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Home >> Amherst College Archives & Special Collections >> W. Clyde Fitch (AC 1886) Collection, 1867-1986 (bulk 1883-1909) Finding Aid MA.00116
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W. Clyde Fitch Collection, 1867-1986 1883-1909
6.3 Linear feet 6 archives boxes, 3 records storage boxes, 3 oversize pamphlet binders 6 archives boxes, 3 records storage boxes, 3 oversize pamphlet binders (6.3 linear ft.)
Collection number: MA.00116

Abstract:
Correspondence, annotated play scripts, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, articles and photographs documenting the literary career, works, and personal life of Clyde Fitch (1865-1909), American dramatist and graduate of Amherst College in the Class of 1886. Correspondents include Robert Browning, Richard Harding Davis, William Dean Howells and William Lyon Phelps.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Clyde Fitch Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the W. Clyde Fitch Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Historical Note

W. Clyde Fitch (AC 1886) was a prolific and highly successful American playwright best known for plays of social satire and character study. Notable for having four of his plays running concurrently on Broadway, he went on to write and produce, in a twenty-year period, thirty-six original plays, twenty-one adaptations, and five dramatizations of novels. His name alone was enough to draw large audiences, and his works were produced throughout the United States and in Europe as well. He was the first American dramatist to be regularly produced abroad. The critic and scholar William Lyon Phelps wrote in 1921, "when [Fitch] began to write, American drama scarcely existed; when he died it was reality.... He did more for American drama than any other man in our history."

William Clyde Fitch was born in Elmira, New York on May 2, 1865. He spent part of his childhood in Schenectady, New York, and attended the Holderness School, Plymouth, New Hampshire, before attending Amherst College. At Amherst he was known among his classmates as "Billy" (after his given name William, which he later dropped) and was active in dramatic productions; his literary publications in college were mainly verse, including his Grove Oration speech in 1886. His first successful play, Beau Brummel (1890), was written especially for the actor Richard Mansfield. Subsequent plays of that period were largely melodramas and historical works that were less successful than his comedies of the early 1900s, including The Climbers (1901), Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines (1901), The Girl with the Green Eyes (1902), The Truth (1907) and The City (1909). However, the popularity of his works on the stage barely exceeded his own lifetime.

Fitch was an avid collector of books, antiques and art, with which he filled his home at 113 East 40th St., New York City (a residence that, for a time, was one of New York's most famous salons), as well as at his other homes at Katonah, New York; and Greenwich, Connecticut. The "Clyde Fitch Memorial Room" in Converse Hall at Amherst College was a gift to the College from Fitch's mother. It contained many of the furnishings and most of the books that were in his study in New York City.

Clyde Fitch died on September 4, 1909, one week after an operation for appendicitis in Châlons-sur-Marne, France, at age 44.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, annotated play scripts, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, articles and photographs documenting the literary career, works, and personal life of Clyde Fitch (1865-1909), American dramatist and graduate of Amherst College in the Class of 1886. Correspondents include Robert Browning, Richard Harding Davis, William Dean Howells and William Lyon Phelps.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Clyde Fitch Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the W. Clyde Fitch Collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

When quoting material in this collection the preferred citation is:

[Identification of item], in W. Clyde Fitch (AC 1886) Collection [Box #, folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library

