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Virgil L. Baker Papers

Correspondence, Drafts of books, Plays, Articles, Programs, and Clippings, 1926-1975

Manuscript Collection 702



INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Virgil L. Baker (1896-1974) was head of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art at the University of Arkansas from 1929-1952.  His wife, Lillian Baker (1898-1978) also worked in the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art in 1936-1937 and 1943-1944.

The Virgil L. Baker Papers include correspondence concerning the New Play Series at the University Theatre, the building of the Fine Arts Complex, and the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art.  Along with first and second drafts of several books as well as articles, short stories, and plays, the collection contains Virgil L. Baker's research notes, material for future poems, Unitarian church materials, University of Arkansas materials, clippings, and papers of Lillian Baker.  Special Collections also holds the Virgil Lyle Baker theater records, 1926-1968 (MS B177.314), 1/2 linear ft.  The finding aid to this collection is available in the division reading room.

Donald B. Baker of Fayetteville, Arkansas, son of Virgil L. Baker and Lillian Baker, donated his father's papers to Special Collections on June 22, 1987.

Processed by Norma Ortiz-Karp, Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in April, 1989.


CONTENTS OF THE COLLECTION
7 1/2 linear feet (15 boxes)

Series 1. Correspondence.   Boxes 1-2.

Series 2. Books, Plays, Short Stories, and Articles.  Boxes 5-8.

         Subseries 1.  Drafts of book Man's Runway to Survival.
         Subseries 2. Drafts of books Substance and Flame, Rhetoric for Democratic Living, and Speech in Personal and Public Affairs.
         Subseries 3. Plays.
         Subseries 4. Other works and royalties.

Series 3. Research Notes.  Boxes 9-12.

         Subseries 1. Topical research notes.
         Subseries 2. Chapter notes.

Series 4. University Materials.  Boxes 13-14.

         Subseries 1. New Play Series, A Sparrow Falls by John Gould Fletcher, and other documents.
         Subseries 2. Histories and chronologies of courses, societies, and teachers associated with the Speech department.
         Subseries 3. Annual reports, budgets, appointments, and clippings.

Series 5. Lillian Baker Materials.  Box 15.


Series 1.  Correspondence (Boxes 1-4)

This series contains correspondence concerning Baker's academic and artistic career as teacher, author, playwright, and director.  A large portion of the correspondence relates to the New Play Series, and there is a lively correspondence with the playwrights Christopher Blake and George Savage.  Significant correspondents include Charles Hillman Brough, Clyde T. Ellis, John Gould Fletcher, J.W. Fulbright, J.C. Futrall, W.J. Lemke, Sidney S. McMath, David W. Mullins, Edward Durell Stone, and Charles Morrow Wilson.

Box 1

 1. Mar 5, 1926-Apr 20, 1931.
 2. May 19, 1931-Mar 6, 1933.
 3. May 15, 1933-Nov 10, 1934.
 4. Mar 28, 1935-Dec 1, 1937.
 5. July 11, 1938-Dec 20, 1939.
 6. Jan 10, 1940-June 20, 1940.
 7. July 3, 1940-July 3, 1941.
 8. Apr 28, 1942-Nov 27, 1946.
 9. Jan 4, 1947-Sept 30, 1948.
 10. Jan 10, 1949-Mar 16, 1949.
 11. Aug 29, 1949-Feb 22, 1950.
 12. Mar 4, 1950-May 20, 1950.
 13. July 17, 1950-Aug 8, 1950.
 14. Aug 10, 1950-Sept 8, 1950.

Box 2

 1. Sept 11, 1950-Oct 13, 1950.
 2. Oct 16, 1950-Nov 28, 1950.
 3. Dec 1, 1950-Jan 24, 1951.
 4. Feb 13, 1951-Apr 27, 1951.
 5. May 2, 1951-Oct 8, 1952.
 6. Feb 3, 1953-Jan 28, 1955.
 7. Feb 2, 1955-Aug 29, 1955.
 8. Sept 2, 1955-Dec 30, 1955.
 9. Jan 1, 1956-Jan 16, 1956.
 10. Jan 18, 1956-Feb 8, 1956.
 11. Feb 15, 1956-May 30, 1956.
 12. Apr 11, 1956-Apr 22, 1956.
 13. Apr 23, 1956-May 18, 1956.
 14. May 21, 1956-Oct 30, 1956.

Box 3
 1. Nov 14, 1956-Dec 27, 1956.
 2. Jan 4, 1957-Feb 28, 1957.
 3. Mar 1, 1957-Apr 18, 1957.
 4. May 1, 1957-Jan 16, 1957.
 5. Feb 24, 1958-Oct 30, 1958.
 6. Nov 5, 1958-Sept 30, 1959.
 7. Oct 1, 1959-July 29, 1960.
 8. Aug 2, 1960-Apr 25, 1961.
 9. May 3, 1961-Oct 2, 1961.
 10. Oct 17, 1961-Mar 28, 1962.
 11. Apr 2, 1962-Nov 29, 1962.
 12. Feb 11, 1963-Sept 26, 1963
 13. Oct 22, 1963-Mar 31, 1964.
 14. May 21, 1964-Apr 30, 1965.

