Scope and arrangement
The George DeMott Papers consist of correspondence, some diaries/appointment books, contracts, photographs and scrapbooks. The papers are divided into two distinct parts, with some overlap: items, such as contracts and correspondence, that relate to the career of Mr. DeMott and items, such as posters, brochures, etc. that were collected by him and placed into scrapbooks. The collection is divided into six series: Personal Papers, Correspondence, Independent Bookings, Booking Agencies and Agents, Scrapbooks and Oversized Materials. The Booking Agencies and Agents series (Series IV) is further sub-divided by 18 sub-series and contains a great deal of correspondence that detail the problems and hardships of booking a two-person act into schools in the American mid-west at the middle of the twentieth century. Some of the issues include DeMott's concern with getting enough gas for his car during World War II and the Korean War. This series also contains a number of appointment books in which DeMott wrote short, pithy summaries of the various motels and hotels that he and his wife stayed in. The scrapbooks make up the bulk of the collection and contain a variety of items including clippings, posters, brochures, correspondence, handbills, flyers, photographs and programs. The Oversized Materials include a poster and road maps. What's missing from the collection are any significant personal papers. The few diaries found in the collection give little or no personal insight and the correspondence is overwhelmingly of a business nature.
The George DeMott papers are arranged in six series:
- 1920-19597 foldersArranged by type
The personal papers consist of photographs of DeMott and his wife, a bookings diary, mileage notebook, address book, miscellaneous notes (mostly related to bookings) and various publicity items including handbills, flyers and business cards.
- 1940-19511 folder
This series consists of one folder containing primarily business correspondence, not related to a particular booking agency or agent. There are, however, a few rejection letters in regard to bookings presumably sought out by Mr. DeMott on his own.
- 1941-195413 folders
This series contains material related to bookings that DeMott sought out on his own, independent of any agency or agent. He referred to them as "self-bookings". The material consists mostly of correspondence and contracts, but there are also items such as appointment books or diaries, miscellaneous notes and various lists (prop list, contact list, list of Kiwanis clubs, Lions clubs, etc.)
- 1939-19541.89 linear feet (5 boxes)
The items in this series consist primarily of correspondence and contracts, supplemented by items that are particular to a certain agency or agent that DeMott dealt with. These would include schedules, itineraries, "talent instruction" sheets, weekly reports, expense and income reports and mileage tally sheets. There are also items of a more personal nature such as date books, appointment books, mileage notebooks and miscellaneous notes. There are 18 sub-series, each representing an individual booking agency or agent. They are arranged alphabetically and then chronologically within each sub-series. Since Mr. DeMott often booked with more than one agency or agent in a particular season, there is a good deal of overlapping in the years covered.
- 1890-195923 boxes
The scrapbooks make up the bulk of the collection and contain items that reflect Mr. DeMott's interest in the history of show business, particularly the Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits and the art of magic shows and magicians. The items include posters, handbills, flyers, business cards, clippings, photographs, brochures, correspondence and programs. There is no particular arrangement to the scrapbooks, Mr. DeMott appears to have glued items into the same scrapbook without regard to year or subject matter. Some of the scrapbooks contain publicity material of Mr. DeMott's own shows. A number of the scrapbooks have inscriptions written by Mr. DeMott and some items are autographed by the subject. Most of the scrapbooks are in very fragile condition with covers missing, pages loose and the backing paper very brittle. They should be handled carefully.
- 1948-19501 folder
This series contains four oversized items: a poster, and three road or highway maps. The maps are annotated by Mr. DeMott, indicating towns that he had bookings in as well as mileage notes. All items are shelved separately from the rest of the collection, in the Rose Building map cases. Please consult a librarian for access; advance notice will be required.