Scope and arrangement
The papers of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee contain correspondence, scripts, drafts of scripts and rewrites, production files, production notes, programs, clippings and personal papers and document their careers from 1942 until 1966. The collection contains early correspondence between Robert E. Lee and his family and friends during his time in school and in the army during World War II. Radio scripts from the Armed Forces Radio Service mark the beginning of Lawrence and Lee's collaboration as a writing team.
The collection is rich in its documentation of their writings through the 1960s. Included are scripts, notes and production files from their commercial radio career and the early years of Broadway. Productions included are Inherit the Wind, Auntie Mame, Mame, The Gang's All Here, Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'! and A Call on Kuprin, to name a few. Radio programs include Favorite Story, The Railroad Hour, Hallmark Playhouse, Young Love, The World We're Fighting For and Request Performance. Television programs include The Unexpected and Favorite Story. The papers also include writings done by Lawrence and Lee for speeches, lectures and seminars.
Missing from the collection is any personal correspondence belonging to Jerome Lawrence and any scripts and production materials from later plays including The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Dear World and First Monday in October.
The Lawrence and Lee papers are arranged in fourteen series:
- 1943-19701 box
The bulk of this series is Robert E. Lee material which includes a folder of papers regarding his Air Force flight school experience in the early 1940s and notes about productions he had seen over the years. Lawrence's record of his impressions of theater viewing experiences are also included.
- 3 boxes
This series, consisting mainly of personal and professional correspondence to Robert E. Lee, includes some business correspondence to both Lawrence and Lee, Lawrence's letters relating his experiences while on a world tour, and his annual Twelfth Night letters.
- 1942-19453 boxes
This series contains individual and bound volumes of radio scripts written for Armed Forces Radio. Most but not all of the scripts were written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Among the individual scripts are Chain of Command, Japan's Road to Fascism, Let's Go to Town!, and Why?. Two bound volumes of Yarns for Yanks also include D-Day, VE-Day, and VJ-Day special broadcasts and post-war programs. Two volumes entitled Overseas Broadcasts contain scripts for Mail Call, Song Sheet, and Personal Album, among others, and photographs of broadcasts. Papers related to the creation of Armed Forces Radio Service include correspondence to Lawrence and Lee, guidelines, budgets, ideas for programming, and program lists. Box 5, folder 2 includes Robert E. Lee's induction papers.
- 1942-19451 box
This series contains wartime scripts for radio, screen and stage done by Lawrence and Lee as individuals. Included are scripts for the radio program They Live Forever, a series written by Jerome Lawrence and Howard Teichmann and aired on CBS radio. The program's primary function was to boost wartime morale. The rest of the materials include scripts written by Robert E. Lee and are primarily army productions for training and entertainment. Titles include Fantasy at Versailles, G. I. Heaven, Hammond on the Air, and Hitler Comes Calling.
- 1956-19679 boxes
Correspondence, clippings, programs, memos, minutes, speeches, and photographs document Lawrence and Lee's various organizational affiliations. Included are: American Conservatory Theatre Foundation, American Playwrights Theatre, the Margo Jones Award, National Repertory Theatre, U.S. Department of State Office of Cultural Presentations Ad Hoc Drama Panel, and the Broadcasting and Film Commission.
- 65 boxes
This series includes correspondence, production files, notes, clippings, programs, ephemera, and scripts and documents the major works of Lawrence and Lee from the late 1940s until the mid-1960s.
- 24 boxes
This series is divided into four sub-series and contains business and production files of the Frederic W. Ziv Company primarily dealing with Favorite Story and The Unexpected. Included are correspondence, contracts, writer and celebrity clearances, scripts and financial records for Lawrence and Lee's affiliation with Ziv Productions.
- 14 boxes
This series contain radio and television scripts for major radio shows written, directed or adapted by Lawrence and Lee.
- 1942-19553 boxes
This series contains notes, research files, production files and scripts for radio, television and sound recordings written by Lawrence and Lee. Included are scripts for the radio programs Halls of Ivy, starring Ronald Colman, Presenting Charles Boyer, and special United Nations broadcasts.
- 1932-19654 boxes
This series contains screenplays, treatments and outlines for films, radio and television stories, many of which were in development but never produced. Included in this series are film scripts for The New Yorkers a screenplay written by Lawrence and Lee and commissioned by U-I. The film was to star Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. Included as well are drafts of scripts for The Joyous Season, based on the book by Patrick Dennis, and project proposals for television and radio shows.
- 2 boxes
This series contains writings, other than scripts, by Lawrence and Lee. Included are notes and drafts for Robert E. Lee's book Television: The Revolutionary Industry (1944), notes and research for Jerome Lawrence's book Off Mike (1944) and various articles and speeches by both playwrights.
- 1952-19591 box
This series contains miscellaneous box office papers, including statements for Inherit the Wind and Auntie Mame, and royalty statements for various radio, television and recording productions (1930s-1960s).
- 3 boxes
This series is arranged alphabetically by title and contains scripts written by other authors and kept by Lawrence and Lee for review or possible adaptation for television, radio and or film.
- ca. 1942-196110 volumes
The scrapbooks, spanning the 1940s-1960s, consist of clippings and other memorabilia about Lawrence and Lee and their various radio, television and stage productions. Included are scrapbooks for Auntie Mame, A Call on Kuprin, Inherit the Wind, The Gang's All Here and Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'! as well as a scrapbook about a summer season of Lawrence and Lee plays produced at the Berea Summer Theatre in Ohio and three scrapbooks of miscellaneous clippings.