Scope and arrangement
The American Theatre Association records hold administrative records, office files, and presidential files that date from 1947 to 1980.
The Administrative Records are a combination of various files from offices and individuals around the country which were collected after the dissolution of the American Theatre Association in 1986. There is correspondence, committee files, conference materials, divisional files, minutes, and project files.
The Office Files are a separate filing system, kept by the association's Washington office. The arrangement is a system unique to the association. Letter and number codes have been provided so the user can see the structure of the filing system and identify patterns and missing files. The system changed slightly from year to year. There is significant overlap between these files and the Administrative Records.
The records hold the papers of two presidents of the Association. The Jack Morrison Presidential Papers (1957) and the Jean Korf Presidential Papers (1979-1980) hold administrative files kept during their respective presidencies. These files often contain complementary material to the Administrative Records.
The American Theatre Association records are arranged in four series:
The Administrative records hold files from multiple sources that have been arranged into subseries. These are affiliates, correspondence, committees, divisions, minutes, and projects. These files, which were gifted over a 20 year period, were initially arranged in this manner during transport. Although the files are not presented in their original order, users should be able to understand the major functions of the association through their use.
The Office Files are a separate filing system, kept by the association's Washington office. The arrangement is a system unique to the association. The files consist of correspondence relating to projects, committees, and general administration. Letter and number codes have been provided so the user can see the structure of the filing system and identify patterns and missing files. The system changed slightly from year to year. Each folder may contain only a few items, and the files were regularly removed for other purposes or for consolidation. For example, most files from 1955 through 1958 were removed from their initial system and filed under the heading "Through 1958," though some vestiges of the 1955 to 1957 filing system remain. The system underwent a labeling change in 1972, and a change in general order in 1971.
The Jean Korf Presidential Papers hold minutes, correspondence, and her administrative files relating to her time as President of the American Theatre Association from 1979 to 1980. Korf maintained her committee, divisional, and project files together in one system. These files often contain complimentary material to the Administrative Records. Arranged by subject.
The Jack Morrison Presidential papers hold correspondence and administrative files relating to his time as president of the American Educational Theatre Association in 1957. Correspondence is with other members of the American Educational Theatre Association, theatrical institutions, and theatre education professionals and is arranged by surname or institutional name. Copies of outgoing letters are often present. Since most Association business was conducted through the mail, the Committee and Project files consist primarily of correspondence with other members in leadership positions. The Conference files document the Association's 1956 National Convention. Complementary material for the Committee and Project files can be found in Series I: Administrative Records. Morrison's arrangement of these files was maintained.