Scope and arrangement
The papers of Jan Peerce encompass both the public and private sides of his life. Peerce’s correspondence incorporates personal and professional communication, including a substantial number of letters between Jan Peerce and his wife, Alice. The collection contains over fifty years worth of programs, clippings and publicity materials relating to Peerce’s concert and operatic appearances. There are scrapbooks documenting his travels, contracts tracing the course of his career, and appointment books detailing his schedule. His repertoire is represented by a sizable collection of scores, many of which are original arrangements for Peerce’s concert appearances. Scripts of many of Peerce’s radio, television, nightclub and motion picture appearances are included in the collection, although most are not annotated. There are transcripts of interviews with Peerce, as well as copies of articles and speeches written by him. The collection includes various notes and drafts of Peerce’s memoir, The Bluebird of Happiness. Memorabilia includes a large collection of plaques presented to Peerce and his wife, honoring their commitments to various causes, as well as his talent. The collection includes photographs documenting Peerce’s professional appearances and family life. There are also signed photographs from many of his colleagues. While the collection documents Peerce’s career in great detail, it includes much less about his personal life. There is very little material from his early life or with regard to his family, apart from the extensive correspondence with his wife.
The Jan Peerce papers are arranged in fourteen series:
- 1918-19859.25 linear feet [18 boxes and 4 folders]
This series contains Peerce’s personal and professional correspondence, including numerous letters between him and his wife, Alice. In addition, the series includes condolences sent following Peerce’s death.
- 1935-19821.25 linear feet [2 boxes and 10 folders]
This series contains scripts for many of Peerce’s appearances in motion pictures, plays, radio, and television. Most are not annotated.
- 1937-19811 linear foot [2 boxes]
This series consists of articles, speeches and press releases written by, or credited to, Jan Peerce. There are also prospectuses and a complete draft of his memoir The Bluebird of Happiness, and some notes on his stage appearances. In addition, the series includes magazine interviews and transcripts of oral interviews with Jan Peerce.
- 1927-19821 linear foot [2 boxes]
This series contains contracts for various appearances and recordings in Jan Peerce’s career, as well as statements, checks, receipts and other financial documentation.
- 1928-19852 linear feet [4 boxes]
This series contains song lists, repertoire lists and discographies from Jan Peerce’s career, as well as publicity materials including press releases, biographies, catalogues and fliers advertising his appearances. The series also includes travel records, such as passports and itineraries, from Peerce’s national and international tours. A highlight of the series is a pair of fragile prompt books, which Peerce carried with him on stage during all his appearances.
- 1927-19858.75 linear feet [17 boxes and 2 folders]
This series consists of programs for many of Jan Peerce’s appearances, including concerts, operas and summer stock musicals, several of which are signed. The series also contains some programs for appearances by others, presumably attended by Jan and/or Alice Peerce.
- 1933-19851.5 linear feet [2 boxes and 12 folders]
This series consists of clippings documenting Jan Peerce’s career. Most are in English, but there are some foreign-language clippings, some of which include English translations.
- 1939-19842.75 linear feet [5 boxes and 5 folders]
This series includes Jan Peerce’s personal records and souvenirs, as well as appointment books and memo books kept by the Peerces.
- 1927-19822.5 linear feet [5 boxes]
This series consists of photographs documenting Jan Peerce’s professional appearances, family life and travels. There are also several autographed pictures of Peerce’s colleagues.
- 1954-1978.5 linear feet [1 box]
This series consists of books owned by Jan Peerce. Some are religious in nature, while others include contributions by Jan Peerce.
- 1936-1982; Undated12 linear feet [21 boxes]
This series includes three-dimensional artwork owned by Jan Peerce, medallions and plaques awarded to Jan and Alice Peerce and an unidentified baby gown.
- 1926-1965; Undated27.5 linear feet [40 boxes]
This series consists of scores, manuscript and published, for various songs in Jan Peerce’s repertoire. The series is divided into unbound and bound scores.
- 1935-197722 linear feet [36 boxes]
This series consists of scrapbooks documenting Jan Peerce’s career. Some simply cover a chronological period, while others are strictly concerned with one tour or event.
- 1941-19827.5 linear feet [8 boxes]
This series contains awards and tributes to Jan Peerce, as well as oversized artwork, photographs, posters and publicity materials.