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Guide to the Norman D. Philbrick Working Files
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Series Arrangement
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Norman D. Philbrick Working Files
    creator: Philbrick, Norman D., 1913-
    Dates: 1787-1985
    Abstract: The Philbrick Working Files include Norman Philbrick's correspondence with book dealers and scholarly colleagues, an appraisal of his library, accession ledgers, invoices from dealers, newspaper and magazine clippings, mailings from his numerous social and scholarly organizations, photographs, and other artifacts. Documents relating to the process by which Philbrick amassed his library on the history of theatre are predominate in this collection. This collection contains some letters and materials from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, however the bulk of materials in this collection date from the mid-twentieth century.
    Extent: 6 boxes
    Repository: Claremont Colleges. Honnold/Mudd Library.
    800 N. Dartmouth Avenue
    Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
    Claremont University Consortium
    Claremont, California 91711
    Collection Number: H1986.1
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
    Physical Location: Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont University Consortium.

    Information for Researchers

    Restrictions on Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact Special Collections Library staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Norman D. Philbrick Working Files, Special Collections, Honnold Mudd Library, Claremont University Consortium.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Norman D. Philbrick, November 8, 1986.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Heather Todd for Archival Studies 311, Claremont Graduate University, Spring 2009.


    No additions to the collection is anticipated.

    Biographical Note

    This collection was donated in conjunction with the Geraldine Womack and Norman D. Philbrick Library of Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, which is also housed in Special Collections. Born on April 30, 1913 in Forth Wayne, Indiana, Norman Douglas Philbrick earned his A.B. from Pomona in 1935, M.A. from Stanford University in 1942, and Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1949. He married Alice Geraldine Womack in 1941, and they had four children: Mary, Anne, Robert, and Virginia.
    During Philbrick's lifetime he held posts including the executive head of the Stanford University Department of Speech and Drama, president of the American Theatre Association, faculty positions at Pomona and Scripps Colleges, was a member of the Board of Trustees of Pomona College, and taught at the Pasadena Playhouse.
    In 1941 Philbrick began collecting what would eventually become one of the major research collections on the history of English, American, and, to a lesser extent, French drama of the late seventeenth through the early nineteenth centuries, and continued until his death on January 25, 1987.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes documents relating to the creation and expansion of the Philbrick Library, including correspondence between Philbrick and numerous dealers, accession ledgers, invoices from dealers, a completed appraisal of his library, and even a floor plan of the building he had constructed to house his library. Other materials in the collections document his scholarly interests, including magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and pamphlets from lectures. The correspondence with Constance Fletcher, which spans from 1969 to Fletcher’s death in 1980, contains data on Philbrick’s purchasing habits, the items he desired for his library, as well as personal matters, such as illnesses, vacations, and marriages. Some of the materials in the collection were not created by Philbrick, but were collected by him or added to the Working Files because they deal with issues of moving the Philbrick Library to Special Collections.

    Series Arrangement

    Series 1 Philbrick Working Files

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection
    Philbrick, Norman D.
    Theatre and performance play texts