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Finding Aid of the Armond Fields American Theatre collection 0337
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Collection Details
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  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access

  • Title: Armond Fields American Theatre collection
    Collection number: 0337
    Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 96.0 Linear feet
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1895-1925
    Date (inclusive): 1856-2000
    Abstract: This collection documents the history of the American stage before talking cinema, reflecting the birth and death of vaudeville and the advent of the modern Broadway musical. The collection includes books, posters, theater programs, sheet-music covers, souvenirs, rare film footage of vaudevillians, including Weber & Fields, and manuscripts and research notes for Armond Fields' own books.
    creator: Fields, Armond, 1930-

    Processing Information

    Collection arranged and described by Rob Gutner and Rohan Panikar. Materials in file folders were kept in their original order and described by their original file folder titles.

    Biographical Note

    Armond Fields (1930-2008) was an author, artist, art collector and business consultant. Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Louis Max and Esther Fields, he attended schools in the Mid-West. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin (1953), M.A. from the University of Illinois (1955) and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1956). He wrote several biographies, primarily on vaudeville performers. His oil paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. He curated, wrote catalogues, and donated the art for various exhibitions (most recently: Paris, Turn-of-the-Century, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2003; Vaudeville is Dead! Long Live Vaudeville!, Doheny Library, University of Southern California, 2005). Fields also served as a consultant in the areas of market strategy and consumer behavior including as a self-employed marketing consultant (1969), for Interpublic Co. (marketing and research vice president, 1960-69), for Audio-Video Entertainment, Inc. (corporate officer, 2000-?) and for AltaVoice Communications (consumer behavior consultant, 2001?).
    Fields was a social historian specializing in American popular theater from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Fields began researching his own family's involvement with early musical theater in New York that led to a biography of his great-uncle Lew Fields From the Bowery to Broadway: Lew Fields and the Roots of American Popular Theatre (1993). He also wrote Eddie Foy: A Biography of the Early Popular Stage Comedian (1999), Lillian Russell: A Biography of "America's Beauty" (1999), James J. Corbett: A Biography of the Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Popular Theater Headliner (2001), Fred Stone: Circus Performer and Musical Comedy Star (2002), Sophie Tucker: First Lady of Show Business (2003), Maude Adams: Idol of American Theater, 1872-1953 (2004), Women Vaudeville Stars: Eighty Biographical Profiles (2006) and Tony Pastor, Father of Vaudeville (2007). He also authored a social reformist biography on Katharine Dexter McCormick: Pioneer for Women's Rights (2003). His interest in French culture resulted in publishing Henri Riviere (1983), George Auriol (1985) and Le Chat Noir: A Montmartre Cabaret and its Artists in Turn-of-the Century Paris (1993).

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists chiefly of materials which Armond Fields used or created during the course of his research into American vaudeville and early theatre. There are copies of photographs and a few originals of some of the stars about whom he wrote, as well as other material related to the Vaudeville era: sheet music, theatre programs, newspapers, etc. Also included in the collection are all Fields' research notes for his many books as well as the drafts of the manuscripts. In addition, the collection includes audiotapes of Fields' interviews with family members of some his subjects, and videotapes of early film footage.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Armond Fields American Theatre collection, Collection no. 0337, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections 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.

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Adams, Maude, 1872-1953 -- Archives
    Brady, James Buchanan, 1856-1917 -- Archives
    Corbett, James J., 1866-1933 -- Archives
    Fields, Armond, 1930- -- Archives
    Fields, Lew, 1867-1941 -- Archives
    Foy, Eddie, 1856-1928 -- Archives
    Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.
    McCormick , Katherine Dexter, 1876-1967 -- Archives
    Montgomery, David Craig, 1870-1917 -- Archives
    Museum of the City of New York.
    National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution).
    New York Public Library.
    Pastor, Tony, 1837-1908 -- Archives
    Russell, Lillian, 1861-1922 -- Archives
    Stone, Fred, 1873-1959 -- Archives
    Tucker, Sophie, 1884-1966 -- Archives
    University of Texas at Austin.
    Weber & Fields (Comedy team). -- Archives
    Weber, Joe, 1867-1942 -- Archives
    Motion pictures--Periodicals
    Sheet music
    Slides (photographs)
    Theater programs
    Theater--United States--History--20th century--Archival resources
    Vaudeville--United States--History--19th century--Archival resources