Scope and Content
Title: Neil O'Brien papers
Identifier/Call Number: PA Mss 70
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material:
29.6 linear feet
(16 document boxes, 25 flat boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1890-1954
Abstract: Papers of early 20th century American blackface entertainer Neil O'Brien (circa 1868-1954), leader of "Neil O'Brien's Great
American Minstrels," including scripts, music, set designs, photographs, letters, artifacts, posters, programs, sheet music,
and financial documents.
Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library
Language of Material: The collection is in English.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
[Identification of Item], Neil O'Brien papers, PA Mss 70. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University
of California, Santa Barbara.
Scope and Content
This collection includes music (both published and original), original scripts, scenes, jokes, gags and poems written by Neil
O'Brien (circa 1868-1954), leader of "Neil O'Brien's Great American Minstrels. Newspaper clippings include reviews of performances
by O'Brien and other blackface performers. When possible, scripts have been paired with original copies of accompanying songs.
Financial records include receipts, bills, bank checks, contracts, company salary figures and ledgers. Programs and advertisements
pertain to O'Brien's Minstrels, Lew Dockstader and others. Photos include family photos as well those of musicians and minstrel
performers. Correspondence includes letters between O'Brien and other minstrel performers, including Dockstader. Personal
items include two manuscript copies of O'Brien's autobiography, calendars, newspaper scrapbooks, notes and an address book.
The collection has been organized into the following series: I. Scripts, II. Music and scripts, III. Published music, IV.
Original music, V. Published music (not O'Brien), VI. Gags and scenes, VII. Gags and scenes (not alphabetized), VIII. Songs,
recitations and poems, IX. Miscellaneous family records, X. Financial items and records, XI. Programs and advertisements,
XII. Newspaper scrapbooks, XIII. Newspaper clippings, XIV. Clippings unrelated to O'Brien, XV. Photographs, XVI. Miscellany,
XVII. Autobiography, XVIII. Calendars and Address book, XIX. Letters and personal notes, XX. Minstrel show objects.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Minstrel shows -- United States