Scope and arrangement
The collection of Dale Edward Fern covers the period of 1949-1991 and relates mainly to Olga Spessivtzeva's life and career.
The bulk of the collection consists of originals of Mr. Fern's correspondence about Olga Spessivtzeva with various organizations and people, and private correspondence with Olga Spessivtzeva herself, including correspondence with Spessivtzeva's sister Zinaida and her family. In addition there are letters from Spessivtzeva's colleagues and former partners to Dale Fern.
The collection also contains the typescript of an unpublished book written by Dale Fern, To Olga Spessivtzeva: A Memoir of Loving,clippings, original photographs and copy prints of Olga Spessivtzeva and negatives.
Included also is a silk hand sewn doll of Nijinsky in `Les Sylphides” made by Olga Spessivtzeva. This is one of a series of dolls made by Olga in the 1960s.
The collection constitutes a major source of information about the life and career of the legendary dancer, Olga Spessivtzeva. Particularly valuable is the documentation of the years Spessivtzeva spent in the mental hospital, her almost miracle cure and her transfer to Tolstoy Foundation Farm in New Jersey.
Language: English, Russian, French, some Spanish
The Olga Spessivtzeva collection and letters are arranged in two series:
Correspondence series was generally left as arranged by the collector with a few necessary rearrangements. Files are alphabetical, by name or title. Within the files letters were arranged chronologically. There are a number of translations into English attached to Olga Spessivtzeva's letters written in Russian. Some letters remain untranslated as is indicated on the folder. This series also includes Spessivtzeva's abstract thread designs and a diagram sent to Dale Fern with the letters.
The Book series consists of a typescript of a book, clippings and photographs, and copy prints. The copy of the typescript was donated by Doris Hering.