Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the collection is correspondence to Thomas R. Higgins from his friend actress Evelyn Russell who entertained in and wrote soldier shows for Special Services in Europe from 1945-1948. Letters (mostly from Germany) give insight into itineraries and experiences of soldier show performers. In a letter dated August 8, 1947, Russell recreates for Higgins the skits and lyrics for a show called Who's On First. Also included are autographed photographs of Russell from the 1940s and headshots from the 1960s. Her letters dated 1960-1971 reflect her stage and television career and her life with her husband director/choreographer Joe Layton.
Photographs of casts and crews, hanging plots, contracts, and two letters from the Maurice Evans office document Thomas H. Higgins' career as a stagehand in the 1920s and 30s.
Actor Robert Higgins' career is represented by photographs from two plays: Tea and Sympathy and Auntie Mame.
The Higgins Family papers are arranged in four series:
- 1924-19396 folders
This series consists of Higgins' IATSE contracts, hanging plots for some of the productions he worked on, two letters from Maurice Evans' office (one signed by Evans) regarding employment and a photograph of Evans autographed to Higgins.
- 1946-19718 folders
The series consists of letters to Tom Higgins from Evelyn Russell while she was working in Special Services in Germany (1946-1948). Later correspondence (1960-1971) touches on her career and that of her husband Joe Layton.
Photographs include Special Services publicity photos of Russell (1946-1947), a candid photo of Russell, Tom Higgins and Bette Larson in Germany (1946), headshots of Russell (1960s), photo of Joe Layton, photo of Noel Coward (Russell appeared in Sail Away), and a few snapshots of the Layton family and cat.
- 1955-19561 folder
Three photographs of Robert Higgins as he appeared in Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell and in Tea and Sympathy with Maria Riva.
- 1923-19321 folder
Oversized photographs of casts and crews Thomas H. Higgins worked with include The Cocoanuts (1927), Artists and Models (1925), and Make It Snappy (1923) and Of Thee I Sing(ca. 1931-1932).