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University of Arizona

Performing Arts

Archival collections housed in Special Collections

Dance-related Archival Collections

American Vaudeville Museum Collection 1850-2007 MS 421  This collection consists of materials documenting vaudeville and other entertainment in the United States, particularly in the 1910s through 1940s. Primary materials such as photographs, scrapbooks and handwritten stage scripts document the careers of particular performers. There are substantial numbers of sheet music and theatre programs, and a large LP collection. The collection focuses on vaudeville but encompasses other forms and eras of American entertainment as well.

The American Vaudeville Museum Digital Archive  The American Vaudeville Museum Digital Archive contains over 4,321 items, from various vaudeville collections which are housed at the University of Arizona’s Special Collections. Presented in the digital archive are original materials comprised of theatre programs and postcards, sheet music, magazines, playbills, photographs and posters, stage scripts and other manuscripts, clippings and scrapbooks, films, miscellaneous papers.

Kathryn Beals Papers 1927-1928, 1976, 1994 MS 440  Kathryn Beals was born on August 1907 and raised in San Francisco, California. Between 1927 and 1928 she spent 15 months touring the United States with the Peters-Wright vaudeville dance troupe The Wright Dancers. During this time she exchanged letters and photos with her mother, father, uncle, and sister, Carol. When she was not performing or rehearsing she visited tourist sites like the Niagara Falls, Coney Island, and Washington, D.C. In the collection there are photos of these trips. The collection includes some of the theater programs on which she appears for presentations in Boston, New York, and Houston, and includes correspondence, photos, newspaper clippings, and ephemera, including two letters to her sister from acquaintances upon Kathryn’s death in 1976. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence with her family and ephemera she collected while touring with the Peters-Wright vaudeville dance troupe for 15 months in 1927-1928.

Records of the Tucson Meet Yourself Festival 1974-1996 MS 618  Correspondence, financial records, publicity, photographs, slides, sound reel tapes and transcripts documenting the activities of the Tucson Meet Yourself festival from its inception in 1974 up to the final festival sponsored and organized by the Southwest Folklore Center in 1994, with audio materials for 1996. General files include correspondence, volunteer files, financial records, and publicity relating to food and craft booths, folk artists, musicians, and dancers, workshops and contests. An estimated 400 to 500 photographs and slides exist for each year which cover every aspect of the festival including booths, artists, musicians, dancers, performances, and volunteer workers. 324 reel-to-reel tape recordings cover the main stage performances, interviews and workshops. Performances consist primarily of all kinds of ethnic music, but also include the annual corridos competition, fiddle contests, cowboy poetry and storytelling workshops, railroad oral history interviews, personal interviews and workshops. Transcripts are available for many of the reels. Some Reels have been migrated to CDs available for public use.

Up With People Archives 1937-2015 MS 491  This collection consists of the papers of the organization Up with People. The bulk of the material includes photographic and audiovisual material from Up with People performances and events. It also contains musical arrangements including scores, sheet music, song translations and symphony arrangements, publications such as newsletters, programs and promotional material and organizational records including annual reports, yearbooks, correspondence and manuals.