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Greene, Clay M. Collection
MSS.2016.01.11  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Clay M. Greene Collection, 1867-1934 (bulk 1880-1925) documents Greene’s life from his early years as a newspaperman to his later success as an American playwright. Greene is perhaps best known for writing and producing Nazareth: The Passion Play of Santa Clara. The play was performed at Santa Clara College’s Golden Jubilee in 1901 and enjoyed continued success for many years. The collection includes play scripts, screenplays and scenarios; a few musical scores and librettos; newspaper clippings pertaining to theatrical productions; personal and professional correspondence with David Belasco, William H. Crane, Erlanger Productions, the New York Lambs Club, Jacob Litt and others; ephemera and other printed materials related to his participation in various social clubs, most notably the Bohemian Club and the New York Lambs; and newspaper articles, poems, prose and other writings by Greene including drafts of his memoir entitled My Seventy-Five Years, Off and On. This collection is arranged into four series: Series I: Personalia, 1868-1934; Series II: Poetry, Prose & Other Writings, 1867-1933; Series III: The Bohemians, the New York Lambs & Other Social Clubs, 1876-1933; and Series IV: Theatrical Works, 1871-1933.
Background
Clay M. Greene was an American playwright, director and alumnus of Santa Clara College. Born on March 12, 1850 in San Francisco, California, Greene was exposed to the burgeoning theater trade of the Gold Rush Era as an adolescent. Greene immersed himself in the world of theater, observing, acting and eventually writing burlesques and plays. In 1867, Greene’s parents sent him to Santa Clara College, where they hoped he would pursue studies in law or medicine. Instead, his college experience further solidified his interest in the theater. Upon his return to San Francisco in 1870, Greene worked as a newspaperman, writing for The Golden Era and its competitor The Argonaut. In 1878, Greene relocated to New York, where he believed his work would flourish, and eventually, it did. Over his career, seventeen of Greene’s thirty-three full length plays became Broadway productions. As a gift to his alma mater, Greene wrote and produced Nazareth: The Passion Play of Santa Clara. Greene’s Passion Play was performed for the first time at Santa Clara College’s Golden Jubilee in 1901 and enjoyed continued success for many years.Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
Extent
8.0 Linear Feet 11 boxes, 3 items
Restrictions
Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.
Availability
The collection is open for research. There are no restrictions.