Scope and arrangement
The Ken Harper papers span the years 1972-1988. The bulk of the material is professional correspondence regarding the stage production of The Wiz. Most of the letters to Harper are from company attorneys concerning contracts, financial agreements and lawsuits. There is little personal correspondence to or from Ken Harper.
The rest of this collection consists of scripts (The Wiz and Bamboo), financial statements, legal papers and one file of clippings. There are no personal papers or photographs. Three reel-to-reel audio tapes and six audio cassettes connected with the production of Bamboo have been transferred to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
The Ken Harper papers are arranged in five series:
- 1972-19877 boxes
The general correspondence includes letters from corporations and individuals rejecting Ken Harper's requests for financial backing for The Wiz and Bamboo. Most of the correspondence concerns legal matters-financial and contractual agreements, lawsuits, labor arbitration, and copyright infringement. Box 1 includes correspondence to and from Josephine Baker about her possible role as the Wicked Witch and three letters from writer William F. Brown concerning problems with scenes, staging, songs, and re-writes. Box 2 contains Harper's notification of The Wiz's Tony nomination and subsequent congratulatory letters and notes.
- 6 boxes
This series contains documents regarding the stage production of The Wiz. The material is arranged in chronological order and mostly includes business correspondence and legal papers.
- 1974-1983.41 linear feet (1 box)
This series contains contracts, correspondence, royalty payments and financial statements regarding the motion picture.
- 2 boxes
This series contains papers regarding another production of Ken Harper's entitled Bamboo, based on a ninth-century Japanese fairy tale.
- 19792 folders
This series contains two short stories with similar themes, Down the Sky written by Jeremy Lucas, and Nightride and Sunrise by John Jobe and Ken Harper. Ken Harper anticipated developing these stories into screenplays.