Collections: Speech
Abramson, Doris E.

Doris E. Abramson Papers

ca.1930-2007
25 linear feet
Call no.: FS 127
Image of Doris Abramson
Doris Abramson

After earning her masters degree from Smith College in 1951, Doris Abramson (class of 1949) returned to UMass in 1953 to become instructor in the English Department, remaining at her alma mater through a long and productive career. An historian of theatre and poet, she was a founding member of the Speech Department, Theatre Department, and the Massachusetts Review. In 1959, a Danforth grant helped Abramson pursue doctoral work at Columbia. Published in 1969, her dissertation, Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre, 1925-1969, was a pioneering work in the field. After her retirement, she and her partner of more than 40 years, Dorothy Johnson, ran the Common Reader Bookshop in New Salem.

An extensive collection covering her entire career, Abramson’s papers are a valuable record of the performing arts at UMass, her research on African American playwrights, her teaching and directing, and many other topics relating to her diverse interests in literature and the arts.

Gift of Dorothy Johnson, Apr. 2008

Subjects

  • African-American theater
  • Poets--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

  • Abramson, Doris E.
Brann, Vincent

Vincent Brann Papers

ca.1917-2005
7.5 linear feet
Call no.: FS 094

Vincent Clinton Brann was a Professor of Dramaturgy and Directing at UMass Amherst. Born Feb. 19, 1927 in Knoxville, Iowa, Brann served in the United States Army during WWII. After completing his B.A. at the University of Iowa in 1950 he was again called to serve in the Army during the Korean Conflict (1950-1951). Brann held faculty positions at Carnegie Institute of Technology, University of Maryland Overseas Program Europe, and Smith College before joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Speech Department in 1964. Brann remained in the Speech Department until 1972 when it became the Department of Theater; he continued to teach in the Department of Theater until his retirement in 1988. Brann was well-known for his oral interpretation and performance classes as well as his productions and original scripts. At the time of his death in 2007 he was Professor Emeritus of Dramaturgy and Directing.

The Brann Papers are a collection of genealogical materials dating to the early 20th century, correspondence, family and travel photographs (particularly of Spain and France), play scripts with director’s notes, musical theater scores, and Brann’s college yearbooks.

Subjects

  • Brann family
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst--Faculty
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Speech
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Theater

Contributors

  • Brann, Vincent
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.