Scope and arrangement
The Ruth and Augustus Goetz papers span the years 1900-1996 and consist of personal papers, including Goodman family papers, and Goetz family papers, correspondence, production materials, scripts, materials relating to other projects, photographs, clippings, ephemera, and several ledgers and scrapbooks. Because Augustus Goetz died in 1957, many of the materials pertain specifically to Ruth Goetz. The Goodman family papers date from the early decades of the century, when Ruth's father, Philip Goodman, was producing Broadway shows. Since many of Ruth and Augustus Goetz's friends and associates included working theater professionals and other writers, such as Enid Bagnold, Kitty Carlisle and Moss Hart, Lillian Hellman, and Florence and Harold Rome, the papers provide a valuable insight into the 20th century theater and literary worlds.
The papers are especially rich in scripts and contain early drafts and handwritten revisions for a number of plays by Ruth Goetz and Augustus Goetz, both produced and unproduced. Scripts by other playwrights and writers such as James M. Cain, Don DeLillo, John Guare, Tina Howe, and Vincent Lawrence are also included. Some correspondence and notes relating to the Goetzes' works come from the files of their literary agent, Leah Salisbury. Until her death in 1975, Mrs. Salisbury continued to serve as Ruth Goetz's representative. These papers offer a glimpse into the playwright/agent relationship and into the negotiation process.
Personal papers consist of datebooks, journals and address books, biographical materials, Goodman family papers, Goetz family papers, and articles, essays, and speeches by Ruth Goetz. The family papers include some writings by Philip Goodman, photographs of Philip Goodman, Ruth and Augustus Goetz and their daughter, Judith, other family and friends, and the Goetzes' home in Keller's Church, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The correspondence series includes personal and professional letters to and from Ruth and Augustus Goetz. Since Ruth Goetz often kept clippings and other ephemera relating to many of those with whom she corresponded, these materials have been included with their correspondence.
Organization materials contain papers relating to professional associations with which Ruth Goetz was affiliated, such as The Authors Guild and The Authors League of America, The Dramatists Guild, The Dramatists Guild Fund, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, New Dramatists, the Writers Guild of America West, and Young Playwrights Inc., as well as two institutions to which she donated materials-New York Public Library and the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.
The production series consists largely of scripts, correspondence, contracts, royalty statements, some production materials and ephemera relating to the Goetzes' produced plays and films: Franklin Street, The Heiress, The Hidden River, The Immoralist, Madly in Love, One Man Show, Play on Love (Comme au Theatre), Stage Struck (Motion picture), Sweet Love Remember'd, and Washington Square, an earlier and unsuccessful version of The Heiress. Because of its huge success, The Heiress is the most thoroughly documented of the productions and includes materials on productions of the play throughout the world, as well as adaptations to musicals, an opera, film, television and radio.
Other projects contain writings and background materials for script ideas, television show proposals, play fragments, and a China travel journal. The projects are mostly by Ruth Goetz, but there are also several by Augustus Goetz. The series includes A Class of One, an unpublished memoir by Ruth Goetz.
Unproduced and other scripts encompass playscripts by Ruth and Augustus Goetz which were never produced as well as plays, poetry, one book proposal and a published book by other authors.
The scrapbooks and ledgers series consists of two scrapbooks mostly of clippings, probably belonging to Ruth Goetz and Philip Goodman and financial ledgers of Ruth and Augustus Goetz.
The Ruth and Augustus Goetz papers are arranged in eight series:
This series is divided into five sub-series: Journals, Diaries and Datebooks, Biographical Materials, Goodman Family Papers, Goetz Family Papers, and Articles, Essays and Speeches and includes correspondence, photographs, ephemera, clippings, financial documents, and legal documents relating to Ruth and Augustus Goetz and Ruth Goetz's family, the Goodmans.
- 1940-19941 linear foot
This series also contains ephemera such as clippings and memorial service programs kept by Ruth Goetz for individuals with whom she had some association. Frequent correspondents include Rebecca "Becky" Bernstein, Constance Cummings, Leah Salisbury (the Goetzes literary agent), and Genevieve Ulmann of the Marguerite Scaltiel literary agency in Paris.