History of the Collection


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English
Related Material
  1. Published works of Clyde Fitch, located in Archives and Special Collections are searchable in the online catalog. (Copies of some titles are also available in the circulating collection.)
  2. Clyde Fitch personal library, housed in Archives and Special Collections and searchable in the online catalog.
  3. Alumni Biographical Files - 1886 - Fitch, Clyde
  4. Dramatic Activities Collection
  5. Buildings and Grounds Collection: for photographs of the Clyde Fitch Memorial Room, see section on Converse Memorial Library.
  6. Oil portrait of Clyde Fitch by Vittorio Guaccimanni, in Archives and Special Collections.
  7. Oil portrait of Clyde Fitch by Merritt Chase in Mead Art Museum, Amherst College [AC POR.1914.3].
  8. Items cataloged in the Objects Collection:
    • OB92-001-A Lamp
    • OB92-001-B Bulb for lamp
    • OB92-001-C Lampshade
    • OB92-002-A Lamp
    • OB92-002-B Bulb for lamp
    • OB92-002-C Lampshade
    • OB92-002-D Bulb gauntlet (spare) for lamp
    • OB92-449 Bookmark, painted fabric
    • OB92-567 Stand, wooden
    • OB92-568 Opera glasses and case
    • OB93-029 Clyde Fitch Room, Ceiling
    • OB93-030-A-C Clyde Fitch Room, Fireplace, mantel, painting
    • OB93-031 Clyde Fitch Room, Shelves
    • OB93-032 Clyde Fitch Room, Chest
    • OB93-033 Clyde Fitch Room, Table
    • OB93-034 Clyde Fitch Room, Upright chest
    • OB93-035 Clyde Fitch Room, Lap style desk box
    • OB93-036 Clyde Fitch Room, Table
    • OB93-037 Clyde Fitch Room, Desk
    • OB93-038 Clyde Fitch Room, Table
    • OB93-039 Clyde Fitch Room, Chest
    • OB93-040 Clyde Fitch Room, Candelabras
    • OB93-041 Clyde Fitch Room, Framed photograph
    • OB93-042-A-B Clyde Fitch Room, Table and cloth cover
    • OB93-043 Clyde Fitch Room, Rug
    • OB93-044 Clyde Fitch Room, Lamp and shade
    • OB93-045 Clyde Fitch Room, Chair
    • OB93-046 Clyde Fitch Room, Fireplace brush

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Contents List
Series 1: Biographical Materials
1890-1986


Bibliography of works by and about Clyde Fitch
1912

Box 1: folder 1
Death notices and obituaries
1909-1910

Box 1: folder 2
Articles
1909-1944

Box 1: folder 3
Articles
1904-1947

Box 1: folder 4
American Heritage article by Peter Andrews, "More Sock and Less Buskin," pp. 48-57
April 1972

Box 1: folder 5
Clippings
ca. 1901-1972

Box 1: folder 6
Program for Amherst College production of Last of the Dandies
1986

Box 1: folder 7
Clyde Fitch Room - Amherst College - articles and misc.
1918-1968

Box 1: folder 8
Clyde Fitch Room - correspondence
1913-1971

Box 1: folder 9
Clyde Fitch Room, Amherst College - Photographs
1960s

Box 1: folder 10
Books from the library of Clyde Fitch
n.d.

Box 1: folder 11
Pocket mirror given to Martha Genning Stearns by Clyde Fitch
c. 1890s

Box 1: folder 12
Series 2: Scrapbooks and Clippings
1883-1920


Amherst College dramatic productions
1883-1886

Box 1: folder 13
Scrapbooks and clippings
c. 1886-1920

Box 1: folder 14
Beau Brummel
1890

Box 1: folder 15
Playbills, notices
1890-1907

Box 1: folder 16
The Knighting of the Twins, and Ten Other Tales - inscribed to the author by the illustrator (Virginia Gerson). Among the loose items inserted in the volume are letters from William I. Fletcher, John F. Genung, Jonathan Sturges, Ruth and Grace [Fitch, his sisters], E. Hepworth Dixon, Allan Eastman Cross, and Anna L. Dawes
1891-1892

Box 1: folder 17
Scrapbook
1891-1893

Box 1: folder 17
Scrapbook - mostly playbills
ca. 1890s

Box OS-1: folder 3
Scrapbook (pages disbound and placed in individual folders) - Part 1
1898-1899

Box 2
Scrapbook - Part 2
1898-1899

Box 3
Royalties record book (blank)
n.d.

Box 10
Series 3: Correspondence
1882-1909


Outgoing unidentified
1894-1905, n.d.

Box 4: folder 1
Amherst College - related
1882-1890, n.d.

Box 4: folder 2
Arbucher, Gertrude
n.d.

Box 4: folder 3
Baker, Amy
n.d.

Box 4: folder 4
Browning, Robert
1888 Jul 2

Box 4: folder 5
C[happie?]
n.d.

Box 4: folder 6
Chase, E. Olcott
1887-1909, n.d.

Box 4: folder 6A
Chase, Mrs.
1897, 1903, n.d.

