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Series IV: Personal Materials

Scope and Contents note

Personal materials in the Kopit collection fall into typical types of records. There is a significant amount of ephemera including high school yearbooks and newspapers, scrapbooks from the 1960" that chart the success of Kopit's plays, their influence on theater and on cultured society of New York, and Kopit's rise in the same community. There is an additional large amount of newspaper reviews, clippings and advertisements saved by Kopit and his family or forwarded to them by Audrey Wood, Kopit's agent, or by friends and professional acquaintances.

A large amount of documentation exists here on Kopit's years at Harvard from which he graduated in 1959. These include papers, exam books and notebooks. Extensive correspondence between Kopit and his parents and friends, and drafts and copies of scripts Kopit wrote while at Harvard including "Oh Dad, Poor Dad...", "Sing to Me Through Open Windows", "The Questioning of Nick" and "The Death of Houdini." The correspondence details the development and staging of these works at Harvard and the collection includes ticket stubs, stage bills reviews and notices of them. The personal files also yield records on Kopit's activity following his graduation, when he traveled in Europe, and leading up to and beyond the Broadway Premiere of "Oh Dad, Poor Dad...". The files provide a sketchier picture of Kopit's activities after the mid-1960s but help fill in details on the development and staging of "Indians", his marriage to Leslie Garis, and other activities.

Many materials here including correspondence appear to have been in the possession of Kopit's parents, George and Maxine. Mixed in then with materials relating to Arthur are correspondence between Gorge and Maxine Kopit and others, business records, bills and other materials for the elder Kopit's, and records of Arthur's career clearly collected by the parents. There is a large amount of photographs, the greater portion of them from Kopit's childhood up until his first success, his parents, extended family and perhaps further ancestors. None are labeled. Two boxes of material created originating from Leslie Garis (journals, diaries, and extensive documentation of the writing of her unpublished novel) have been moved to the end of the collection.

Personal Materials Box 1, 1960-1964

Box: 109 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

6 large scrapbooks, composed almost solely of clippings from newspapers and some magazines from the years 1960-1964. The clippings are typically of society columns, theater news, gossipy pieces, as well as reviews. One or two playbills inserted.

Personal Materials Box 2, 1960-1967

Box: 110 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Same as previous. 5 scrapbooks ranging from 1960-1967.

Personal Materials Box 3, ca. 1960-1967

Box: 111 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Same as previous. 5 scrapbooks

Personal Materials Box 4, ca. 1960-1975

Box: 112 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

3 scrapbooks ranging from 1958-1962; leather portfolios of magazines and news clippings, correspondence, financial documents and many materials of Kopit's parents; 1967 correspondence between Kopit and his parent while in Spain; photographs including family pictures and set visits to the film of "Indians" and a portrait of Robert Altman, the director.

Personal Materials Box 5, 1953-1970

Box: 113 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Materials mostly from Kopit's college years at Harvard: handwritten and type script drafts of "One Morning in June", student papers and examination books, notebooks, high school newspapers, clippings from the NY Times relating to Kopit works, tickets playbills and ephemera relating to student productions, some magazines of the period; one folder of assorted correspondence to and from Kopit along with many envelopes enclosing reviews and notices of various productions; a mostly empty photo album with photos dating as late as 1970, playbills, reviews, photographs of various productions of "Oh Dad...", numerous promotional photos of Kopit,
Eugene O'Neill, Desire Under the Elms (Signet: New York, 1958)
Audio Recordings
"Les Petits Chanteuse de la Renaissance" 45 phonograph.

Personal Materials Box 6 Oversize

Box: 114 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Gigantic amount of newspaper, mostly copies of the Harvard crimson with other assorted clippings, check register from 1964-1965, a copy of the hardcover periodical "Eros", a red handmade flag with a white letter "H", a framed news clipping of 1963 and a framed Drama Desk Award from 1962; roll of three photocopies of 1962 Outer Circle Award,
Audio Recordings
Two LP phonographs, labeled "Harvard Radio Network"

Note: Realia to possibly deaccession include a completely blank appointment book, a wire "in" basket, a brass box and a box containing a variety of bibelots including tie pins, dice, and a hash pipe moved to box 101a

