Scope and arrangement
The Barbara Baxley papers document the personal and professional life of American actress Barbara Baxley through scripts, photographs, scores, correspondence, publicity materials, programs, notes, and ephemera. Production files cover the theatre, film, and television projects Baxley appeared in over the course of her career. Production files include scripts, photographs, correspondence, notes, programs, publicity materials, and scores. This collection includes a small amount of personal files, documenting Baxley's personal life, to a certain extent, covering professional organizations she was involved in, and including items pertaining to prominent friends, such as actress Sandy Dennis and playwright William Inge. Materials include correspondence, notes, photographs, drawings, interviews, and childhood items.
Audio visual materials include one videocassette, two audiocassettes and two reel-to-reel tapes, pertaining to the productions All That Glitters and Wayward Wings, and to Baxley's teaching career. Audio/Visual materials may be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
Baxley's 1980 Actors Studio Award has been separated to the T-Cabinet and will be available to researchers on request.
The Barbara Baxley papers are arranged in two series:
- 1940-198715 boxes
Production files cover the theatre, film, and television projects Baxley appeared in over the course of her career. Production files include scripts, with Baxley's annotations, and in some cases, there are also extensive notes written by Baxley on her ideas about the plays and characters. There are also photographs of Baxley's productions, in rehearsal, backstage, and in production, as well as posed publicity stills. While most of the correspondence in this collection can be found in Series II: Personal Files, congratulatory letters and telegrams, fan mail, and other correspondence pertaining to specific productions will be found here. Also included in this series are programs and publicity materials, including reviews, interviews, feature articles, flyers, and posters. Baxley appeared primarily in straight plays, but there is sheet music in the production files for musicals she appeared in, such as She Loves Me, The Grass Harp, A Little Night Music, and Zorba.
- 1911-198812 boxes
The bulk of this series consists of Baxley's personal correspondence. Though there are a few letters from friends and associates, the majority of this correspondence is between Baxley and her mother, Emma Tyler Baxley. This 30-year correspondence provides valuable insight into Baxley's life and career from the 1940s to the 1970s. There are also notes Baxley made for her lectures when she taught acting at Carnegie Mellon. She was an active member of The Actors Studio, and there are clippings and programs pertaining to her work with that organization. Baxley's childhood and family history are illustrated with photographs and documents, such as her birth certificate and a lesson book of her mother's. Baxley's friendship with actress Sandy Dennis is documented with photographs and a painting by Dennis. Baxley's long-standing professional association and personal friendship with the renowned playwright William Inge is represented here, with photographs, a drawing by Inge, a stack of hand-written reminiscences on Inge by Baxley, and correspondence, clippings, and programs relating to the William Inge Festival and the William Inge Collection, both in Independence, Kansas. Biographies, interviews, and general clippings on Baxley are also included in this series.