Variety Protected Materials Department Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials submitted in sealed envelopes for copyright protection by the Variety Protected Materials Department between 1912 and 1938. The bulk of the material consists of scripts for Vaudeville, radio, and other creative productions, and photographs and drawings of set designs and costumes. The materials also often include illustrations or photographs of a skit concept, trick, or performance props and apparatuses. Also included are musical scores and lyrics. Some submissions consist simply of an outline of an idea for a joke or performance, while others are more detailed, such as a cardboard diorama of a stage design, or photographs of an act in progress. There are also small amounts of correspondence and contract materials included, as well as return notices from Variety. Many of the acts were written for performance by a pair or group, and but were submitted by a single representative for that group. On some of the materials, the copyright holder is indicated as a different individual than the original author. There are a handful of individuals who mailed in materials on many different occasions. In most cases, the original envelopes are still intact and dated.
Series 2 consists of limited Financial Documents. Only companies/people beginning with the letter 'B' are present in this series. All records appear to be accounts that are overdue or "Bad Debt". In several cases there are notes when a person is deceased or bankrupt. In some cases there are additional notes attached to de ledger, and in the case of Nan Blakstone, several pages of correspondence.
Warning: This collection contains racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant depictions of multiple groups which may be disturbing and/or offensive to viewers.
- Majority of material found within 1916-1924
- 1912 - 1938
- Variety (New York, N.Y.) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Conditions Governing Use
Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.
7.5 linear feet
Language of Materials
This collection is arranged in two series. Series 1, which consists of creative works submitted for copyright, is the bulk of the collection. Series 2 consists of only 2 folders of financial documents. The first series is arranged by the original copyright number assigned to each envelope upon receipt by the Variety Protected Materials Department. The system for assigning each copyright number is not clear. Each folder contains a single numbered envelope and its contents. Some of the materials do not have a copyright number; these are listed at the end of the collection with any available information. There are a number of empty envelopes as well, which are housed together in a single folder. Oversized materials have been removed and housed in separate boxes, but are in order by copyright number as well. The name of the copyright holder(s) and the date of submission or creation are included in the box list as available.
Since many of the accounts span multiple years, Series 2 Financial Documents are arranged alphabetically and housed in 2 folders at the end of Box 8. When additional notes or receipts are attached to the account, they are housed together with the original ledger page in a white paper insert.
These materials were found in two file cabinets at the Variety offices in Los Angeles, California, by an archivist at the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Custody of the materials was granted to the Academy, with the understanding that they would assume the responsibility for seeking out a more appropriate permanent repository. The materials were transferred to Emerson College by the Academy in June 2011.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The materials were donated to the Emerson College Archives & Special collections by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2011.
Finding Aid prepared by Chessie Monks & Rosalie Gartner; last revised 18 April 2012.
- Allen, Fred, 1894-1956
- Copyright and radio
- Copyright--Artistic performance
- Copyright--Performing rights
- Copyright--United States
- Grapewin, Charles, 1869-1956
- Radio scripts
- Set designers
- Variety (New York, N.Y.)
- Variety shows
- Variety shows (Radio programs)
- Vaudeville songs--United States
- Vaudeville songs--United States--20th century
- Vaudeville songs--United States--History
- Vaudeville songs--United States--Periodicals
- Variety Protected Materials Department Collection
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- record carton: MSS 017 Box 01 (box)
- record carton: MSS 017 Box 02 (box)
- record carton: MSS 017 Box 03 (box)
- record carton: MSS 017 Box 04 (box)
- document case: MSS 017 Box 05 (box)
- document case: MSS 017 Box 06 (box)
- document case: MSS 017 Box 07 (box)
- document case: MSS 017 Box 08 (box)
- flat box: MSS 017 Box 09 (box)