SEARCH UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Prepared by Thomas Scheuerman; March 3,1999; Updated December 2016
12 document cases, 6 cubic feet, 11th Floor
Historical Note/Biographical Note
Professor G. Harry Wright (1901-1964) of the School of Speech at Kent State University grew up in the small village of Guyandotte, West Virginia, on the banks of the Ohio River. It was there in the first decade of the twentieth century he developed his fascination with showboats. In 1946 he began to research the history of showboats for a proposed book. In 1948 he discovered an old showboat, The Majestic, still on the river. Upon receiving approval from Professor E. Turner Stump, Head of the School of Speech, and Dr. George Bowman, President of the University, he negotiated with Captain T.J. Reynolds, the owner of the boat, to lease it as a summer theater for Kent State University students. It was a successful venture, touring the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers for an entire season. This collection represents the history of that experience as well as a lifetime endeavor by an individual whose passion led him to taking the responsibility of preserving the memories of showboats. A companion piece to the collection is the master's thesis written by Robert J. MacDonald, 1951: "THE 1948 KENT STATE UNIVERSITY SHOWBOAT. THE RECORD OF AN EXPERIMENT", in which is included descriptions of daily life on the showboat, the itinerary of the trip, receipts, photographs, maps, etc. This collection also includes brief personal correspondance from Edna Ferber.
Scope and Content
Eleven legal sized document boxes plus one hinge lidded wooden box (6"x8"x12") containing scrapbooks, photographs, manuscripts, newspaper cuttings, playbills, correspondances, note cards, etc., pertaining to the history of showboats, particularly on the Ohio River and its tributaries in the first half of the twentieth century. Collection also includes slides, negatives, and audio tapes.
Box 1: Scrapbooks
Box 2: Photographs
Box 3: Showboat Odyssey Manuscripts
Box 4: Reed, Duane E. : History of Showboats Manuscript
Box 5: Bryant,Billy; Showboat Show Manuscripts
Box 6: Files by Name
Box 7: Account Books; Cash Books; Documents; etc.
Box 8: Names A-F
Box 9: Names G-N
Box 10: Names O-Z
Box 11: Miscellaneous
Box 12: Note Cards
BOX 1: SCRAPBOOKS
BOX 2: PHOTOGRAPHS
BOX 3: SHOWBOAT ODYSSEY MANUSCRIPTS
BOX 4: REED, DUANE E. : HISTORY OF SHOWBOATS MANUSCRIPT
BOX 5: BRYANT,BILLY; SHOWBOAT SHOW MANUSCRIPTS
BOX 6: FILES BY NAME
BOX 7: ACCOUNT BOOKS; CASH BOOKS; DOCUMENTS; ETC.
BOX 8: NAMES A-F
BOX 9: NAMES G-N
BOX 10: NAMES O-Z
BOX 11: MISCELLANEOUS
BOX 12: NOTE CARDS