Some notable correspondents are Peggy Ashcroft, Enid Bagnold, Hugh "Binkie" Beaumont, James M. Cain, Aaron Copland, Olivia de Havilland, John Gielgud, Kitty and Moss Hart, Lillian Hellman, Al Hirschfeld and Dolly Haas Hirschfeld, S. J. Perelman, J.B. Priestley, Samson Raphaelson, Ralph Richardson, Florence Rome, Stephen Sondheim, Gore Vidal, and William Wyler. Some correspondents are unidentified or identified by first name only.
This series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization and chronologically within each file. They include correspondence, printed materials, by-laws, financial reports, contracts, and other business papers relating to organizations with which Ruth Goetz was associated.
Dramatists Play Service statements are included at the end of the series. These are mostly covering The Heiress, but also including The Immoralist and The Hidden River.
- 1949-ca. 1980.41 linear feet
Arranged alphabetically by project title, this series contains writings, background materials, unidentified script fragments, proposals, correspondence, contracts, and clippings related to projects mostly by Ruth Goetz but also by Augustus Goetz. Of particular interest is A Class of One, Ruth Goetz's unpublished memoir. The projects are: Alcuin by Ruth Goetz (ca. 1980); A Class of One (ca. 1962?); Conquest of Mexico, a play fragment by Ruth Goetz and possibly Augustus Goetz (n.d.); La Facture by Francoise Dorin, materials relating to a possible adaptation by Ruth Goetz (1968); Finish the Scene and Your Psyche Is Showing, television show proposals by Ruth and Augustus Goetz (1953, 1958); My Life as a Wife by Ruth Goetz, describing her meeting Billy Rose (1979); New Year's Eve at the Willingdon Club by Ruth Goetz (n.d.); notes for a script fragment of My Daughter's My Daughter by Ruth Goetz (1963-1964); materials relating to an unproduced motion picture The Sailor's Return by Ruth and Augustus Goetz (1949-1970); A Short Trip to China, a travel journal by Ruth Goetz (1978); notes on adaptation by Ruth Goetz (ca. 1963); unidentified writings by Ruth Goetz (n.d.).
- ca. 1940-19921.9 linear feet
This series consists of unproduced playscripts by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, some correspondence, programs and clippings for foreign language productions, relating to the plays, as well as playscripts, poems, and one published volume by other authors. Projects by Ruth and Augustus Goetz are filed first and are arranged alphabetically by play title; works by other authors are arranged alphabetically by author. Scripts included are: How It Was and Is (English version of C'Etait Comment Deja by Jean Bouchaud) by Ruth Goetz, Giving and Taking by Ruth Goetz, Howard and Irene (one-act play) by Ruth Goetz, A Night at Sea (Screenplay) by Ruth Goetz, The Odyssey for a Cup of Tea by Jean-Michel Ribes, adapted by Ruth Goetz, The Party by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, Other Heroes (a.k.a. The Suffering Cats) by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, The Suffering Cats by Ruth Goodman (Goetz) and Augustus Goetz, Galahad Rides Again by James M. Cain, Counterintelligence: Semi-Private and Motel TV (one-act plays) by Don DeLillo, Cinders by Janusz Glowacki, translated by Christina Paul, Eye Contact (Screenplay) by John Guare for Louis Malle, I Hate My Life(Screenplay) by John Guare for Louis Malle, Lydie Breeze by John Guare, Mine (Screenplay) by John Guare for Martin Scorsese, Women and Water: Lydie Breeze: Part Two by John Guare, Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe, and Nothing Less by Vincent Lawrence.
This series contains two scrapbooks and four financial ledgers. One scrapbook clearly belonged to Philip Goodman; the other appears to have belonged to Ruth Goetz, but it is unclear. The ledgers contain financial data for Ruth and Augustus Goetz.
- 1949-19921 flat box
This series includes three pieces by the artist Mel Calman; one drawing is L'auteur applaude and is in poor condition. Also included are photographs by Houston Rogers of the original London production of The Heiress, with Peggy Ashcroft and Ralph Richardson, and a color photograph autographed by the cast of The Heiress at the Richmond Theatre, England.