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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the University of Chicago Blackfriars Records 1904-1983

© 2015 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

University of Chicago. Blackfriars. Records

Dates:

1904-1983

Size:

16.5 linear feet (19 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The records of the University of Chicago Blackfriars, a student dramatic organization, include by-laws, correspondence, contracts, lists of members, productions and officers, printed and manuscript scores of productions, posters, photographs, and recordings.

Information on Use

Access

Due to the lack of listening/access copies for recordings, researchers will need to consult with staff before using audio material. The remainder of the collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: University of Chicago. Blackfriars. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

The Blackfriars was formed in late 1903 by Frank R. Adams, the first Abbot of the order. Named after the notable theater of Elizabethan London, the Blackfriars was inspired by Harvard's Hasty Pudding, Princeton's Triangle, and other early collegiate musical comedy groups. Membership was restricted to male students, and included one man from each University fraternity as well as any campus actors "fitted for amusing themselves and others". The first production, a satire of the Department of Political Economy titled "The Passing of Pahli Kahn," was presented in the spring of 1904. The new organization proved to be so popular that original Blackfriars musical comedies became an eagerly awaited feature of every spring season.

While the early shows sometimes suffered from awkward staging, the Blackfriars satires of the 1920's and 1930's benefited from shrewd publicity and the aid of professional designers and directors. In the wake of the Depression and World War II, however, lavish extravaganzas were abandoned for productions of a more modest scale. In the 1950s the Blackfriars began admitting women. The group remained an active group on the University campus, finally merging with the University Theater in 1986.

Scope Note

The collection has been divided into four series.

Series I contains administrative material related to the history operations of the group, including by-laws and contracts and notes of board meetings.

Series II contains chronologically organized files which contain printed and manuscript scores, programs, clippings, and other materials documenting individual productions. These materials are supplemented and sometimes duplicated by the songbooks in Series IV.

Series III includes audio recordings of productions and slides documenting a limited number of shows.

Series IV contains bound songbooks for productions dating from 1908 to 1940.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Administrative Records

Box 1   Folder 1

By-laws and contracts, 1914, 1925-1941

Box 1   Folder 2

"Blackfriars, University of Chicago," ritual of the Blackfriars, member signatures up to the "243 seven," leather bound volume, 1904-circa 1940

Box 1   Folder 3

Historical accounts, lists of productions, 1904-1942; list of officers, 1904-1963, 1976-1983