Personal Materials Box 7, ca. 1955-1987

Box: 115 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

More juvenilia and material from Kopit's college days including early handwritten and typescript drafts of "Sing to Me Through Open Windows", "Oh Dad, Poor Dad...", and "The Death of Houdini"; correspondence to Kopit and to and from his parents George and Maxine Kopit, among them a letter from Edith Adams Kovacs (the comedienne Edie Adams), humorous pencil sketches possibly by Jerome Robbins, a large quantity of photographs, particularly from Kopit's sojourn in Italy (numerous copies of various sizes of most of them); various travel documents; some correspondence and clippings from 1967 relating to productions; a large amount of congratulatory telegrams upon the 1962 premiere of "Oh Dad, Poor Dad..." including messages from Tennessee Williams, Tallulah Bankhead, Edie Adams, Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Beaumont, Edward Albee, and others. After the files of telegrams, a new set of records begins composed mostly of correspondence. One small group of letters dated ca. 1974 are between Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Audrey Wood concerning the production of "Discovery of America". Thence follows a large group of correspondence ranging from 1981, to 1988 including mailings from the Writer's Guild and the Dramatists Guild, a fifteen page letter from Kopit to Andrew Lloyd Weber discussing his views on Phantom of the Opera, various personal and casual letters, some correspondence between Kopit and Edward Albee, birthday cards, etc. Finally there is a small group of older correspondence (ca. 1955-1958) at the back of the box mainly of letters between Kopit and his parents during his time at Harvard and a group of "childhood photos-older photos"
Audio Cassettes
"Music for 'Open Windows'" 1 cassette of casual music composed for regional production, in envelope with letter.

Personal Materials Box 8, 1961-ca. 1990

Box: 116 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Correspondence, ca. 1961-1968, between Kopit and various friends, Leslie Garis and Kopit's parents, much written during the production of "Indians" in London. Box also contains monthly appointment calendars from the years 1978, 1980-1984, 1986, and 1988-1989; desk diaries from 1979, 1980 and 1982, and a folder of numerous playbills.

Personal Materials Box 9

Box: 117 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Oversized materials from previous box including wall calendars and large sections of newspapers. Realia separated from previous boxes includes a silver box of foreign currency and a red garter, completely blank appointment book, a wire "in" basket, a brass box and a box containing a variety of bibelots including tie pins, dice, and a hash pipe, Life magazines, deck of playing cards, rock. matchbox car, painting by Kat Kopit, box of sleeve patches (such as are found on overalls)

Personal Materials Box 10

Box: 118 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Large amount of unsorted color photographs (some fairly recent) and slides; older black and white photographs; large box of unsorted 35mm color slides (completely unlabeled but possibly research on "Indians"); quantity of negatives 35mm and larger, 1 undeveloped role of color film; 3 unidentified reel to reel audio tapes; framed photographs and certificate, chromatic harmonica, medallion from Legion of Honor, oversized photocopies of Drama Desk Award and newspaper articles;Audio Recordings
Reel to reel tapes
"Lewis and Clark Interviews"
"Rose Lischner Shenandoah"
"Raul, Len, Ahab(?) and interview"

Personal Materials Box 11, ca.1950-1963

Box: 119 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Degrees, certificates and some photos, all framed, high school yearbooks, childhood catcher's mitt.

Personal Materials Box 12, ca.1950-1963

Box: 120 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)

Scope and Contents note

Personal materials removed from "Miscellaneous" boxes". Includes letters from letter files marked "to be answered" ca. 1978-1979; materials from a box marked "very important Harvard scripts" and including handwritten script, possibly from "The Questioning of Nick", handwritten and typescript materials on "The Runway of Life...", unidentified script drafts possibly from "Sing to Me Through Open Windows", correspondence and other materials dating throughout the 1960s; the next group of material is random family documents, particularly of Kopit's children; maps, train schedules and Zagat's restaurant guide.
Zagat Survey, 1998 New York City Restaurants (Zagat Survey: New York, 1998.

Note: One folder of oversized sheets of handwritten script of unidentified play ("Sing to Me..."?) moved to Flat Box 15. Realia moved to box 117, includes deck of playing cards, rock. matchbox car, painting by Kat Kopit, box of sleeve patches (such as are found on overalls)

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012