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Inventory of the Henrique Vivian Messetti Papers, 1924-1949
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Related collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Henrique Vivian Messetti Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1924-1949
    Collection number: D-197
    Creator: Messetti, Henrique Vivian
    Extent: 1.8 linear feet
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Dept. of Special Collections.
    100 North West Quad
    Davis, California, 95616-5292
    Abstract: Henrique Vivian Messetti was a writer, performer, and member of a vaudeville-circus family active during the 1920's-1940's. The papers, which span the years 1929-1949, contain correspondence, scripts, and other production materials relating to the activities of a traveling California vaudeville-circus family. They document three successive road show companies: Messett's Great Road Show, Little Eva's Temptation Company, and F. A. Cunningham's Kick High Musical Review
    Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. 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 Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Henrique Vivian Messetti Papers, D-197, Department of Special Collections, University of California Library, Davis, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Special Collections purchased this collection from Carolyn Kaplan in 1975.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca L. Wendt in 2001. EAD finding aid created by Sara Gunasekara with assistance from Jared Campbell and Jim Sylva in 2004.


    Biographical Narrative

    Henrique Vivian Messetti was born on September 5, 1918 in Spain where his parents were performing. Upon the family's return to the United States, Los Angeles became their permanent residence. Messetti began appearing on the stage at the age of four. Most of his work was in vaudeville/circus productions although he also claimed to have performed in a few motion picture serials. In later years he dropped his first name while continuing as a female impersonator. He was with, among others, the touring Messett's Great Road Show, Little Eva's Temptation Company, and F.A. Cunningham's Kick High Musical Circus.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Organized into six series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Works, 3. Scripts, 4. Clippings, 5. Ephemera, 6. Posters

    Related collection

    D-268, Jack Denslow Collection
    D-277, Sanford and Barbara Freeman Collection

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Messetti, Vivian
    Circus performers
    Female impersonators

    Separated Material

    Wrigley's gum wrapper dress, ca. 1930's. This dress, made from paper wrappers of six different flavors of gum glued to a cheese-cloth base, is now part of the Design Collection at the Department of Environmental Design, University of California, Davis.