a mid-nineteenth century play, and original artwork created for Lyceum souvenir booklets. The collection also contains
literature on nineteenth and twentieth century plays and staging, in particular a four year run of Craig Gordon's publication
The Mask, and a small number of letters and play booklets related to Gerard Larson's teaching career.
Gerard (Gerry) A. Larson (1923-1999) was born in Chicago but raised in New York where, due to parental influence, he first
fell in love with the theater. He obtained his doctorate in 1957 from the University of Utah, where he met his wife, Georgia.
Dr. Larry Shumate recruited him for the newly established CSUS theatre department immediately after graduate school and he
worked as a professor in the department until 1994. During his tenure at this institution, he directed numerous student plays
including the first musical produced by the theatre program and the early operas. In addition to his work with the CSUS theatre
and other area performing arts centers, Gerard was an avid collector of theatre memorabilia, particularly 18th and 19th century
memorabilia related to the London's Haymarket area. This hobby directly affected his teaching activities, on at least one
occasion he directed a play at CSUS that dated back to this era. Even after completely retiring from CSUS in 1993, he contined
to be active in the theater, performing with his wife in the 1996 production "Love Letters." He died after a bout of pneumonia
in 1999 at the age of 75, leaving behind his wife and several nieces and nephews.
4.0 Linear feet
(3 manuscript boxes, 1 flat box & 14 oversize folders)
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from collections must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Permission for publication is given on the behalf of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives, The Library,
California State University, Sacramento as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.