University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Clifford Ashby:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Ashby, Clifford, 1925-2015
Title: Clifford Ashby Papers
Dates: 1979-1985, undated
Abstract: The Clifford Ashby Papers consist of research materials, typescript drafts, and correspondence for two unpublished books. The materials are arranged into three series: I. Visitors View the American Stage; II. Fanny Kemble Project; and III. Correspondence.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00174
Extent: 6 document boxes (2.52 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Clifford Charles Ashby (1925-2015) was a theater professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas from 1963 to 2001. He was born June 11, 1925 to Cliff and Ruth Ashby in Effingham, IL. Growing up in the midst of the Great Depression, he swept floors in the family business, John Boos & Co, manufacturers of butcher blocks. He served as a radio officer in the Marines for two years in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, he studied at Reed College before transferring to the University of Iowa where he completed his undergraduate degree in theatre. He married his wife, Sylvia Girsh, in 1950. He earned his Ph.D. in theater history from Stanford University in 1963. Ashby previously taught at the University of Hawaii, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska before coming to Texas Tech University. He published books on Greek theater and on Texas religious tent shows. Clifford Ashby retired from Texas Tech in 2001, and died on May 28, 2015 at the age of 89.


Scope and Contents

The Clifford Ashby Papers consist of research materials, typescript drafts, and correspondence for two unpublished books. The materials are arranged into three series: I. Visitors View the American Stage; II. Fanny Kemble Project; and III. Correspondence.

Series I. Visitors View the American Stage, consists of photocopies of published articles, notes, and typescript drafts of Ashby’s titled, but unpublished work on the American stage. The original publication dates of the photocopied texts in this series range from 1783 to 1937. Series II. Fanny Kemble, consists of photocopies of printed texts gathered by Ashby in preparation for an unpublished and untitled book about the British actress Frances “Fanny” Anne Kemble (1809-1893). Fanny Kemble was a member of the famous Kemble theatrical family who married and divorced an American, Pierce Butler, and published nine volumes of memoirs. The original publication dates of the photocopied texts in this series range from 1835 to 1920. Series III, Correspondence, includes Ashby’s personal and professional correspondence from 1979 to 1985.

The original order of correspondence and research material was retained during processing.


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research


Separated Material

Seven books formerly belonging to Ashby, all relating to Fanny Kemble, were transferred to the Ransom Center Library.


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gifts, 2003, 2010 (G 12300, 10-03-005-G)

Processed by:

Helen Adair, 2010 and Eric Colleary, 2016


Container List

Series I. Research materials for Visitors View the American Stage circa 1980-1985, undated