Box 4: folder 7
Cody
1894, n.d.

Box 4: folder 8
Corbin, John and Amy
1903, n.d.

Box 4: folder 8A
Davis, Richard Harding
n.d.

Box 4: folder 9
D'Urban, [William]
1889 Oct 9

Box 4: folder 10
Eaton, W. P.
1905

Box 4: folder 12
Fitch, Mrs. [Alice] (mother of Clyde Fitch)
n.d.

Box 4: folder 13
Fitch, Winchester
1906-1909, n.d.

Box 4: folder 14
French, [Samuel]
[1907?] Sep 22

Box 4: folder 15
Frohman, Charles. Re: Ethel [Barrymore]
1901, n.d.

Box 4: folder 15a
Fyles, Franklin
[1896]

Box 4: folder 11
Gale-Haynes, Mrs. M.
1892

Box 4: folder 16
[Gerson?], Ms. Virginia
1902 Jun 2

Box 4: folder 17
Gottschalk, Ferdinand
1905 May

Box 4: folder 17a
Greene
[?] Nov 15

Box 4: folder 18
Grey Fiske, Harrison
1890

Box 4: folder 19
Haskell, Ernest
1904 Jan 16

Box 4: folder 20
Hovey
n.d.

Box 4: folder 21
Howells, William Dean and Mildred
1903 n.d.

Box 4: folder 22
Kimball
1895, n.d.

Box 4: folder 23
Lapham, Mr. [ALS inserted in Barbara Frietchie, the Frederick Girl (New York: Life Publishing Co., 1900)] Arch-SpecColl PS1677 .B3 1900 c.3
1905 Nov 1

Box Catalogued Books
Low
n.d.

Box 4: folder 24
McLean, Mrs.
1899 Oct 18

Box 4: folder 25
Martin, Dr.
[?] Mar 1

Box 4: folder 26
Miller, J. DeWitt
1892-1907

Box 4: folder 26A
Mosher, Florence
1895-1898

Box 4: folder 27
Nelson and McLean
1899, 1903

Box 4: folder 28
"Oscar"
ca. 1907

Box 4: folder 28A
Pater, Walter, with photograph
[?] Jan 4

Box 4: folder 29
Phelps, William Lyon
1906-1909

Box 4: folder 30
Pond, Major
1897

Box 4: folder 31
Russell, Sol Smith (includes photograph of Russell)
1893-1899

Box 4: folder 32
Shipman, Louis
1897-1899, n.d.

Box 4: folder 33
Smith, Miss
1903 Nov 8

Box 4: folder 34
Smith, T. (reproduction of postcard)
1903

Box 4: folder 35
Webster
n.d.

Box 4: folder 36
Wharton, Edith
[?] Dec 26

Box 4: folder 37
Williams
1900 Feb 4

Box 4: folder 38
Series 4: Writings
1879-1910


The Bachelor. Bound TS with MS annotations throughout.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 1
Being a Tutor. Bound manuscript volume with watercolor illustrations by the author; custom decorated binding.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 2
Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines. Bound TS.
Ca. 1902

Box 5: folder 3
Captain Jinks: A Musical Comedy. by Frank Mandel and Lawrence Schwab. Photocopy of TS.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 4
The City. Bound TS with extensive MS annotations.
1909

Box 5: folder 5
The City: A Modern Play of American Life. Two TS copies, one in a Samuel French, Inc. paper binding.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 5a
The Convent: Un petit poème par Clyde Fitch. Bound MS with watercolor illustrations.
1884

Box 5: folder 6
The Flirt. Photocopy of TS.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 7
Provenance:

Some pages stamped: "New York Public Library Theatre Collection Reference Department"

Frederic LeMaitre: A Comedy in One Act. TS in a "Rialto Service Bureau" folder.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 8
The Girl and The Judge. Bound TS with MS annotations, inscribed from Fitch to Charles M. Mathews, Christmas 1901.
1901

Box 5: folder 9
The Girl Who Has Everything. TS in paper wrapper.
[1906?]

Box 5: folder 9a
Provenance:

Front wrapper has name and address of Richard W. Fitch, Jr. of Tampa, Florida.

