Scope and arrangement
The Doris Frankel papers document Frankel's career as a writer for radio, television, and theater. The collection contains correspondence and personal papers; production papers; and programs and ephemera dating from 1922 to 1993 (bulk 1938-1973). Both produced and unproduced scripts are present in this collection.
The production papers make up the bulk of this collection and contain scripts and synopses for television, radio and theater productions. Some correspondence is interspersed with the scripts and may or may not relate to surrounding material. The scripts and synopses cover over 30 titles of plays and television and radio shows. Most of the scripts are typewritten but several handwritten synopses and notes with ideas for shows and episodes are present. Several scripts for Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow are here, as well as a promotional narrative and script for The Brighter Day, documenting its transition from radio to television in the 1950s. Other well represented titles include The Woman and the Warrior, The Girl without an Image, The Peaceable Kingdom, Career Girl, The Day the Lions Turned, and The Calliope Tree from the show Windows. Synopses for The Peaceable Kingdom are included in addition to the scripts, documenting Frankel's attempts to sell the work to various television stations. Correspondence documenting the sale of The Peaceable Kingdom to Arthur Penn at Playhouse 90 is included. There are also several drafts of a television play about Jefferson Davis titled Shadow on the Heart. In addition to scripts and synopses are promotions for the scripts and concepts for commercials and industrials. These are generally short, typewritten write-ups, such as a list of cologne name ideas, or brief descriptions of scenarios.
Several drafts of theater scripts are present in this collection, including Love Me Long, Don't Throw Glass Houses, and Love in a Black Hat. Early versions of Love Me Long are included under different working titles. Scripts for her earlier works, Never Sardines, They Took the Fifty Thousand, and Adam's Rib are also present. The final script for The Threshold and the Threat, the Century 21 Theme Show exhibit for the 1962 World's fair is also included; as well a preliminary production script for the Electric Power and Light Exhibit at the 1964-1965 World's Fair.
The correspondence in this collection documents Frankel's business and personal relationships. Topics of correspondence include the sending and receiving of scripts, as well as contract agreements between Frankel and production companies for the sale of her work. Many of the correspondents in this collection partnered with Frankel on various projects, and the letters frequently describe occupational updates and show business networking. Primary correspondents in this collection include Alfred Stern, Sam Marx, Bert Berman, Ruby Holbrook, Don Appell, and Bill Ramsey. A manuscript for a patent for Vail Picard tires with correspondence to Frankel's father, Benjamin Frankel regarding the French automobile industry is also included. The personal correspondence dates from the 1940s to the 1950s and pertains to the activities of friends. Correspondence with McCann Erickson regarding submissions for the drama series for "Harvest of Stars" along with Frankel's unpublished outlines is also included.
The personal papers in this collection consist of resumes, biographies, notes and agreements. The agreements are for the submission of writing and ideas, and document payments made to Frankel from various individuals and production companies, including CBS, NBC, MCA Artists, Inc., and World Video Inc. There are several versions and copies of Frankel's resumes, or "credits," demonstrating the evolution of her career. Many of them are annotated and list the titles of programs and episodes that Frankel worked on. There is also a biography on Doris Frankel written for the biographical dictionary "Women in American Theatre," as well as several other write-ups on Frankel and her career. Also included are passenger lists for cruise ships from cruises Frankel went on with her family in the 1920s.
A limited amount of programs and ephemera relating to Frankel's projects and interests are present in this collection, such as playbills, theater journals, and reviews. Photographs documenting Frankel's play, Love me Long, and a set design plan and sketches for "The Wall Between" by Neil DeLuca dated June 1957 is included. Material documenting Frankel's personal interests are present, such as travel maps and a file on Mary Shadow from 1949, documenting her election into the Tennessee General Assembly at the age of 23.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by document type, and chronologically within each document type.