Arthur, Thomas H. Papers, 1921-1982 *JMU Faculty Papers*

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Arthur, Thomas H.
Title:
Thomas H. Arthur Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0088
Date:
1921-1982
Extent:
1 Hollinger box, 2.58 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Language of the Material:
French, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese
Abstract:
The Thomas H. Arthur Papers, 1921-1982, consist of one Hollinger box (.417 linear feet) of personal correspondence, manuscripts, theater programs, photographs, and notes written by Thomas H. Arthur and pertaining to actor, Melvyn Douglas.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [box #, folder #], Thomas H. Arthur Papers, 1921-1982, SC 0088, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Bio/Historical Note

Thomas H. Arthur was hired as a professor in 1973 to develop the theater program at James Madison University. Arthur was a personal friend of Melvyn Douglas and his family, and wrote his doctoral thesis about Douglas' involvement in politics. In 1971, Arthur also collaborated with Douglas, at Douglas' request, to write his autobiography, See You at the Movies: The Autobiography of Melvyn Douglas. Arthur retired from JMU in 2007.

Melvyn Douglas was born Melvyn Hesselberg, on April 5, 1901 in Macon, Georgia. He began his theatrical career in 1917, and adopted the name 'Douglas' some time prior to his movie debut. During his career he was a star of the screen, stage, and television. He was the first male actor to win a Tony Award, an Emmy Award, and an Oscar. In addition to acting, Douglas served in both world wars and was active in politics. In 1940 he became the first actor to serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He was married in 1931 and died in New York City on August 4, 1981. This collection consists primarily of letters and notes relating to Dr. Arthur's book, See You at the Movies: The Autobiography of Melvyn Douglas (Lanham, Md. University Press of America, 1986).

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Scope and Content

The Thomas H. Arthur Papers, 1921-1982 and undated, consists of one Hollinger box (.417 linear feet). The collection consists of four series: Correspondence, Notes and Manuscripts, Programs from Early Performances and Photographs.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1970-1982, consists of three folders containing letters, mainly from Thomas H. Arthur to Melvyn Douglas regarding his biography, Arthur's dissertation on Douglas' involvement in politics and planned visits for Douglas at James Madison University and Indiana State University (where Arthur taught previous to JMU). Of special interest is a letter sent February 10, 1972 from actor Robert Redford to Melvyn Douglas.

Series 2, Notes and Manuscripts, undated, consists of four folders containing a copy of Douglas' outline on acting, Douglas' handwritten notes for Arthur's book, and Arthur's manuscripts, which have been split into two folders.

Series 3, Programs from early performances, 1921-1925, consists of six folders containing programs for productions from various theaters in the Midwest, including the Rialto Theatre, New Grand Theatre, Orpheum Theatre and Fisher's Majestic Theatre. Also included are copies of newspaper clippings detailing the activities of Playmongers, a theatrical troupe which included Douglas, and their activities at the Chicago Festival in 1921. Folder 8 is primarily copies of newspaper clippings, centered around Chicago and the Playmongers. Folder 9 contain programs mainly from the Rialto Theatre. Folders 10, 11, 12, and 13 contain programs mainly from the New Grand, Orpheum and Fisher's Majestic Theaters. Folders are arranged chronologically, when dates are known.

Series 4, Photographs, undated, consists of three folders containing photographs of Melvyn Douglas (or family members of Douglas) that Thomas H. Arthur used in his biography of Arthur. Photographs are mostly undated but are arranged in semi-chronological order. The photographs are reprints and some predate 1921, including a Civil War era photograph, presumably of a family member of Melvyn Douglas.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series, with two sub-series each:

  1. 1. Theater Programs and Printed Materials, 1953-2018
  2. 1.1 Playbills, 1953-2018
  3. 1.2 Theater Print Materials, 1962-2005
  4. 2. Scholarship and Teaching, 1979-2014
  5. 2.1 Melvyn Douglas Research, 1970-1982
  6. 2.2 Study Abroad Semester Materials, 1979-2014

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl. 2013-11-21

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

Donated by Dr. Thomas H. Arthur in 1987.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2023.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Collection Inventory

