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William G.B. Carson Papers

Identifier: MS-MS-ms023

The William G. B. Carson Papers consists of four accruals:

Accrual 1 includes materials relating to United States theatre history; materials relating to Carson's teaching at Washington University in St. Louis; theatre playbills, programs, magazines, and newspaper articles; correspondence and autograph collection of famous actors, actresses, and writers.

Accrual 2 relates primarily to preparation of Dear Josephine, Professor Carson's biography on Josephine Sherwood Hull. It also includes teaching notebooks prepared for theatre and drama courses at Washington University and diaries Professor Carson kept of theatre and music performances he attended from 1913 to 1966, primarily in St. Louis.

Accrual 3 includes scripts of plays by Washington University students, news clipping about Professor Carson's retirement, theatre programs, and printed material.

Accrual 4 includes materials that fall under two main categories: early New Mexico history and materials relating to Carson's theatrical activities. Carson's research into New Mexico history was prompted by the fact that his great-great-grandfather, William Carr Lane, besides being one of the first St. Louis mayors, was also first governor of New Mexico, 1852-1853. The diary kept by Lane during his governorship was edited by Carson, requiring research into geography and exploration, Indian relations, and political figures of the period. The Theatrical Activities include personal material, material from his teaching at Washington University, material from Washington University's Thyrsus organization, material from his time as a playwright and director, material from Carson as an author, material from St. Louis' Little Theatre and The Players, and his research on theatre and musical performances. This also includes printed material and maps.


  • 1783-1966


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


97.00 boxes

Biographical Information

William G.B. Carson, a longtime professor of English at Washington University, is best known for his scholarly work in the history of the American theatre and for the active role he played in staging theatrical productions at Washington University and within the St. Louis community at large. Carson's books include Theatre on the Frontier, (1932) and a biography of the great American actress Josephine Hull.

Related Materials

William G.B. Carson Papers
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Revision Statements

  • 2021 April 15: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495