Scope and arrangement
The Richard Rodgers papers consist of correspondence, photographs, clippings and ephemera documenting his career as a composer and producer. Included as well, is a small amount of materials related to the political and literary activities of his wife, Dorothy Rodgers. The primary strength of the collection is in the breadth and depth of the business correspondence. The correspondence contain letters from friends and business associates throughout the career of Richard Rodgers and includes as well, carbon copies of letters sent in reply to these friends and associates giving a clear and comprehensive picture of Richard Rodgers in all facets of his professional career. There are both complimentary and uncomplimentary letters, indicating that Rodgers did not edit the materials to eliminate unfavorable information. Another strength of the collection lies in the amount of correspondence with his collaborators, particularly Oscar Hammerstein II. Lacking in the collection is correspondence between Richard Rodgers and his first collaborator, Lorenz Hart. Also missing from the collection is correspondence from Dorothy Rodgers to Richard Rodgers, although there is considerable correspondence from Richard Rodgers to his wife, Dorothy.
The Richard Rodgers papers are arranged in nine series:
- 1937-1980[4 boxes 1.67 linear feet.]
This series consists of personal and professional correspondence to Richard Rodgers. Included is correspondence about his productions, tributes and events, as well as relationships with friends and business associates. This series was originally arranged in alphabetical order with no folders for individuals. For security purposes, individual folders were created for correspondence from famous individuals. Some of these include: Brooks Atkinson, Noel Coward, Bing Crosby, Russel Crouse, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas Fairbanks, Edna Ferber, John Green, Oscar Hammerstein II, Moss Hart, Helen Hayes, Leland Hayward, Theresa Helburn, John Hersey, Lawrence Langner, Arthur Laurents, Howard, Lindsay, Joshua Logan, Frederic March, Mary Martin, Ferenc Molnar, Ogden Nash, Eugene Ormandy, Paul Osborn, Cole Porter, Nelson Rockefeller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billy Rose and Harry Ruby, among others.
- 1942-1987[1 box .41 linear feet.]
This series consists of correspondence to Dorothy Rodgers from friends and acquaintances dealing with personal issues and events and political and charitable fundraising.
This series is divided into two sub-series:
- 1926-1974[2 boxes .82 linear feet.]
This series contains private and personal correspondence to Dorothy Rodgers from Richard Rodgers. For the early years [1926-1935] correspondence is extensive with letters written sometimes daily. In later years the correspondence is less frequent. The letters deal with both their personal lives and the career of Richard Rodgers. The letters are important in that they trace Rodgers' career during the early years giving his personal feeling about his growing fame and popularity.
- 1943-1972[1 box .41 linear feet.]
This series contains production files, interoffice memos and some correspondence dealing with the daily operations of Richard Rodgers' theatrical and film productions. The files are not extensive and much of the production materials are not included. Largest amounts of materials exist for South Pacific, Oklahoma! (Motion picture), and The King and I,though none are more than one or two folders of materials. There are scripts and production materials for a 1950's television series entitled Victory at Sea (Television program). The following is a complete list of titles included:
- Carnegie Hall Concert
- Do I Hear a Waltz 
- Flower Drum Song 
- I Picked a Daisy  (later known as On a Clear Day You Can See Forever)
- The King and I [1951-1972]
- Me and Juliet
- The Music and the Words[n.d.]
- No Strings 
- On Your Toes
- Pal Joey[1951-1952]
- South Pacific[1950-1965]
- The Sound of Music
- Two by Two[n.d.]
- Victory at Sea (Television program)[1951-1952]
- 1923-1972[1 box .41 linear feet.]
This series contains Columbia University ephemera from Richard Rodgers' days as a student, as well as information about Columbia's Oral History project and Richard Rodgers' oral history interview. Included is the 1924 Columbia Songbook, The Columbian of 1923 and the transcript of Richard Rodgers' oral history interview.
- 1954-1978[.5 box .2 linear feet.]
This series contains miscellaneous personal papers, honorary degrees, articles, songbooks, biographical materials and the transcript for Richard Rodgers autobiography Musical Stages.
- 1979-1989[.5 box .2 linear feet.]
This series contains clippings, articles, a transcript of Richard Rodgers' memorial service and other programs and materials on posthumous tributes to Richard Rodgers and his work.
- 1931-1972[5 boxes 2.25 linear feet.]
This series contains photographs of events in Richard Rodgers' life, photographs of events surrounding productions, but not traditional production photographs. There are also some photograph scrapbooks created for Rodgers.
This series is divided into five sub-series.
This series contains all oversized materials. Included are photographs of productions and individuals and some sheet music. Copy of the song Auto Show Girl is included. Productions included are: Flower Drum Song,The Sound of Music,No Strings and The King and I.