Research Catalog

Katharine Hepburn papers

Title
Katharine Hepburn papers, 1854-1997 (bulk 1928-1994)
Author
Hepburn, Katharine, 1907-2003.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

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About 65 Items.
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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 1Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 2Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 3Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 3Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 4Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 5Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 6Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 7Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 8Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 9Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 9Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 10Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 10Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 11Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 12Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 13Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 14Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 15Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 16Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 17Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 17Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 18Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 18Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 19Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 19Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 2007-009 Box 20Performing Arts Research Collections - Theatre

Details

Additional Authors
Description
30 linear feet (65 boxes )
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Clippings.
  • Contracts.
  • Correspondence.
  • Costume design drawings.
  • Financial records.
  • Notebooks.
  • Photographs.
  • Programs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Scripts (documents)
  • Sketches.
  • Telegrams.
  • Window cards.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Reproductions permitted only with permission of the copyright holder. Advance notice may be required. Inquiries regarding audio and video materials in the series may directed to the Music and Recorded Sound Division (music@nypl.org). Patrons may also search the research catalog for the Katharine Hepburn audiovisual materials, *L(Special) 08-31. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
Source (note)
  • Hepburn, Katharine
Biography (note)
  • Although she was best known as a star of the screen, actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) got her start in the theater and frequently returned to the stage throughout much of her long and distinguished career.
  • After winning the first of four Academy Awards for Morning Glory (1933), Hepburn returned to the stage in The Lake (1933).
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
*T-Mss 2007-009
OCLC
184904443
Author
Hepburn, Katharine, 1907-2003.
Title
Katharine Hepburn papers, 1854-1997 (bulk 1928-1994)
Summary
The Katharine Hepburn papers consist of clippings, contracts, correspondence, financial papers, notebooks, photographs, production materials, programs, scrapbooks, and scripts documenting the theatrical career of the legendary actress from the late 1920s through the mid-1990s. With few exceptions, virtually Hepburn's entire career in the theater is encompassed. A few items from radio, television, and motion picture performances are also included, as well as several awards, costume designs, window cards, and books. There are also a number of materials from her files relating to the theater, including memorabilia relating to 19th and early 20th century actors, such as Maude Adams and Julia Dean. Correspondence is mostly related to productions in which Hepburn appeared, but also includes general correspondence and solicitations regarding potential appearances, as well as fan mail and letters from aspiring theater professionals. There is a significant amount of correspondence from Hepburn's friends and theatrical associates, including close friends Constance Collier, Michael Benthall, and Robert Helpmann. Post-1950 productions are more thoroughly documented than earlier shows. Hepburn's handwritten notes and notebooks on blocking, script changes, casting, and other aspects of production provide valuable insight into her work process. There are also a number of sketches by Hepburn on scripts and other documents. Of particular note is her often-humorous history of the As You Like It tour (1950-1951). The Production files also contain several telegrams and floral cards from Spencer Tracy (under an alias) and a probable note from Howard Hughes. The collection is rich in numerous versions of scripts for productions in which Hepburn appeared, including The Human Element (circa 1948), an adaptation by Zoë Akins and two plays by Philip Barry in which Hepburn did not appear, Liberty Jones (circa 1940) and Second Threshold (circa 1951). Several of the scrapbooks in the papers document Hepburn's Australian tour with the Old Vic Company in 1955; one other, a gift from the Theatre Guild, contains historical lithographs of As You Like It. Most of the photographs are production-related, but a small number of candid photos of Hepburn, as well as photos of friends and associates are also found in the papers. Of special note among the Oversized materials are proclamations of appreciation by the American Shakespeare Festival cast of Much Ado About Nothing (1957-1958) and the Coco orchestra members (circa 1970).
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public. Reproductions permitted only with permission of the copyright holder. Advance notice may be required. Inquiries regarding audio and video materials in the series may directed to the Music and Recorded Sound Division (music@nypl.org). Patrons may also search the research catalog for the Katharine Hepburn audiovisual materials, *L(Special) 08-31. Audio/visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
Biography
Although she was best known as a star of the screen, actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) got her start in the theater and frequently returned to the stage throughout much of her long and distinguished career. Born Katharine Houghton Hepburn in Hartford, Connecticut, Hepburn was the second of six children. She was admitted to her mother's alma mater, Bryn Mawr College, in 1925. In her junior year (1927), she performed in The Truth About Blayds and in her senior year (1928), she played Pandora in The Woman in the Moone. Around the time of her 1928 graduation, Hepburn was hired by Edwin H. Knopf for his stock company in Baltimore. She played small parts and began studying with acting teacher Frances Robinson-Duff. She made her Broadway debut under the name "Katherine [sic] Burns" in Night Hostess (1928). In that same year, Hepburn also understudied the role of Linda Seton in Philip Barry's play, Holiday and appeared in These Days. Between 1929 and 1931, Hepburn toured and performed in several plays, did additional understudy work, and performed in summer stock. Hepburn's success as Antiope in The Warrior's Husband (1932) won her a screen test in Hollywood, leading to a role in A Bill of Divorcement (1932) and subsequent movie stardom.
After winning the first of four Academy Awards for Morning Glory (1933), Hepburn returned to the stage in The Lake (1933). The play was lambasted by the critics and Hepburn did not return to the stage until she toured in the Theatre Guild production of Jane Eyre (1937). In 1939, The Philadelphia Story triumphantly reunited Hepburn with both Philip Barry and the Theatre Guild. Hepburn next returned to the stage in another Barry play, Without Love (1942). At the urging of the Guild's Lawrence Langner, Hepburn took on the challenge of playing Rosalind in Shakespeare's As You Like It (1950). Hepburn took the play on tour and kept a record of her travels throughout the United States. After filming The African Queen, she toured England in The Millionairess by George Bernard Shaw (1952) and later opened in the play on Broadway. In 1955, with Robert Helpmann, she toured Australia with the Old Vic Company in three Shakespeare plays. For two summers (1957 and 1960), Hepburn performed at the fledging American Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut. Despite her initial reluctance, Hepburn made her musical debut as Coco Chanel in Coco (1969). She also toured with the show both before and after its Broadway run. She would repeat this process for her last two Broadway productions, A Matter of Gravity (1976) and The West Side Waltz (1981). In her later years, Hepburn continued to perform in films and on television, but she returned to the stage once more to introduce celebrity cast members at an Irish Repertory Theatre benefit performance of Yeats: A Celebration! at the Booth Theatre, June 6, 1994.
Indexes
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Connect to:
Occupation
Actresses.
Added Author
Adams, Maude, 1872-1953.
Akins, Zoë, 1886-1958.
Barry, Philip, 1896-1949.
Benthall, Michael.
Collier, Constance, 1878-1955.
Dean, Julia, approximately 1878-1952.
Helpmann, Robert, Sir, 1909-1986.
Hughes, Howard, 1905-1976.
Langner, Lawrence, 1890-1962.
Tracy, Spencer, 1900-1967.
Akins, Zoë, 1886-1958. Human element.
Barry, Philip, 1896-1949. Liberty Jones.
Barry, Philip, 1896-1949. Second threshold.
American Shakespeare Festival Theatre and Academy.
Old Vic Company.
Theatre Guild.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 2007-009
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