Research Catalog

Ruth Morley papers, (bulk 1940-1990).

Ruth Morley papers, 1925-2005 (bulk 1940-1990).
Morley, Ruth.
Supplementary Content
Finding Aid

Items in the Library & Offsite

About 70 Items.
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Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 2Offsite
Box 3Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 3Offsite
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 4Offsite
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 5Offsite
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 6Offsite
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 7Offsite
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 8Offsite
Box 9Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 9Offsite
Box 10Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 10Offsite
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 16Offsite
Box 17Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 17Offsite
Box 18Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 18Offsite
Box 19Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised useRequest*T-Mss 1998-024 Box 20Offsite


38 linear feet (70 boxes)
  • Clippings.
  • Contracts.
  • Correspondence.
  • Costume design drawings.
  • Financial records.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Photographs.
  • Programs.
  • Scripts.
  • Slides (photographs)
  • Swatches.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Terms of Use (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Indexes/Finding Aids (note)
  • Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Call Number
*T-Mss 1998-024
Morley, Ruth.
Ruth Morley papers, 1925-2005 (bulk 1940-1990).
The Ruth Morley papers document the career of Ruth Morley, costume designer for theater, opera, television and motion pictures. The bulk of the materials date from Ruth Morley's life in the United States, since her arrival as a teenager in 1941, until a year before her death in 1991; a small number of records date after her death. The material in this collection illustrates Ruth Morley's creative process through all the steps of a production. After reading a script, she would decide whether to undertake a show or not, and then she would meet with the director to discuss his or her vision. Although in many cases she would design all or some of the costumes for a production, she would also use materials or whole costumes purchased from retail, thrift stores or specialty theatrical vendors, especially in the case of period costumes. This collection contains production materials, such as costume notes, sketches and swatches, costume plots and breakdowns, to-do and shopping lists, correspondence, production notes and schedules, cast and contact lists, costume photographs (on-stage or during fittings), publicity materials such as programs and clippings, contracts, billing and other financial materials related to the productions in which Ruth Morley participated. There is also a significant number of scripts given to Ruth Morley for consideration, as well as professional papers, such as research materials, photographs, photocopies and clippings containing images of costumes from different eras and regions studied by Morley in preparation for her designs, correspondence, lecture notes and other coursework materials from courses that Ruth Morley took or taught, pension and welfare information, and vendor brochures of theatrical suppliers. There are no personal records in this collection.
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Terms Of Use
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Ruth Morley was a costume designer for theater, opera, motion pictures and television. Ruth Morley was born around 1926 in Vienna, Austria. In 1950-1951 she established and directed the costume department for the City Center Opera, while in the same year she made her debut as a designer on Broadway with the costumes for Billy Budd (1951). She continued to design costumes for opera, working closely with the City Center Opera and the Little Opera companies throughout the 1960s. Among her most notable opera productions are Carmina Burana (1959), The Triumph of St. Joan (1959) and the world premiere of Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1961). Among the many Broadway and off-Broadway shows for which Morley designed are The Diary of Anne Frank (1978), Deathtrap (1978), A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957), and Twice Around the Park (1982). She was also responsible for both the Broadway and television productions of Death of a Salesman (1983-1985). In the almost 40 years of her career, Ruth Morley also designed costumes for motion pictures, television shows and advertisements. The most notable motion pictures include The Chosen (1981), Superman (1978), Ghost (1990), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Tootsie (1982) with Dustin Hoffman, for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design; and Grace Quigley with Katharine Hepburn (1985). Her contribution in dressing Diane Keaton in Annie Hall created an international fashion trend through the 1980s, and she received an Academy Award nomination for The Miracle Worker (1979). Her television productions include Playing for Time with Vanessa Redgrave (1980); Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number (1984), and The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck (1984). Ruth Morley taught at the BBC (Buffalo, Brooklyn, Chicago) School for Modern Art in the Theater and delivered lectures on costume design at New York University, and Brandeis University. She was a member of the Board of Directors at the City Stage Company, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. In 1998 the League created The Ruth Morley Designing Woman Award in her honor. Ruth Morley died in February 12, 1991 in New York City.
Collection guide available in repository and on internet.
Connect to:
Costume designers.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1998-024
View in Legacy Catalog