Scope and arrangement
The Thomas R. Dash scrapbooks (1925-1971) document the work of the drama and film critic, offering a weekly, sometimes daily, glimpse into the New York theatre scene. The collection consists of 47 scrapbooks, assembled chronologically, with clippings of columns, reviews, and articles from the publications Women's Wear Daily, Daily News Record, Retailing-Home Furnishings, Show Business, and Backstage. There is also a card index of hand- and typewritten entries, arranged alphabetically by title of the work or performance.
While the collection spans Dash's career from 1925 to 1971, the bulk of the reviews derive from his tenure as the Women's Wear Daily chief drama critic from 1947 to 1962. The only biographical clippings in the collection are articles from Women's Wear Daily and other industry publications announcing Dash's Fairchild Publications retirement and new position at Show Business. Later columns for Show Business and Backstage additionally address issues and politics within Dash's professional community, reporting frequently on the activities of the Drama Desk, the theatre reporter and editor organization over which he formerly presided.
The alphabetical card index lists the title of work or performance and the Dash review's date of publication; selected cards list publication, production company, and venue information. The index and scrapbooks include Dash's reviews originally published under the byline of Kelcey Allen, but the index also lists materials, such as manuscripts and lectures, not featured in the scrapbooks.
The collection is organized into two groups, scrapbooks and index, and arranged chronologically within each group.