The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Performing arts

National Arts Policy Archive & Library (NAPAAL)

National Arts Policy Archive and Library

1965-2013
Call no.: NAPAAL
Depiction of

The National Arts Policy Archive and Library is a collaborative project initiated by SCUA, the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, and several partners in arts agencies intended to document the history of arts administration in America. Collecting the records of state-level and national arts agencies, NAPAAL will provide a foundation for research into the evolution of arts policy, strategies for supporting the arts, and the economic and cultural impact of the arts on our communities.

Constituent collections include:

Subjects

Art and stateArts--ManagementGovernment aid to the arts

Contributors

Americans for the ArtsNational Asssembly of State Arts AgenciesNational Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Collection

1965-2016
5 boxes 7.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 686
Depiction of

Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

In contributing to the National Arts Policy Archive and Library (NAPAAL), the NEA allowed SCUA to digitize publications on the arts and arts management since its inception. The collection reflects the impact of the arts (including music, literature, and the performing arts) on everyday lives of Americans and include materials intended to support individual and classroom education, information on arts management, reports on the status of the arts, histories of the organization, and much more. All items are cataloged in the UMass Amherst Libraries online catalog and are included in the Internet Archive, where they are available for full-text searching.

Subjects

Art and StateArts--ManagementGovernment aid to the arts
New Song Library

New Song Library Collection

1974-2018
16 boxes 24 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1043

Founded by Johanna Halbeisen in 1974, the New Song Library was a collaborative resource for sharing music with performers, teachers and community activists, who in turn shared with a wide variety of audiences. Based initially in Boston, the Library was devoted to the music of social change and particularly music that reflected the lives and aspirations of workers, women and men, elders and young people, gays and lesbians, other minorities, and Third World people.

This collection contains over forty years of organizational and operational records of the New Song Library along with hundreds of sound recordings, primarily audiocassettes made at concerts, music festivals, song swaps, and gatherings of the People’s Music Network. The Library also collected newsletters and magazines on folk music, and most importantly dozens of privately produced songbooks and song indexes.

Gift of Johanna Halbeisen, 2017-2018

Subjects

Folk music

Types of material

Audiocassettes
New WORLD Theater

New WORLD Theater Records

1979-2010
41 boxes 61.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 025/F2/N4
Depiction of Photo by Edward Cohen, 2002
Photo by Edward Cohen, 2002

New WORLD Theater was founded at UMass Amherst in 1979 by Roberta Uno with the mission of presenting innovative works of theater by contemporary artists of color, with the goal of fostering creative communities, promoting cultural equity, and embracing diverse cultural backgrounds, social engagement, and a commitment to justice. For more than thirty years New WORLD Theater produced many dozens of plays and other dramatic works representing new voices in the theater, as well as plays from the traditional multicultural repertory, and they have supported the arts through performance residencies, conferences and colloquia, and a variety of initiatives aimed at the diverse communities they serve, youth, and theater professionals. New WORLD Theater has contributed significantly to national conversations on cultural equity. After more than three decades of acclaim and recognition, New WORLD Theater was closed by UMass Amherst in summer 2010.
The bulk of the New WORLD Theater collection consists of administrative records documenting the day-to-day activities of the theater, however, it also contains an extensive and exceptionally rich archive of taped interviews, conferences, and theatrical productions. Taken together, the audiovisual material traces the history of New WORLD through the words and performances of artists who both contributed to and benefited from the theater.

Subjects

African Americans--DramaAmerican drama--Minority authorsAsian Americans--DramaEthnic groups--United States--DramaHispanic Americans--DramaMinorities--United States--DramaUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst

Contributors

New WORLD TheaterPage, PriscillaUno, Roberta, 1956-

Types of material

Audiovisual materialsSound recordings
Niedeck, Arthur E.

Arthur E. Niedeck Papers

ca.1875-1984
18 boxes 12 linear feet
Call no.: FS 029

A Professor of Speech in the English Department at UMass Amherst, Arthur Ellsworth Niedeck was born in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1910, and educated at Ithaca College (BS) and Cornell University (MA). He began his career teaching theater in Ithaca schools prior to the Second World War, and after a stint working with the USO, joined the Speech Department at UMass in about 1947. An advisor to the Roister Doisters, the UMass theatre troupe, Niedeck became Professor and Head of Speech Department by the late 1950s and was involved in producing and supporting theater on campus for nearly four decades. Niedeck died in Amherst in June 1984.

