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Guide to the J. Kent Clark Papers, 1954-2003
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: J. Kent Clark Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1954-2003
    Collection number: Consult repository
    Creator: Clark, J. Kent, 1917-
    Extent: 2 linear feet
    Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
    Pasadena, California 91125
    Abstract: J. Kent Clark, 1917-pres. Professor of English, CIT 1947-86. The papers include manuscripts of dramatic and musical works (with audio casettes), biographical sketches, essays, a manuscript of Clark's biography of Thomas, Earl of Wharton, and some correspondence (esp. with Walter Garner).
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives 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 reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Papers of J. Kent Clark. Archives, California Institute of Technology.

    Acquisition Information

    The papers of J. Kent Clark have been donated to the Caltech Archives over a large period of time. Much of the collection was donated in 1990.


    J. Kent Clark came to Caltech in 1947 as an instructor in English. He was born in 1917 in Utah, and educated at Brigham Young University and at Stanford. At Caltech he was one of a group of outstanding teachers of the humanities who began their tenure following World War II, at the end of the Millikan era. His renown on campus grew with the creation of a series of musicals on campus life and characters between 1954 and 1988, in collaboration with Elliott Davis. The musicals were performed by the Caltech Stock Company. A number of songs from these shows have achieved notoriety of their own. Clark also wrote musicals and plays for organizations other than Caltech. He is the author of a novel, The King's Agent, and biographies of Goodwin and Thomas Wharton (the Tom Wharton biography is still in progress). Clark's life and career are described in the oral history done for the Caltech Archives in 1990. He became Emeritus in 1986.

    Scope and Content

    J. Kent Clark's papers were given to the Archives over a period of time. The first items to be received were the musicals, which in most cases were represented by text, musical scores, and frequently by audio cassettes as well. Of the remaining papers, the bulk was given in 1990. In preparing the materials for use, it was decided to bring all of them together in one place, in the collection now called the Papers of J. Kent Clark. The exception is the audio cassettes, which reside mostly--there are some exceptions--in the Archives' audio collection. Cross references to these audio cassettes are given in the Guide to the Papers. However, researchers should consult the separate guide to the audio cassette collection for some items which are not referenced in the papers. Three phonorecords of Clark's songs and musicals are also separately catalogued.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection.
    California Institute of Technology
    Caltech. Division of Humanities