Box 4

 1. May 7, 1965-Feb 11, 1966.
 2. Mar 17, 1966-Oct 31, 1967.
 3. Feb 11, 1968-Aug 29, 1969.
 4. Sept 3, 1969-Feb 15, 1970.
 5. Mar 29, 1973-Apr 11, 1972.
 6. Jan 2, 1973-Nov 2, 1973.
 7. Nov 15, 1973-Jan 31, 1974.
 8. Feb 1, 1974-May 23, 1974.




Series 2.  Books, Plays, Short Stories, and Articles. (Boxes 5-8)

This series contains drafts and proofs of four books, thirteen plays, Baker's M.A. thesis, short stories, and numerous articles.

Subseries 1. Drafts of Baker's book Man's Runway to Survival.

Man's Runway to Survival was his last book and remains unpublished.
 

Box 5

 1. Outline and chronology.
 2. First draft, including chapter 3.
 3. First draft, chapters 4-7.
 4. First draft, chapters 8-10.
 5. First draft, chapters 11-12.
 6. First draft, chapter 13 and  chronology.
 7. Second draft, including chapter 3.
 8. Second draft, chapters 4-7.
 9. Second draft, chapters 8-10.
 10. Second draft, chapters 11-12.
 11. Second draft, chapter 13.
 12. Introduction, chronology, reasons for writing the book, cost, and publishers' list, 1974.

Subseries 2. Drafts of Substance and Flame, Rhetoric for Democratic Living, and Speech in Personal and Public Affairs.

Substance and Flame, a book of poems, was published in 1969. Rhetoric for Democratic Living (n.d.) and Speech in Personal and Public Affairs (1965) are both texts.

Box 6

 1. Substance and Flame, draft.
 2. Substance and Flame, first proof.
 3. Substance and Flame, second proof.
 4. Rhetoric for Democratic Living, chapter outlines 3-17.
 5. Rhetoric for Democratic Living, chapter outlines 18-24.
 6. Rhetoric for Democratic Living, chapter outlines 3-31.
 7. Rhetoric for Democratic Living, partial text.
 8. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, drafts.
 9. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, preface-chapter 2.
 10. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, chapters 3-6.
 11. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, summary-chapter 10.
 12. Speech in personal and Public Affairs, chapters 11-14.
 13. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, chapters 15-18.
 14. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, chapters 19-22.
 15. Speech in Personal and Public Affairs, revisions.
 

Subseries 3. Plays

This subseries contains thirteen plays by Baker in chronological order.  There is also a folder of costume and stage designs for plays produced at the University theatre.

Box 7

 1. The Woods Colt:  A Play of the Arkansas Ozarks, 1935.
 2. This Woman Thou Gavest Me, 1936.
 3. Ozark Nightingale, 1937.
 4. Red Red River, 1939.
 5. Knights of the Golden Circle (A revision of an earlier play by Virgil L. Baker entitled Red Red River), 1939.
 6. By Adoption, 1940.
 7. Ever the Twain Shall Meet, 1940.
 8. Red River or the Knights of The Golden Circle, 1945.
 9. Strawberry Blonde, 1955.
 10. The Hooligans, Razzle Dazzle, The Holton's Help, Pencils and Pen, and untitled skit, n.d.
 11. Costume design for Spanish Diggin's, 1936 production; As You Like It, 1942 production; Everyman and Paper Roses; also stage design for The Woods Colt.
 

Subseries 4. Other works and royalties.

This subseries contains Baker's M.A. thesis, four undated short stories, numerous articles in chronological order, and a folder of information on Baker's royalties from published works.

Box 8

 1. American Rhetorical Theory to 1850, M.A. thesis from Muskingum College, 1922.
 2. Short stories, Apple Cider; Conscience, Say I...; The Hand of Time; and One Way Ticket Please; n.d.
 3. Articles, "The Spirit of the Twentieth Century," 1926; "General Education," c.1945.
 4. "The Art of Growing Up," May 30, 1946; "Research in Southwest Theatre," Oct 1954.
 5. "Educational Theatre and World Citizenship," Apr 1954; "Why We Talk," 1955.
 6. "Mother, Father...How Do You Talk to Your Child," Jan 1956; "Teaching by Television," Aug 1958.
 7. "Reading-In-Action Production of New Plays," Feb 1959; "The Speech Teacher and Values," Feb 18, 1967.
 8. "Albert Pike Citizen Speechmaker of Arkansas," n.d.; "How To Read Aloud," n.d.
 9. "Naturalism Versus Good Theatre," n.d.; "Old Books," n.d.
 10. "The Playwright and the Human Situation," n.d.;  "Talk, Look, and Listen," n.d.
 11. "The Theatre Audience in the Arena," n.d.; "The TV Teaching Team," n.d.
 12. Royalties, 1963-1973.


