Scope and arrangement
This collection of personal papers, correspondence, production files, radio scripts, autobiographical writings, interviews, speeches, articles, songs, business files, clippings, photographs and other visual materials provides a wealth of documentation on Abe Burrows' personal and professional life. The early radio scripts of the comedian, the detailed files on each stage production especially Can-Can, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Cactus Flower, the large collection of opening night telegrams, and the extensive correspondence with family, friends and colleagues illuminate Burrows' personality and career. Includes long, informative and personal letters to his wife Carin when they were apart, working files for his Abe Burrows Songbook,
The Abe Burrows papers are arranged in thirteen series:
- 1904-19854 boxes
This series consists of personal correspondence between Abe Burrows and his wife Carin, correspondence with other family members, various materials documenting Abe Burrow's personal life such as holiday cards and gift lists, and condolences.
- 1939-198215 boxes
Correspondence and telegrams document the life and career of Abe Burrows. While most family letters are in Series I, Burrows' personal and professional life were deeply intertwined; his colleagues were his friends. Thus there is not a clear divide between personal and professional letters, and many insights on Burrows the man can be found here.
- 1912-199254 boxes
The productions series documents the productions with which Burrows was involved, followed by productions he worked on that were never produced, then scripts sent to him for consideration, and lastly show business work not specific to a certain production such as contracts and correspondence for radio and television appearances and with recording companies, correspondence with agents, material on copyright, and papers on the producing/investing organization he ran with his wife: Beresford Productions.
- 1941-19653 boxes and 27 volumes
- 1944-19831 box
Series includes sheet music with notes, song title cards, drafts and notes for songs, correspondence, contracts, copyright assignments and royalty statements for songwriting, and notes, drafts, correspondence, copyright certificates, royalty statements, clippings and publicity for Burrows' book, Abe Burrows Songbook.
- 1945-198215 folders
Includes notebooks and loose pages of writings consisting of sketches, notes and ideas for radio, television and movies, "bits", scripts, song lyrics, autobiographical materials and pages of an untitled novel; published articles by Burrows on both show business and non-show business topics; drafts of articles (unclear if ever published); notecards and drafts of speeches; a transcript of Burrows' remarks, What Can We Expect from Broadway? and some accompanying correspondence.
- 1957-19815 folders
This series consists of interviews with and articles about Burrows including Columbia University's oral history interview and E. J. Kahn's two-part article in The New Yorkermagazine.
- 1969-19824.5 boxes
The bulk of this series is various drafts of Burrows' autobiography. Also included are contracts, royalty statements, correspondence with editors, publishers, reviewers and fans, and clippings and publicity.
- 1968-19842 boxes
This series consists of two undated address books kept by Burrows and appointment calendars, mostly bound and used sporadically by Burrows in his later years.
- 1936-19903 boxes
This series contains correspondence, memos, contracts, financial statements and various reports relating to Burrows affairs outside the world of theater . With the exception of Sub-series 1. Legal papers which touches on both, most of this series relates to Burrows personal life, not his professional career.
- 1943-1985 and n.d.1 box and 2 volumes
Consists of photocopied clippings about Burrows as well as some press releases and two scrapbooks of clippings that he kept and that have not been photocopied.
- 1914-19933 boxes
Photographs of Burrows are mainly formal portraits or photos of Burrows with colleagues on sets for television talk shows, at parties and formal dinners, etc. Includes photos of Burrows with Lauren Bacall, Milton Berle, Carol Channing, Marlene Dietrich, Moss Hart, President Lyndon Johnson, Steve Lawrence, Frank Loesser, Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Dinah Shore, Gloria Swanson Gore Vidal, Mike Wallace and many others. There is also a folder of the photographs used in his autobiography, Honest Abe which includes childhood and family portraits as well as duplicates of photos of Abe with some of the very well known people with whom he worked. The series also includes a few sketches and caricatures of Burrows. All visual materials in this series are small enough to fit in standard-sized hollinger boxes.
- 1942-19915 boxes and 3 map case size folders
This series contains photographs, artwork, certificates, an advertising mock-up for Abe Burrows Songbook and a souvenir program that were too large to fit in standard-sized hollinger boxes as well as posters for productions with which Burrows was associated. The artwork consists of caricatures and cartoons and a set design for Holly Golightly.