Theater Programs and Printed Materials, 1953-2018

Playbills, 1953-2018

Title/Description Instances
2 Pianos, 4 Hands - American Theatre College Festival XXX, 1981-2018 box 1 folder 1
2 Pianos, 4 Hands, 1999
9 Parts of Desire, 2006
21st Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, 1997
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 2006
40 Years On, 1984
42nd Street, 1983
84 Charing Cross Road, 1981
Absolute Hell, 1995
Accidental Death of an Anarchist, 1981
Ain't Misbehavin, 1985
Ajax, 1986
Aladdin, 2016
Alice, 2003
All My Sons, 1981
All My Sons, 2018
Amadeus, 1981
The American College Theatre Festival XVI, 1984
The American College Theatre Festival XXVI, 1994
The American College Theatre Festival XXX, 1998
Angels in America - Avenue Q, 1962-2015 box 1 folder 2
Angels in America, 1994
Anna in the Tropics, 2004
Annie, 1981
Annie, 2013
Animal Farm, 1986
Antony and Cleopatra, 2008
Anything Goes, 2003
The Archbishop's Ceiling, 1986
Arms and the Man, 1981
Art, 1996
Art, 2000-2001
As You Like It, 1962
As You Like It, 1981-1982
The Audience, 2015
August: Osage County, 2008
Avenue Q, 2004
Ballroom - Big River, 1961-2003 box 1 folder 3
Ballroom, 1978
Barefoot in the Park, 1965
ΒΑΤΡΑΧΟΙ, 2002-2003
The Bay at Nice and Wrecked Eggs, 1986
The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, 1982
Beatlemania, 1978
The Beauty Queen of Leenane, 1998
As Bees in Honey Drown, 1997
Bells are Ringing, 1961
Benefactors, 1984
Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1986
Billy Bishop Goes to War - By George...It's Gershwin, 1963-2010, undated box 1 folder 4
Billy Bishop Goes to War, 1982
The Blacks, undated
Blackbird, 2006
Blood Brothers, 1988
Bloody Poetry, 1984
Blue Man Group "Tubes", 1992
Blue Surge, 2001
Bobrauschenbergamerica, 2009-2010
Bookworms, 2010
Bouncers, undated
The Boyfriend, 1984
Breaking the Code, 1986
Breaking the Silence, 1984
Brigadoon, 1963
Brothers Karamazov, 1981
By George...It's Gershwin, 1987
La Cage Aux Folles - Children of a Lesser God, 1978-1999, undated box 1 folder 5
La Cage Aux Folles, 1986
Canterbury Tales, undated
Can't Pay? Won't Pay!, 1981
Carmen, 1996-1997
Carmen Jones, 1991
Cats, 1999
The Caucasian Chalk Circle, 1997
Champagne Charlie, 1984
Chapter Two, 1978
The Cherry Orchard, 1997
Chicago, 1999
Children of a Lesser God, 1980
Chinese State Circus - Coriolanus, 1984-2006, undated box 2 folder 1
Chinese State Circus, 1995-1996
Chopin Recital with Maciej Poliszewski, undated
A Chorus of Disapproval, 1986
City of Angels, 1991
The Clean House, 2006
Closer, 1997
Cloud Nine, 1997
The Color Wheel, 1995
Company, 1996
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, 1992
Copenhagen, 1999
Coriolanus, 1984
Coriolanus, 1996
Corpse! - Dylan, 1964-2011, undated box 2 folder 2
Corpse!, 1984
Cosi' Fan Tutte`, undated
The Count of Monte Cristo, 2004
The Country Club, undated
The Country Wife, undated
Cowgirls, 1996
The Cripple of Inishman, 1997-1998
Curse of the Starving Class, 1979
Cyrano, 1995
Cyrano de Bergerac, 1997
Dance of Love and Death, 1981
Dancing at Lughnasa, 2011
Dangerous Corner, undated
David Mamet: "Bobby Gould in Hell" Reading, undated
A Day at the Opera, A Night at the Races, 1984
Dial M for Murder, 1983-1984
Dialogues Des Carmelites, 1999-2000
Les Dindes Galantes, 2006
Don Giovanni, 1984
Don Juan, 1981
Doonesbury, 1983
Driving Miss Daisy, 1988
The Drowsy Chaperone, 2006
Dylan, 1964
East of Eden - Evita, 1981-2018 box 2 folder 3
East of Eden, 2014-2015
Eastern Standard, 1988
Edinburgh Military Tattoo, 1981
Educating Rita, 1981
Eleemosynary, 1993
English Chamber Orchestra Concert Series, 1984
English Chamber Orchestra Concert Series, 1997
Equus, 2017
Evita, 1980
Evita, 1981
Fair Maid - Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, 1975-2016 box 2 folder 4
The Fair Maid of the West, 1987
Falstaff and Hal, 1986
A Few Good Men, 1994
Finian's Rainbow, 2016
First Monday in October, 1975
Follies, 2001
Follow the Orange and Blue Road, 1998
The Fool, 1981
Fool for Love, 1983
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, 1988
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, 1992
Galileo - De La Guarda, 1981-2014, undated box 2 folder 5
Galileo, 1986
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, 2014
Gianni Scicchi and Pagliacci, 2004
Gibraltar, 2013
The Glass Menagerie, 1995
The Glass Menagerie, 2007
The Glass Menagerie, 2010
