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Collecting area: Performing arts Page 6 of 8
New Song Library

New Song Library Collection

1974-2018

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--Drama
American drama--Minority authors
Asian Americans--Drama
Ethnic groups--United States--Drama
Hispanic Americans--Drama
Minorities--United States--Drama
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Contributors
New WORLD Theater
Page, Priscilla
Uno, Roberta, 1956-
Types of material
Audiovisual materials
Sound 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 Doisters
Theater--Massachusetts--Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University 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 criticism
Theater--History--19th century
Theater--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 century
Music--19th century
Music--20th century
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Music and Dance
Contributors
Olevsky, Estela
Olevsky, 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--London
Theater--England--London
Theater--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
Ephemera
Posters
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
Primus, Pearl

Pearl Primus Collection

1995-2006
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 912

A pioneer of African dance in the United States and a vital scholarly voice, Pearl Primus burst onto the scene in the early 1940s as a choreographer, performer, composer, and teacher. Born in Trinidad in 1919 and raised in New York City, Primus was introduced to performance through the National Youth Administration and the New Dance Group. Her interest in the dance cultures of Africa and the African diaspora formed the conceptual center of her work throughout her career, drawing upon her deep scholarly research. In addition to her creative work, Primus earned a doctorate in anthropology from NYU and taught at a number of universities, including the Five Colleges. She died in New Rochelle, N.Y., in October 1994.

Conducted with Pearl Primus’ fellow dancers, musicians, friends, and collaborators between 1995 and 2005, the interviews comprising this collection were recorded by Peggy and Murray Schwartz for use in their book, The Dance Claimed Me: A Biography of Pearl Primus (New Haven, 2011). The oral histories provide insights into Primus’s sometimes controversial life career, her performances, teaching, and legacy.

Gift of Peggy and Murray Schwartz, Dec. 2013
Subjects
Choreographers
Dance--Africa
Dancers
Contributors
Nash, Joe, 1919-2005
Washington, Donald
Types of material
Audiocassettes
Betacam-SP
Videotapes
Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-

Frank Prentice Rand Papers

1905-1976
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.

Connect to another siteListen to oral history with Rand's wife:
Oral history, part 1
Oral history, part 2
Subjects
University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of History
Contributors
Rand, Frank Prentice, 1889-
Types of material
Oral histories
Scrapbooks