Scope and arrangement
The Leland Hayward Papers reflect the activities of Hayward’s business office during his active years as a theatrical, motion picture and television producer. The majority of the collection relates to the various works Hayward produced in those three media. The relative amount of material matches his output in each medium, with theater comprising the largest portion and film, the smallest.
The production files are rich with correspondence, ranging from early planning discussion to post-closing analysis. The files also include scripts, production material and financial records. Some productions are much better represented than others, most notably The Sound of Music on stage and That Was the Week That Was on television. Some productions are also represented in other series, including Scores, Loose Financial Records, Photographs and Scrapbooks. Some of the backstage and on-set photographs show the actors and other creative personnel in less guarded moments, such as Henry Fonda and William Powell singing together or James Cagney teaching Jack Lemmon to dance. The scrapbooks are professionally prepared and each represents a particular production. In addition, there are scripts, correspondence and other material from various planned productions that never came to be.
The office files focus on Hayward’s business interests, both in and out of show business. The correspondence encompasses his friends, family and various professional relationships. The overlap between his personal and professional worlds is evident in letter after letter, where personal stories and questions are side-by-side with professional news and negotiations. While a few correspondents are strictly personal, most could fall into either category. Besides his productions, there is extensive correspondence regarding Southwest Airways and an early version of pay television envisioned by Hayward and tested in the early 1960s. Other files primarily consist of contracts and financial records relating to Hayward’s other corporate interests.
While Hayward’s early career as an agent for playwrights and screenwriters is represented in one series, his second career as a high-profile agent for stars like James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Fred Astaire, among others, is entirely absent from the collection. Although he does correspond with some of these former clients later in his career, there is no material from the period in which he served as their agent. Personal material is included in the collection, but only to the extent it entered into his office life. Correspondence with his parents, children and wives is included, but only that which was read or typed by his secretaries. Similarly, there are family photographs to be found in the collection, but not nearly as many as production photographs. The most personal items are the two diaries from the early 1920s, in which a young Leland Hayward shares many personal thoughts, feelings and impressions.
The Leland Hayward papers are arranged in ten series:
- 1944 - 1971167 boxes; 83 linear feet
Correspondence, scripts, production material and financial records for various stage, television and film productions. This series represents the bulk of Leland Hayward’s show business career in three media. His relative productivity in each is proportionally represented, with stage comprising the largest part of the series and motion pictures, the smallest. His most successful stage production, The Sound of Music and his only continuing television series, That Was The Week That Was are represented in the most detail, with the amount of material on other productions varying widely.
- 1934; 1946 - 197111 boxes; 5.5 linear feet
Correspondence, scripts, contracts and financial records for stage, television and film productions which never came to fruition. Several of the planned stage productions were adaptations of works from other media, and there is a significant file of correspondence with David O. Selznick on the subject of Scarlett, a musical version of Gone With the Wind.
- 1923 - 1974; 199551 boxes; 25.75 linear feet
Office records not associated with individual productions. The majority consists of correspondence with various people and organizations Hayward encountered professionally. His friendships were generally with people he met in the course of business, and the correspondence reflects that trend. Apart from correspondence, the series contains contracts, financial records, legal papers, notes, clippings and writings. This series conveys the breadth of Hayward’s business interests, which were not limited to show business.
- 1923 - 1942; Undated9 boxes; 4.5 linear feet
Before becoming a producer, Hayward was a talent agent. This series consists primarily of scripts dating from his early years working with writers. There are some assessments of scripts also, as well as a few story ideas written or co-written by Hayward himself, such as A Captain Takes Command and Riders of the Air.
- 1920; 1923; 1956 - 19581 box; 0.5 linear feet
Two personal diaries from 1920 and 1923 and three datebooks from the 1950s. The diaries include personal impressions of people and activities, including college, friendships and potential romantic relationships.
- Undated1 box; 1 linear feet
Only two shows are represented here, one musical play, Wish You Were Here, and one non-musical play, The Wisteria Trees.
- 1950 - 197050 boxes; 18.75 linear feet
Account statements, cancelled checks and voucher envelopes for various stage productions, with a small amount of material from general office files.
- 1924 - 1972; Undated7 boxes; 3.5 linear feet
Production and backstage photographs for various plays, as well as two television productions and the three movies Hayward produced. Highlights include snapshots of the cast of Mister Roberts enjoying themselves off the set. Some personal prints and slides are also found in this series, most of scenery, but some family photographs are included.
- 1944 - 196522 boxes; 22 linear feet
Professionally prepared scrapbooks for various stage, television and film productions, all produced by Leland Hayward. Primarily, though not exclusively comprised of clippings, the scrapbooks favor Hayward’s theatrical productions more than anything else, with Anne of the Thousand Days, Mister Roberts and State of the Union the best represented.
- 1940 - 1965; Undated13 boxes; 14.5 linear feet
Oversized production material and financial records for various plays, films and television programs. A small amount of artwork is included, as are some award certificates. Photographs include stage, television and motion pictures, as well as personal and professional shots.