Scope and arrangement
The papers of this famous Shakespearean acting team are arranged in four series: correspondence, literary papers, theater related material and financial and legal papers. The correspondence has been sub-divided as follows: general correspondence, 1886 - 1950, is incoming and in chronological order; there is much business correspondence, letters relating to legal matters and from family and friends. Among frequent correspondents are Elizabeth Van Winkle, Lawrence and Amy Veiller, Edward Bok, Walter Jordan and Charles Edward Russell. Second: correspondence between Sothern and Marlowe, 1904 - 1933; at least three-fourths of the correspondence comprises the exchange of letters between them. Whenever they were apart each wrote the other of the days problems, accomplishments or events of interest to themselves. The bulk of their correspondence is during World War I, when Sothern was in Europe, associated with the Y. M. C. A., providing recreational service to the armed forces and then, after Marlowe went into retirement. Ill-health caused Marlowe to seek the warmer climate of Egypt, summering in Switzerland or France. For a few years prior to his death in 1933, Sothern continued on the stage alone and on lecture tours.
After correspondence between Sothern and Marlowe, there are letters from Marlowe to Mary Daly, 1897 - 1933, life long friend and companion of Marlowe; papers relating to Mary Daly; Sothern family correspondence and papers, ca. 1860 - 1933, and letters of sympathy to Marlowe following the death of Sothern.
The literary papers contain a considerable amount of notes, copy books, rough drafts or typed copies of essays, poems, lectures, magazine articles and books. Sothern was more active in this field than his wife; his contributions appeared in journals ranging from the North American Review to the Saturday Evening Post. He published an autobiography and at least one volume of verse; he was most skilful in shorter poetic forms such as the sonnet.
The theater related material contains papers on Sothern's Town Hall recitals, ideas for plays notes on the theater, prompt books, Sothern and Marlowe account books and box office statements for 1905-1913. Also included is Actors' Equity related scrapbook, 1926.
There is much financial and legal material but only a small portion has been sorted. The sorted material, 1908 - 1940s, deals mostly with theatrical finances but personal legal papers are included. Unsorted papers, 1930s - 1940s, include canceled checks, bank statements, papers relating to stocks and bonds, personal correspondence relating to financial matters and much correspondence from their lawyer and accountant Waldron K. Post.
There is a large amount of photographs of Sothern, Marlowe, friends and family.
The collection ends with nine slipcases containing writings by, with the exception of one, Edward Sothern and Julia Marlowe.
Four series: I. Correspondence; II. Literary Papers; III. Theatre-Related Material; IV. Financial and Legal Papers