Joining a small quantity of memorabilia, handbills, and fliers, the Niedeck collection consists primarily of audio recordings of theatrical productions he oversaw at UMass Amherst. Copyright was retained by Niedeck.

Gift of Vincent Brann, May 1989 (89-018)

Subjects

Roister DoistersTheater--Massachusetts--AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Speech Department

Types of material

Sound recordings
Restrictions: Copyright was retained by the donor.
Nineteenth Century Theatre

Nineteenth Century Theatre Records

1987-1996
4 boxes 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 469

Established in 1983 and published twice a year at UMass Amherst with the support of Five Colleges, Inc., Nineteenth Century Theatre offered scholarly, critical, and documentary coverage of a broad range of subjects. Issues of the journal contained essays, documents, book reviews, bibliographical studies, and analyses of archival holdings.

The records of the journal include essays and reviews submitted for publication, correspondence, and published issues.

Subjects

Theater--History and criticismTheater--History--19th centuryTheater--Periodicals
Olevsky, Julian, 1926-1985

Julian Olevsky Score Collection

1898-1966
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 438

Ranked amongst the great violinists of his generation, Julian Olevsky served as Professor of Violin at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1967-1985. The collection consists of annotated scores belonging to Julian Olevsky, the bulk of which contain parts for the violin and piano.

Gift of Estella Olevsky, 2002

Subjects

Music--18th centuryMusic--19th centuryMusic--20th centuryUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance

Contributors

Olevsky, EstelaOlevsky, Julian, 1926-1985
Playgoers’ Club (London, England)

Playgoers' Club Records

1884-1892
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 351

Founded by Heneage Mandell in 1884, the London Playgoers Club met regularly “to afford members facilities for Critical Theatrical Discussions… in the form of… debate[s].” Playgoers in Victorian England did not generally enjoy a favorable reputation, stereotyped as abrasive at best and dangerous at worst. Mandell and his colleagues sought to promote a more genteel image of playgoers while nurturing a relationship between the players and audience.

The core of the Playgoers Club collection consists of a series of meeting minutes from 1884 to 1892, a list of all members who ran in club elections, and a brief, handwritten history of the club.

Subjects

Theater audiences--England--LondonTheater--England--LondonTheater--Societies and clubs--Great Britain

Contributors

Playgoers’ Club (London, England)

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007

Ulrich Plenzdorf Collection

1970-1979
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 978

An East German screenwriter and playwright, Ulrich Plenzdorf was born into a Communist family in the working-class Kreuzberg district of Berlin in 1934, settling in East Germany after the war. Abandoning his undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Leipzig, Plenzdorf worked as a stagehand at the DEFA film studio while studying at the film academy in Babelsberg. His breakthrough as a writer came with the play Die neuen Leiden des jungen W (1972), which enjoyed enormous success internationally, selling more than four million copies in 30 languages. A year later, he followed up with the popular film, Die Legende von Paul und Paula (1973), and his popularity as a writer continued through unification. Plenzdorf died in Berlin on Aug. 9, 2007, at the age of 72.

This small collection includes research files on the screenwriter Ulrich Plenzdorf assembled by Albert R. Schmitt, a professor of German at Brown University. In addition to an early edition of Die neuen Leiden and a mimeograph copy of an English translation by Herbert Lederer, the collection includes a handful of letters and a few pieces of ephemera from early productions of Die neuen Leiden, along with reviews and scholarly articles of Plenzdorf’s work.

Gift of Barton Byg, June 2017
Language(s): German

Subjects

Dramatists--Germany (East)Plenzdorf, Ulrich, 1934-2007. Neuen Leiden des jungen W.Screenwriters--Germany (East)

Contributors

Schmitt, Albert R.

Types of material

EphemeraPosters
Pollock, Robert J.

Robert J. Pollock Souvenir Collection

1904-1954
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 388

Brought together by Robert J. Pollock, this collection of souvenirs consists chiefly of playbills from New England and New York productions, and includes programs from ice skating shows, circuses, and musical revues.

Subjects

Theater--History--20th century

Contributors

Pollock, Robert J

Types of material

Playbills