Scope and arrangement
The Henry Myers papers (1894-1975) document his long and prolific career as a professional dramatist, lyricist, and novelist, as well as his earlier career as a pianist. The collection consists of writings, production files, scrapbooks, and a small amount of personal material. To a lesser extent, his work as a screenwriter is represented.
The bulk of the collection is made up of writing and production files. These files consist of typescripts, notes, correspondence, and programs regarding plays, musicals, and novels. Most of the material is undated. Also included are notebooks containing holograph notes on unidentified projects. There is a small amount of original scores, as well as royalty statements and agreements for various productions and songs.
Produced and unproduced stage plays and musicals are represented in the papers. Plays include The 100-Yard Dash, Casta Diva, The Death of Death, The End of the Book, The First Fifty Years, Hallowe'en, What a World, With This Ring, Work is For Horses, and You. Musicals include Adrianna, The Banker's Daughter, Kris Kringle Rides Again, and Mona and Lisa, as well as the musical revue Meet the People.
Drafts of all five of Myers' novels can be found in the collection. Additionally, there are fan letters for The Utmost Island that demonstrate the popularity of the book after it became a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. The collection also contains three unpublished novels: Tune on a Silver String, a thinly veiled account of Myers' own childhood; The Night Hath a Thousand Eyes; and The Hound of Ulster.
Other writings include the short story 3 Cons; three comedic long poems titled A Second Childhood's Garden of Verse, Lady of the Leak, and In Search of the Great Mistake; and a memoir of Lorenz Hart called Portrait of Larry Hart. A documentary proposal by Myers, and publicity books on documentarian Eugene Jones, suggest that Myers also held an interest in documentaries. Other material includes a sketch of an unidentified set, and large format, dry-mounted photographs of a staged production.
The collections holds nine scrapbooks that reflect the entirety of Myers' professional work, including early musical performances, his work as a playwright and lyricist, his time in Hollywood as a screenwriter, and his career as a novelist. The scrapbooks are composed of news clippings, photographs, programs, and telegrams. Personal material in the collection is fragmentary. It consists of letters Myers wrote to Virginia Trabue shortly before his death; invitations and cards addressed to Marion Trabue or Myers; two posthumous memorial speeches about Myers; and a sketchbook of Virginia Trabue's. Also included are photographs of Myers throughout his life, and photographs of various family members.
The collection is arranged by document type.