The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Frank Prentice Rand Papers

5 boxes 2.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 083
Depiction of Frank Prentice Rand
Frank Prentice Rand

Playwright, poet, historian, student theater director and professor of English, University of Massachusetts.

Correspondence, speeches, lectures, drafts of writings, reviews, publicity material, programs and playbills, scrapbooks, grade books (1917-1959), newsclippings, memorabilia, and other papers, relating to Rand’s teaching career, his writing of poetry, plays, and history, and his activities, as a dramatic coach and director. Includes material relating to the dedication of Rand Theater.

Biographical Note

Frank Prentice Rand, professor, playwright, poet, and historian, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on November 8, 1889. He attended school at Monson Academy and Cushing Academy, and graduated from Williams College in 1912. After graduation he taught English at the University of Maine for one year. In the fall of 1914 he came to the Massachusetts Agricultural College. In 1915 he received the M.A. in English from Amherst College. Rand remained at Massachusetts Agricultural College for 46 years, the only interruption being a year in the U.S. Army during World War I.

From 1914 to 1929 Rand served as editor of The Signet of Phi Sigma Kappa, and for three years was national secretary of that fraternity. In 1920 he became director of the Roister Doisters, a student theater group, and continued in that role until 1947. From 1933 until 1955 Rand was Chairman of the English Department, and from 1948 to 1955 he served as Acting Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. He also served as the Director of the College English Association, and was a trustee of Cushing Academy, Amherst Academy, and the Jones Library. Rand received two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Massachusetts in 1955 and the other from Williams College in 1956. He retired from the University of Massachusetts in 1960 and died in 1971.

Rand was the author of the following books and plays (published books except where indicated otherwise):

  • The Americans Come (1931) (Play in typescript)
  • Crumpled Leaves of Old Japan (1922)
  • Cushing Academy (1865-1965)(1965)
  • David Grayson (1963)
  • Doctor Ben of Butter Hill (1923)
  • Garlington (1918)
  • Heart O’Town (1945)
  • In the Octagon (1927) (Published play)
  • The Jones Library in Amherst (1969)
  • John Epps (1921) (Published play)
  • Not Without Hope (1938) (Play in typescript)
  • On Corpus Christi Day (1935) (Play in typescript)
  • Our Lady Cushing (1925, 1950)
  • Phi Sigma Kappa a History (1923)
  • Royal and Ancient (1936) (Play in typescript)
  • Sidney (1925) (Published play)
  • The Village of Amherst (1958)
  • Wordsworth’s Mariner Brother (1966)
  • Yesterdays at Massachusetts State College (1933)
Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers document Frank Prentice Rand’s distinguished career as professor, playwright, poet, and historian and consist of correspondence, speeches, lectures, drafts of writings, reviews, publicity material, programs and playbills, scrapbooks, gradebooks (1917-1959), clippings, memorabilia, costume masks, and other papers relating to Rand’s teaching career, his writing of poetry, plays and history, and his activities as a dramatic coach and director.

Rand’s plays and books are well documented and represent the bulk of the collection. The papers include manuscripts, correspondence, reviews, and clippings related to his works. Documentation exists for eighteen of his book length works and a significant number of poems, including examples from his student days. Seven of his works are present in published form. Also included are clippings of his column Random Reminiscences, which he wrote for the Amherst Record between 1966 and 1971, and a scrapbook of published-poems, advertisement jingles, and editorials written by Rand as a student (1905-1917).

Significant documentation also exists on the Rand Commemoration Fund, established shortly after his retirement in 1960, the dedication of the Rand Theater in the Fine Arts Center (1976) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and on his awards and honors. In the folders on the Rand Commemoration Fund are letters to and from Archibald MacLeish concerning his Rand Commemorative Lecture, November 9, 1961, the second lecture in the series.

Largely absent from this collection are records of Rand’s service as Acting Dean of Liberal Arts, a post he filled from 1948 to 1955, and his work as Chairman of the English Department from 1933 to 1955. Also, few records exist of Rand’s career as a teacher, with the exception of a folder of examinations and his gradebooks.

The collection has been arranged into Subject Files (1917-1976); Writings (1905-1971), which includes manuscripts and other material related to his writings; and Published Materials (1905-1973).

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into three series:

  • Series 1. Subject Files, 1917-1976
  • Series 2. Manuscripts, 1905-1971
  • Series 3. Printed Material, 1905-1973

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Frank Prentice Rand Papers (RG 40/11 Rand). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Margarita Hopkins Rand in 1981.

Processing Information

Processed by Charlotte Truesdale, 1975.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Series Descriptions

3 boxes, 1.25 linear feet

This series contains various biographical material, personal items, and material Frank Prentice Rand used in teaching, including personal correspondence, addresses, newsletters, two scrapbooks (one compiled at his retirement and one related to the Rand Commemoration Fund), examinations, gradebooks, and related clippings. Costume masks (Box 6) made by Rand for Shakespearian productions are also included in this series.

The “autobiographical scrapbook” contains clippings, personal letters, and a list of the plays he produced as director of the Roister Doisters, collected at his retirement in 1960. The folder on awards and honors includes certificates of his honorary doctorates from the University of Massachusetts (1955) and from Williams College (1956), as well as letters and clippings pertaining to his awards. The material on the Frank P. Rand Scholarship and Commemoration Fund includes correspondence, notes, clippings, and a scrapbook of letters, postcards, and clippings. Also included here are letters to and from Archibald MacLeish concerning his lecture, the second Rand Commemoration Lecture (1961).

This series also contains a small amount of material related to Rand’s service as Acting Dean of Liberal Arts, his statement made in 1946 before the Subcommittee on State Universities of the Massachusetts State Senate’s Special Recess, Commission on Education, annual newsletters of the Alumni Teachers of English between 1935 and 1954, and the dedication text, letters, and clippings on the Rand Theater Dedication in the Fine Arts Center (1976).

2 boxes, 0.75 linear feet

The material is arranged alphabetically by title, and chronologically under each work.

This series includes addresses, correspondence, reviews, annotated typescripts, and newsclippings related to the writing and publishing of Rand’s works. Also included in this series are annotated drafts of several early poems (1906-1910; n.d.), correspondence and a newsclipping dealing with his puns (1932-1933), annotated typescripts of short stories (n.d.), essays on Shakespeare productions by the Roister Doisters (1925-1944), a record book of Shakespearean performances attended by Rand between 1905 and 1938, and annotated typescripts of his Random Reminiscences (1966-1971), the column he wrote for the Amherst Record.

1 box, 0.5 linear feet

The series contains Professor Rand’s books and plays; articles in scholarly journals; published poems and puns (1912-1956); a scrapbook of published poems, advertisement jingles, and editorials written by Rand as a student (1905-1917); and clippings of his column Random Reminiscences (1966-1971).

Books included in this series are: John Epps (1921), Crumpled Leaves from Old Japan (1922), Doctor Ben of Butter Hill (1923), Phi Sigma Kappa (1923), Our Lady Cushing (1925,1950), In the Octagon (1927), Heart O’ Town (1945), The Jones Library in Amherst (1969), and Wordsworth’s Mariner Brother (1966).

Connect to another siteListen to oral history with Rand's wife:
Oral history, part 1
Oral history, part 2


University of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History


Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Types of material

Oral historiesScrapbooks