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1.1-2 Typescript draft, April, 1985
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1.3 Introduction notes
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1.4 Mrs. Trollope
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1.5 Observation of a Cosmopolitan Troupe in Transit (1827)
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1.6 An American Novelist Masquerades as a Traveler (1828)
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1.7 Kemble, Frances Anne: Records of Later Life and Records of a Girlhood
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1.8 Coke, Edward T.: A Subaltern’s Furlough (1832)
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1.9 An Artist and Ethnologist (Both Self Taught) Visits the Mandans (1832)
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1.10 Boardman: America, and the Americans (1833)
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1.11 A Blackwood Writer Visits the Theatres (1833)
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1.12 An Irish Actor Enjoys American Hospitality – For the Most Part (1833-1835)
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1.13 A German Evaluates the Place of Theatre in America (1835)
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1.14 Herr Grund Attends Forest’s [sic] Triumphal Return to New York (1836)
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2.1 Captain Marryat Visits America (1837-1838)
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2.2 "The Mathooses" Anger the Natives (1838-1839)
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2.3 Backstage Gossip from a British Actor (1840s)
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2.4 "We are Here for Money Not Fun and it Little Matters What Brings Them" (1845-1866)
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2.5 Mr. Macready Escapes With His Life (1848-1849)
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2.6 Fanny Elssler: The Star Viewed From a Distance (1841)
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2.7 Fanny Elssler: "She Does Not Bear Close Inspection" (1840)
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2.8 Religious Drama in Early California (1846-1847)
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2.9 A European Virtuoso Learns About Promotion – American Style (1846-1851)
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2.10 Booth, Junius Brutus: Theatrical Adventures on the Mississippi (1835)
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2.11 Christmas Drama on the Texas Border (1850)
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2.12 The Mormon Theatre: Three Accounts (1863-1871)
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2.13 Gold Rush Theatre in San Francisco (1851)
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2.14 A Wandering Hungarian Violinist Visits the Gold Fields – and Encounters Lola Montez (1853)
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2.15 Rachel’s Assault on the New World (1855)
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3.1 A Briton Observes Two Reactions to an Excess of Uncle Tom (1857)
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3.2 A One Man "Concert" Tours America – Haphazardly (1860)
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3.3 A Japanese Gentleman Examines the Curious Theatre of the Occident (1860)
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3.4 Arthur Sketchley Damns Everything in Sight (1867)
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3.5 Charles Dickens Sees "The Black Crook" – From Backstage (1869)
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3.6 Offenbach Visits the New World (1876)
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3.7 Variety Entertainment in Cheyene [sic] (1877)
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3.8 A Polish Novelist Writes of Modjeska Success (1877)
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3.9 A Polish Star Comes Out of Retirement – In San Francisco (1877)
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3.10 The Multipurpose Theatre in Colorado (1864, 1882)
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3.11 Henry Irving Provides Instruction in the Craft of Theatre (1883-1884)
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3.12 A British Lady Visits the Heathen Chinese (1881)
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3.13 A British Journalist Compares the Old World and the New (1881)
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3.14 Mr. Kipling Meets and Actress Somewhere Between Salt Lake and Omaha
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3.15 A Travelling Gallic Humorist Visits Chez Jonathan (1889-1891)
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3.16 A British Drama Critic Views the American Stage (1899)
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3.17 The Foreign Theatre in New York (1900-1901)
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3.18 East Side, Like Russia, Goes to the Theatre to be Taught (1905)
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3.19 A German Playwright Observes the American Stage – and the German One (1906)
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3.20 A Pseudonymous Briton Sniffs at Things American (1910-1911)
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3.21 A British Novelist Writes of American Theatre – With Approval (1911)
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3.22 A Thoughtful Chinese Look at Western Theatre (1912)
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3.23 Moving Pictures Become "A Great Industry" (1919)
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3.24 The Showboat in Decline, and "Colour in Atlanta" (1928)
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4.1 Russian Humorists of the Stalin Era View the Capitalist Film Industry (1936)
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4.2 Margaret Webster Brings Richard II to the New World – and Learns How Things Are Done on Broadway (1937)
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4.3 Montlezern: Voyage Fait (1816-1817)
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4.4 Damseaux: Voyage dans L’Amerique Du Nord
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4.5 Drovet: Les Institutions Artistiques et les Beaux-Arts en General
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4.6 Leaves from the Autobiography of Tommaso Salvini
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4.7 Latrobe, Benjamin Henry: Journal (1796-1820)
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4.8 Salvini
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4.9 Rossi: Quarant' Anni di Vita Artistica
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4.10 Garlanda: La Terza Italia
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4.11 Carega di Muricce: In America (1871-1872)
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4.12 Foreign Travelers, odds and ends
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4.13 Govenius: Lithografiska Skizzer
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4.14 Visitors
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4.15 The Diary of Francisco de Miranda (1783-1784)
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4.16 Swedish Manuscript
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4.17 James Flint: Letters from America (1818)
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4.18 Burgoyne’s Dramatic and Poetical Works
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4.19 George Combe’s Notes on the United States of North America, During a Phrenological Visit (1839-1840)
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4.20 Harriet Martineau’s Retrospect of Western Travel (1838)
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4.21 Obediah Rich: A General View of the United States of America (1833)
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4.22 Romance of an Old Playhouse (Mormon History)
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4.23 Ahlquist: Jenny Lind
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4.24 Baird: Impressions and Experiences
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4.25 Falk: Trans-Pacific Sketches
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4.26 Richard Smith Elliott: Don’t Be An Actor
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4.27 Burne-Jones: Dollars & Democracy
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4.28 Mesick: English Traveller in America
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4.29 Fiske: The Irving Influence in America
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4.30 Mackie: Havana Opera
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4.31 Montulé Travels in America (1816-1817)
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4.32 Mendell and Hosmer: Notes on Travel and Life
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4.33 Jacob Gardin
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4.34 Bowles: Across the Continent (1865)
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4.35 Ardih: My Reminiscences (1850s)
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4.36 Schaffer: Sketches of Travels (1860)
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4.37 Dahlgreen: Jenny Lind
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4.38 Towle: American Society
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4.39 Zavala: Viage a los Estados-Unidos (1854)
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4.40 Vigne: Six Months in America (1833)
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4.41 Montez: Lectures and Autobiography
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4.42 Marcus: Memoirs of American Jews
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4.43 Crockett: A Mirror for Americans
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4.44 Cawley: The American Diaries of Richard Cobden (1835)
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4.45 Bremer – Letters
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5.1 Wortly: Travels in the United States (1851)
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5.2 Faux: Memorable Days in America (1823)
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5.3 Bullock: Sketch of a Journey (1827)
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5.4 Speculation of a Traveller [sic]
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5.5 Dickens: American Notes (1868)
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5.6 Murray: Letters from the United States
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5.7 De Smet: Oregon Missions (1847)
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5.8 Rothschild: A Casual View of America
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5.9 The Bancrofts
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5.10 National Union Catalog Printout and Notes



Series II. Research materials for untitled Fanny Kemble project circa 1980-1985, undated

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5.11 Pierce Butler’s Statement (1849)
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5.12-13 Butler, Frances Ann: Journal (2 volumes)
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5.14 Craven, Wikoff and Ritchie. Notes
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5.15-16 Cutler, Fanny Thimble. Journal (2 copies)
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5.17 Fanny Kemble in America (1835)
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5.18 Kenny, Lucy. Description of a visit to Washington
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5.19 Schott, James Jr. Statement



Series III. Correspondence 1979-1985, undated

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6.1 1979-1981
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6.2 1981
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6.3 1982-1983
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6.4 1982-1984
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6.5 1984-1985, undated