Series 3.  Research Notes (Boxes 9-12)

This series contains topical research notes as well as chapter notes.

Subseries 1.  Topical research notes.

The notes are aranged in alphabetical order.  The titles were assigned by Baker.

Box 9

 1. Bibliography.
 2. Definitions.
 3-4. Group discussions, brainstorming, and sociodrama notes.
 5-8. History of man.
 9-12. Man.

Box 10

 1-2. Man.
 3. Material for future poems.
 4. Psychological health.
 5. Religion and drama.
 6. Rhetoric.
 7. Rhetoric and oratory.
 8. Speech organs.
 9. Speech science.
 10-11. Theatre.

Box 11

 1-2. Unitarian Church materials.
 3. Values.
 4-7. Voice and diction.
 

Subseries 2.  Chapter notes.

The chapters were probably used for Virgil L. Baker's text, Speech in Public and Private Affairs, which he called "a text for value-oriented classrooms and public speakers and rhetoric of modern values".

Box 12

 1. Chapter 2:  Our communication, language.
 2-4. Chapter 3:  Our value systems, values.
 5. Chapter 4:  Health, personal values.
 6. Chapter 5:  Patriotism,  social values.
 7. Chapter 5:  Sexuality, social values.
 8. Chapter 5:  Rectitude, social values.
 9. Chapter 7:  Introduction.
 10. Chapter 7:  Freedom, personal values.
 11. Chapter 7:  Work, personal values.
 12. Chapter 7:  Intellect, personal values.


Series 4.  University Materials (Boxes 13-14)

This series contains materials from the New Play Series,  histories and chronologies of organizations and teachers associated with the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art compiled by Baker, budgets, reports, and clippings.

Subseries 1:  New Play Series, A Sparrow Falls by John Gould Fletcher, and other documents.

This subseries contains programs and playbills from the New Play Series and the play A Sparrow Falls by John Gould Fletcher produced at the University in 1952.  The New Play Series, inaugurated by Baker, consisted of an annual national competition for new plays with the winning plays performed at the University Theatre.  Also included are materials from the Speech and Dramatic Art program.

Box 13

 1. New Play Series, May 1, 1955-Jan 9, 1964, and University of Arkansas Christmas program, 1935.
 2. Text, program, and playbill of A Sparrow Falls  by John Gould Fletcher, 1952.
 3. Booklet and syllabus of Principles of Effective Speaking.
 4-5. Notes from "History of the Theatre" taught by Dr. George Kernodle, 1956.
 6. Speeches by students.

Subseries 2:  Histories and chronologies of courses,  societies,  and teachers associated with Speech.

This subseries contains histories and chronologies of Speech training, Speech courses, teaches of Speech intercollegiate debates, literary societies, and play productions at the University of Arkansas, 1872-1954.

Box 13 (cont'd)

 7. History of Speech training at the University of Arkansas, 1872-1952.
 8. Teachers of Speech 1972-1952.
 9. Intercollegiate debates, 1872-1952.
 10. Literary societies, 1873-1914.
 11. Play productions, 1872-1952.
 12. Courses in the Speech Department, chronology, 1905-1954.

Subseries 3:  Annual reports, budgets, appointments, and clippings.

This subseries includes annual reports and budgets of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art; departmental enrollment figures, appointments, travel requests, and clippings.

Box 14

 1. Annual reports of the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, 1948/49-1951/52.
 2. Other reports and budget material, c. 1950, and Geddes report concerning Fine Arts Building prepared for Edward Durell Stone, c. 1948.
 3. Enrollments, 1872-1952.
 4. Official teaching appointment of Virgil L. Baker, 1924-1953.
 5. Travel Authorization requests of Virgil L. Baker, 1956-1958.
 6. Appointments of faculty of Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, 1950.
 7. Certificate of Record, 1947, certificate of meritorious service, 1956, and publicity concerning the V.L. Baker Scholarship Fund.
 8. Clippings, 1930-1965.
 9. Clippings, 1966-1969.
 10. Clipipings, 1972-1974.


Series 5.  Lillian Baker Materials. (Box 15)

This series contains correspondence, teaching-related materials, writings, Fayetteville City Poetry Club materials, and personal papers.

Box 15

 1. Correspondence, Apr 22, 1941-Jan 15, 1970.
 2. University of Arkansas and teacher retirement papers, 1944-1961.
 3. Reports and Night Club, a play in one act by Lillian Baker, 1948-1950.
 4-5. Fayetteville City Poetry Club, lists and other materials, 1970-1971.
 6. Last Will and Testament and Declaration of Trust, 1967-1968.
 7. Other papers, n.d.



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