Box 1   Folder 4

Correspondence, 1912-1941

Box 1   Folder 5

Board meeting agendas and notes, 1982-1983

Series II: Productions

Box 2   Folder 1

"The Passing of Pahli Kahn," 1904

Box 2   Folder 2

"The King's Kalendar Keeper," 1905

Box 2   Folder 3

"The Rushing of Raxes," 1906

Box 2   Folder 4

"Sure Enough Segregation," 1907

Box 2   Folder 5

"The Sign of the Double Eagle," 1908

Box 2   Folder 6

“The Sign of the Double Eagle,” Musical Score 1908

Box 2   Folder 7

"The Pseudo-Suffragettes," 1910

Box 2   Folder 8

Initiation banquet program, 1911

Box 2   Folder 9

"Capturing Calypso," 1911

Box 2   Folder 10

"The Pursuit of Portia," 1912

Box 2   Folder 11

"Pranks of Paprika," 1913

Box 2   Folder 12

"The Student Superior," 1914

Box 2   Folder 13

"A Night of Knights," 1915

Box 3   Folder 1

"A Rhenish Romance," 1916

Box 3   Folder 2

"Myth in Mandel," 1917

Box 3   Folder 3

"Naughty Nineties," 1919

Box 3   Folder 4

"Barbara Behave," 1920

Box 3   Folder 5

"The Machination of Max," 1921

Box 4   Folder 1-3

"Anybody's Girl," 1922

Box 5   Folder 1-2

"The Filming of Friars," 1923

Box 5   Folder 3

"So Long Susan," 1924

Box 5   Folder 4-5

"Kaiti from Haiti," 1925

Box 5   Folder 6-7

"Wallie Watch-Out," 1926

Box 5   Folder 8

“Wallie Watchout,” Playbill, 1926

Box 6   Folder 1

"Plastered in Paris," 1927

Box 6   Folder 2-3

"The House that Jack Built," 1928

Box 6   Folder 4

"Mr. Cinderella," 1929

Box 6   Folder 5

“Mr. Cinderella,” 1929

Box 6   Folder 6

"Smart Alec," 1930

Box 6   Folder 7

"Captain Kidd Junior," 1931

Box 7   Folder 1

"Whoa Henry!" 1932

Box 7   Folder 2

“The Mirror,” 1932

Box 7   Folder 3

“One Foot in the Aisle,” 1932

Box 7   Folder 4

"Gypped in Egypt," 1933

Box 7   Folder 5

“Gypped in Egypt,” production notes 1933

Box 7   Folder 6

"Merger for Millions," 1934

Box 7   Folder 7

“Merger for Millions,” production notes, 1934

Box 8   Folder 1

"In Brains We Trust," playbill, 1935

Box 8   Folder 2

“In Brains We Trust,” songbooks, 1935

Box 8   Folder 3

"Fascist and Furious," 1936

Box 8   Folder 4

“Fascist and Furious,” songbook, playbill and clippings, 1936

Box 8   Folder 5

"One Foot in the Aisle," 1937

Box 8   Folder 6

"Where in the World," 1938

Box 8   Folder 7

"Love over the Line," 1939

Box 8   Folder 8

"Patients, Please," 1940

Box 8   Folder 9

"Dust It Off," 1941

Box 8   Folder 10

Clipping, 1956

Box 8   Folder 11

"Gamma Delta Iota," 1957

Box 8   Folder 12

"Sour Mash," 1959

Box 8   Folder 13

"Silver Bells and Cockle Shells," 1960

Box 8   Folder 14

"Mad Money," 1961

Box 9   Folder 1

"Sing Out Sweet Rock," 1962

Box 9   Folder 2

"Aside From All That," 1963

Box 9   Folder 3

"Casino in the Sky," 1965

Box 9   Folder 4

"Hey, Manny," 1966

Box 9   Folder 5

"The Boys from Syracuse," 1967

Box 9   Folder 6

"Amerika," 1968

Box 9   Folder 7

"The Fantastiks," 1969

Box 9   Folder 8

"The Charge of the Nubian Cavalry," 1969

Box 9   Folder 9

"Sweetlife," 1970

Box 9   Folder 10

"The Democratic Way," 1971

Box 9   Folder 11

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," 1972

Box 9   Folder 12

"The Scholar's Progress," 1972

Box 9   Folder 13

"The Deceitful Dean," 1972

Box 10   Folder 1

"Harper's Folly," 1973

Box 10   Folder 2

"The History of Musical Comedy; From Herbert to Hair," 1973

Box 10   Folder 3-4

"Struggling Upward," 1973

Box 10   Folder 5

"What U.C. Is What You Get," 1973

Box 10   Folder 6

"The Apple Tree," 1974

Box 11   Folder 1-2

"Arthur," 1974

Box 11   Folder 3

Orientation Show, 1974

Box 11   Folder 4

Production Notes, 1974-1975

Box 11   Folder 5

"South Side Story," 1975

Box 11   Folder 6

"Anything Goes," 1975

Box 11   Folder 7

Orientation Show, 1975

Box 11   Folder 8

"The Beggar's Opera," 1976

Box 12   Folder 1-2

"Publish or Perish," 1976

Box 12   Folder 3

Orientation Show, 1976

Box 12   Folder 4

"Merlin," 1976

Box 12   Folder 5

"The Castle," 1977

Box 12   Folder 6

Orientation Show, 1977

Box 12   Folder 7

"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," 1977

Box 12   Folder 8

"The Wind in the Willows," 1977

Box 12   Folder 9

"Me & Juliet," 1978

Box 12   Folder 10

"Once Upon a Mattress," 1978

Box 12   Folder 11

"Sweet Charity," 1979

Box 12   Folder 12

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," 1979

Box 12   Folder 13

"Godspell," 1980

Box 12   Folder 14

"Man of La Mancha," 1980

Box 12   Folder 15

"Pippin," 1981

Box 12   Folder 16

"Publish or Perish," 1981

Box 12   Folder 17

"All's Fair," 1982

Box 12   Folder 18

"Guys & Dolls," 1982

Box 12   Folder 19

"Bye Bye Birdie," 1983

Box 12   Folder 20

"Roommates," undated

Box 12   Folder 21

Miscellaneous undated programs and drawings

Series III: Audio-Visual Materials

Box 13

"Sour Mash," 78 rpm record (14 copies), 1959

Box 13

"Alpha Centauri," 78 rpm record (7 copies), 1958

Box 13

"Gamma Delta Iota," LP, 1957

Box 13

Sing Out Sweet Rock," LP, 1962

Box 13

"Struggling Upward," 2 reels, 1973

Box 13

"Merlin," 2 reels, 1976

Box 14

Guys & Dolls," audio cassette, 1982

Box 14

"Merlin," two audio cassettes, 1976

Box 14

"Publish or Perish," slides, 1975

Box 14

Unidentified slides, undated

Box 14

Printing block, undated

Series IV: Songbooks

Box 15    Folder 1

Songbooks, 1908-1912

Box 15    Folder 2

Songbooks, 1908-1912

Box 15    Folder 3

Songbooks, 1908-1912

Box 16   Folder 1

Songbooks, 1908-1912

Box 16   Folder 2

Songbooks, 1913-1917

Box 16   Folder 3

Songbooks, 1913-1917

Box 17   Folder 1

Songbooks, 1913-1917

Box 17   Folder 2

Songbooks, 1913-1917

Box 17   Folder 3

Songbooks, 1913-1917

Box 18   Folder 1

Songbooks, 1918-1922

Box 18   Folder 2

Songbooks, 1919-1922

Box 18   Folder 3

Songbooks, 1923-1927

Box 19   Folder 1

Songbooks, 1928-1930, 1933-1940