The Goat (or Who is Sylvia?), 2002
Godot-Ra Varva, undated
Good People, 2011
The Gospel at Colonus, 1990
Grease, 2000
The Green Bird, 2000
Groucho at Large, 1981
De La Guarda, undated
Half a Sixpence - Henry IV, 1962-2016 box 3 folder 1
Half a Sixpence, 1966
Hametz, 1995
Hamilton, 2016
Hamlet, 1981
Hamlet, 1992
Hamlet, 1988
Hamlet, 1997
Hamlet Variations, 2004
Handel Opera, 1984
Happy New Year, 1979
Harvey, 2015
Heartbreak House, 2017
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 1999
The Heidi Chronicles, 1989
Henry IV, 1962
Henry IV, 2004
Henry IV - Italian American Reconciliation, 1975-2011, undated box 3 folder 2
Henry IV, 1994
Henry VIII, 2002
Herr Puntila Und Sein Knecht Matti, 1975
High Spirits, undated
The Hired Man, 1984
Hogan's Goat, undated
The Homecoming, 1997
The House of Blue Leaves, 1986
The Hypochondriac, 1981
An Ideal Husband, 1996
An Iliad, 2011
I'm Not Rappaport, 1986
An Inspector Calls, undated
Intimate Exchanges, 1985
Italian American Rconciliation, undated
Jack: A Night on the Town - Little Hotel on the Side, 1981-2015, undated box 3 folder 3
Jack: A Night on the Town with John Barrymore, 1994
Jelly's Last Jam, 1992
Joyce, 2007
Judith: A Parting from the Body, 2010
The Kingfisher, 1981
King Hedley II, 2001
The King and I, 2015
King Richard III (The Big Dick), undated
Kiss Me, Kate, undated
Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1994
Lady in the Dark, 1997
The Last Nights of Ballyhoo, 1997
Les Miserables, 1985
A Letter of Resignation, 1997
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, 1982
The Life of Henry the Fift., 1997
The Light in the Piazza, 2005
The Lion King, 2014
A Little Bit Like You, 2003
The Little Dog Laughed, 2006
A Little Hotel on the Side, 1984
Little Me - Love and Understanding, 1983-2008 box 3 folder 4
Little Me, 1984
The Little Mermaid, 2008
Little Shop of Horrors, 1983
Long Day's Journey into Night, 2003
Loot, 1984
Love's Labor's Lost, 1987
Love's Labour's Lost, 1994
Love and Understanding, 1997
The Lucky Chance, 1984
Macbeth - Mary Poppins, 1965-2012, undated box 3 folder 5
Macbeth, 1965
Macbeth, 1989
Madame Melville, 2000
A Madhouse in Goa, 1989
The Madness of George III, 1992
Macbeth, 2004
Madame Butterfly, 1984
Madame Butterfly, 1988
The Magic Flute, 1997
The Magistrate, 1986
Making it Happen, undated
Malfi, 1995
Mamma Mia, 2001
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 1985
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, undated
Marat, 1997
Marcel Marceau, 1965
Maria Callas: Master Class, 1996
The Marriage of Figaro, 1991
Mary Poppins, 2012
Measure for Measure - The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1959-2011, undated box 4 folder 1
Measure for Measure, undated
Medea, 2000
Merchant of Venice, 1962
The Merry Widow, 1980
The Merry Wives of Windsor, 1997
Metamorpheses, 2002
Metamorpheses, 2010
Of Mice and Men, 1999
The Midnight Eucharist, 1984
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1985
Million Dollar Quartet, 2011
Misalliance, 1995
Misery, 1992
Monteith and Rand, 1978
Much Ado About Nothing, 1981
Mutabilitie, 1997
My Children! My Africa!, undated
My Fair Lady, 1959
My Fair Lady, 1981
My Fair Lady, 2002
My Giddy Aunt, 1968
The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1986
National Black Arts Festival - Nunsense, 1960-2014, undated box 4 folder 2
National Black Arts Festival, 1992
National Symphony Orchestra: All Beethoven, 1980
Newsies, 2013
A New Way to Pay Old Debts, 1984
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert, 1958
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert, 1960
New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert, 1960
'night, Mother, 1983
Nine, 2003
No Frost 17, undated
Noises Off, 1984
Noises Off, 2004
No Man's Land and Waiting for Godot, 2014
Nothing Sacred, 1989
Nunsense, undated
Oedipus - Outrage, 1962-2013, undated box 4 folder 3
Oedipus, undated
Oklahoma!, 2002
Old Times, undated
Old Wicked Songs, 1996
Oliver!, 1963
Oliver!, 1964
Once on this Island, 1991
The O'Neill Plays, 1988
One Mo' Time, 1981
On the Twentieth Century, 1978
On Your Toes, 1984
The Oresteia, 1981
Orson's Shadow, 2005
Othello, 1962
Othello, 1979
The Other Place, 2013
O'Toole Reading, 1996
Our Lady of 121st Street, 2003
Outrage, 2011
Passion Play - Punch Henry's Jazz Funeral, 1962-2016, undated box 4 folder 4
Passion Play, 1984
