Scope and arrangement
The Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood Papers contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, manuscripts in Russian, and English translations.
There has been considerable controversy surrounding the Hapgood's translations of Stanislavsky's works. Elizabeth Hapgood would receive the Russian language manuscript from Stanislavsky and translate it. Her husband Norman would then edit the manuscript. Stanislavsky did not, however, completely relinquish artistic control and only allowed them to cut, not to rewrite, his prose. Because it was considered necessary to cut the manuscript heavily so that American readers would understand the Stanislavsky system, critics have alleged that there are significant differences between the American and Russian publications of Stanislavsky's writings. The blame for any discrepancies has traditionally been placed on the translator, editor, and publisher of the American texts. The controversy is described in Burnet Hobgood's article "Stanislavski's Books: An Untold Story" (Box 1, Folder 6). This collection allows the scholar to judge himself how significant the edits to the original Russian manuscript were. Since Norman Hapgood's papers are housed at the Library of Congress, there may be other manuscripts related to this collection there.
The Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood papers are arranged in two series:
- 1929-1986.20 linear feet (1 box
This series consists of correspondence regarding fund raising for Stanislavsky, an article, Russian language newspaper clippings, and unidentified writings.
- 1930-19733.4 linear feet (9 boxes)
This series consists of Russian language manuscripts, primarily authored by Stanislavsky, Elizabeth Hapgood's handwritten translations, typewritten drafts, and correspondence.