Scope and arrangement
The Ted Shawn Papers span the years 1913-1982 and consist mostly of correspondence, and personal papers. Also included are materials about Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, financial records, writings, clippings, photographs and posters.
The collection is important in its documentation of Shawn's personal relationships with many dancers. There is extensive correspondence from Gabriella Sedgwick, Lynn Poole, Gray Poole (co-author with Shawn of One Thousand and One Night Stands), Margerie Lyon, and Richard (Dick) Stuart. Also of note is correspondence from Joseph Pilates (the Pilates exercise), Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Hadassah, Eleanor King, Lydia Joel, Laura Foreman, Lotte Goslar, Doris Humphrey and José Limón.
Missing from the collection are choreographic notes, ideas behind the Men Dancers, and Jacob's Pillow.
The Ted Shawn Papers are arranged in nine series:
This series consists of correspondence with Ted Shawn and others. The majority of the correspondence is letters written to Shawn. Some notables include, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Jose Limon, Joseph Pilates, and Alfred Kinsey. Extensive correspondence is from Gabriella Sedgwick, Lynn Poole, Richard (Dick) Stuart.
There are several folders of correspondence between Katherine Dreier and Ted Shawn. There are also a few folders of correspondence written to John Christian, Ruth St. Denis, and Margerie Lyon.
In addition to letters, there are boxes of greeting cards (birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Thank you and Sympathy). There are also wedding invitations, business and calling cards, and post cards.
Many of the letters are alphabetized by the first name of the author, because there was no indication of a last name.
This series consists of material relating to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. Included are applications to study at Jacob's Pillow, press releases, advertising, Board of Directors material, staff material, box office and attendance records, program schedules and ticket requests.
This series includes address lists, date books, catalogs, newsletters, contracts, and advertisements. There is extensive material on dance-education, organizations, concerts, and dancers, and dance companies. Also included is additional material concerning itineraries, foundations, memberships, summer camps, and travel and tourism brochures. There are passports, contracts, and advertisements for Men Dancers.
This series consists of predominately drafts of articles written by Ted Shawn. The dance topics are wide-ranging, from foreign, cultural and historical, to ballet and modern. There are also drafts written by other authors.
This series includes financial material, including bank statements, check stubs, insurance, stock purchases, invoices and receipts.
This series includes programs involving Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, the Denishawn Dancer, Men Dancers, Barton Mumaw and other dancers.
This series consists of both newspaper and magazine clippings. Most clippings describe reviews of dance programs. Also included are clippings sent to Shawn from friends, these clippings are of a more personal level.
This series consists of photographs. There are professional photographs that include headshots, group shots and action shots. Included are also snapshots of Ted Shawn and his friends, as well as vacation photos, family photos, pets, plants, and houses. Negatives are also included.
This series consists of artwork, clippings from large oversized magazines, and musical scores, both published and hand-written. There are also posters of dancers and dance programs.