Pebuzop Tarkastaja, 1989
People Show, 1981
Pericles, 2005
Peter Pan, 2016
The Petition, 1986
Phedra, 1984
Photo Finish, undated
The Piano Lesson, 1990
The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, 1981
The Pixie Led, 1989
Playland, 1994
Playland, undated
The Pope's Wedding and Saved, 1984
The Premise, 1962
Present Laughter, 1981
Present Laughter, 1996
The Prince's Play, 1996
The Prisoner of Second Avenue, 2010
Private Eyes, 1970
Private Eyes, 2002
Punch Henry's Jazz Funeral, 1981
Quartermaine's Terms - Russian Classical Ballet, 1962-2004, undated box 4 folder 5
Quartermaine's Terms, 1982
The Queen and the Rebels, 1982
Red Cross, undated
Rent, 1998
Restoration, 1981
Richard II, 1962
Richard II, 1987
Richard III, 1962
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, 1992
Rules for Good Manners in the Modern World, 2004
The Russian Classical Ballet, undated
Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet - Shirley Valentine, 1962-2005, undated box 5 folder 1
Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet, 1984
Saint Oedipus, 2005
Salome, 1989
Sarafina, 1989
The Scarlet Pimpernel, 2002
The School for Scandal, 1962
The School for Scandal, 1984
The School for Wives, 1997
A Servant to Two Masters, undated
Seven Guitars, 1996
Sex and Longing, 1996
Shadowlands, 1989
She Stoops to Conquer, 1984
Shirley Valentine, 1989
Shoemaker's Holiday - Strip Show, 1962-2017, undated box 5 folder 2
The Shoemaker's Holiday, 1981
Shopping and Fucking, 1997
Shouting in the Evening, 1997
Side Man, 1999
The Silver Whistle, 1962-1963
Simon Boccanegra, 1981
Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1966
Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1987
Six Degrees of Separation, 1991
Skylight, 1997
Souvenir, 2017
Speed-The-Plow, 1989
Spring Awakening, 2008
Stage Kiss, 2014
Stanley, 1996
Steaming, 1981
Steaming, 1982
Stepping Out, 1984
A Streetcar Named Desire, 2017
Strip Show, undated
The Sum of Us - Sweet Charity, 1986-2009 box 5 folder 3
The Sum of Us, 1991
The Sum of Us, 1992
Sunset Boulevard, 1996
Superior Donuts, 2009
Swan Lake, 2002
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 2006
Sweet Charity, 1986
Taking a Chance on Love - Thin Wall, 1961-2005, undated box 5 folder 4
Taking a Chance on Love, 2000
The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, 2005
Talking Heads, 2003
廁所的故事 (The Tale of the Toilet), undated
Tantalus, 2000
The Tempest, 1961
The Tempest, 2001
Texts for Nothing, undated
Theatre of Nations, 1986
Theatrical Garden Party, 1984
They're Playing Our Song, 1980
Things We Do for Love, 1998
Thin Wall, undated
A Thousand Clowns - Two Trains Running, 1962-2016 box 5 folder 5
A Thousand Clowns, 1962
Thee Birds Alighting on a Field, 1992
Three Men on a Horse, 1987
The Threepenny Opera, 2002
Timon of Athens, 2004
Tiny Alice, undated
Today, I am a Fountain Pen, 1985
Tons of Money, 1986
Tony n' Tina's Wedding, 1988
Topdog/Underdog, 2002
The Torch-Bearers, 2000
Torch Song Trilogy, 1985
Translations, 1981
The Triumph of Love, 2004
TRU, 2016
True West, 1983
Twelfth Night or What You Will, 1991
Twelfe Night, or What You Will/The Tragedie of King Richard the Third, 2014
The Two Noble Kingsmen, 2002
Two Rooms, 1998
Two Trains Running, 1991
Under Milk Wood - Volpone, 1981-2004, undated box 6 folder 1
Under Milk Wood, 1995
Undoing Salk, 2004
Urinetown: The Musical, 2001
Veterans Day, 1989
Village Wooing and 1933, a Portrait of the Year, undated
Vivaldi and Bach by Candlelight, 1997
Volpone, 1995
Wait Until Dark - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1962-2011, undated box 6 folder 2
Wait Until Dark, undated
Waiting for Godot, 1997
The Warsaw Ballet , undated
A Walk in the Woods, 1988
WarHorse, 2012
The Way of the World, 1984
The Wedding, 2010
West Shore Concerts: The Cleveland Orchestra, 1962
When We Dead Awaken, 1990
The Whipping Man, 2011
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1962
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1981
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 2006
Wicked - You Never Can Tell, 1978-2004, undated box 6 folder 3
Wicked, 2004
Wild Honey, 1984
Wild Oats, 1995
The Will Rogers Follies: A Life in Rome, 1991
Wit, 1999
The Witches, undated
The Wiz, 1978
The Woman in Black, 1989
Woman in Mind, 1986
Wonderful Town!, 1986
Year of the Rooster, undated
You Never Can Tell, 1987

Print Theater Materials, 1962-2005

Title/Description Instances
Printed Materials, (Folder 1 of 3), 1962-1996 box 6 folder 4
Printed Materials, (Folder 2 of 3), 1996-2015, undated box 6 folder 5
Printed Materials, (Folder 3 of 3), undated box 7 folder 1

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Scholarship and Teaching, 1970-2014

Melvyn Douglas Research, 1970-1982

Title/Description Instances
Correspondence, 1970-1974 box 7 folder 2
Correspondence, 1975-1978 box 7 folder 3
Correspondence, 1979-1982 box 7 folder 4
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 1 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 5
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 2 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 6
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 3 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 7
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 4 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 8
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 5 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 9
Programs from Early Performances (Folder 6 of 6), 1979 box 7 folder 10
Arthur's manuscripts, Part 1, undated box 7 folder 11
Arthur's manuscripts, Part 2, undated box 7 folder 12
Copy of Douglas' outline on acting, undated box 7 folder 13
Douglas' handwritten notes for biography, undated box 7 folder 14
Photographs (Folder 1 of 3), undated box 7 folder 15
Photographs (Folder 2 of 3), undated box 7 folder 16
Photographs (Folder 3 of 3), undated box 7 folder 17

Study Abroad Semester Materials, 1979-2014

Title/Description Instances
London and Italy Ephemera, 1979-2014 box 7 folder 18
Teaching Materials and Itineraries, 1984 box 7 Folder 19
Photographs and Postcards, 1984, undated box 7 folder 20

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