The Girl with the Green Eyes. Bound MS in pencil.
1902

Box 5: folder 10
The Happy Marriage: A Comedy in Three Acts. Bound MS.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 11
A Pastoral Comedy. Bound TS with MS annotations.
1901

Box 5: folder 12
General

Title changed to "Lovers' Lane"

Lovers' Lane: A Play in Four Acts. Bound TS.
n.d.

Box 5: folder 12a
Major Andre. Two MS volumes bound as one.
[1895?]

Box 5: folder 13
The Marriage Game: A Comedy in Three Acts. Bound TS.
[1901?]

Box 5: folder 14
May Blossoms to My Father. Bound hand-illustrated MS volume with decorative burlap cover.
n.d.

Box 6: folder 1
The Moth and the Flame: A Dramatic Composition. Bound TS.
1908

Box 6: folder 2
Nathan Hale: An Original Play in Four Acts. Bound TS, inscribed to Edward Simons, Christmas 1897.
1897

Box 6: folder 3
The Play and the Public. Bound volume of clippings and MS.
1904-1909

Box 6: folder 4
General

MS note inserted at front of volume: "Clyde Fitch's 'The Play and the Public' was originally published in 'The Smart Set' magazine [14 (November 1904): 97-100]. This MS is the elaboration of that article for a 'talk' which he was asked to give. Later he again made changes and additions and the lecture was given at Harvard, Yale, The University of Toronto, etc., etc., etc."

The Social Swim. Bound TS with MS annotations.
1893

Box 6: folder 5
"Two Letters and Two Telegrams." Unbound MS sheets.
ca. 1895

Box 6: folder 6
General

Published in Some Correspondence and Six Conversations. New York: Stone and Kimball, 1896.

The Straight Road. Bound TS. Two copies.
1907

Box 6: folder 7
The Way of the World. TS with MS notes bound in five separate acts.
1901

Box 6: folder 8
Amherst College class notes
c. 1883-1886
4 Leaves
Box 6: folder 9
Amherst College publications with contributions by Fitch.
1886-1910

Box 6: folder 10
General

Amherst Literary Monthly. June 1886. The Amherst Student. June 1886. "A Schenectady Girl" three leaves clipped from Amherst Monthly, April 1910. "Amicitia Invita Morte" Broadside mounted on card. n.d.

Poems for Easter and Thanksgiving
1887, n.d.

Box 6: folder 11
Manuscript notebook.
1888-1889
1 Volumes
Box 6: folder 12
General

Inscription on front free end paper: "William Clyde Fitch. London -- June 1888" Notebook is largely poetry, with frequent notes about dates and locations each poem was written. Locations include London, Paris, New York, and Boston. Dates range from early 1888 through 1889. Also includes several manuscripts pasted in.

"Dialogue in the shape of two letters..." TS with MS annotations.
1894-1895?
7 Leaves
Box 6: folder 13
"Two Letters and a Postal Card" MS
c. 1895
27 Leaves
Box 6: folder 14
General

Published in Some Correspondence and Six Conversations. New York: Stone and Kimball, 1896.

Childhood writings: "The Rising Sun" and "The Shooting Star" (holograph magazines)
1879

Box 6: folder 15
The Thunder Bolt. Holderness School, Plymouth, N.H. (2 issues)
1882 Feb-Mar
2 items2 issues; each issue is printed as a single folio sheet.
Box 6: folder 16
Series 5: Pictures and Photographs
1867-1909


Portraits


Box 6
Related material:

In addition to the portraits in this sub-series, the portrait by Guaccimanni (1889) hangs in the Archives Reading Room; the portrait by William Merritt Chase is held by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College (AC POR.1914.3).

Portraits - childhood
1867-1875

Box 6: folder 17
Portrait photographs - Amherst College
1883-1886

Box 6: folder 18
Portrait photograph used for William Merritt Chase portrait.
n.d.

Box 6: folder 19
General

Portrait by William Merritt Chase is held by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College: Accession Number: AC POR.1914.3; Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. William G. Fitch

Portrait photographs
1893-1901, n.d.

Box 6: folder 20
Caricature by Max Beerbohm (newspaper clipping)
n.d.

Box 6: folder 21
Caricature by Ernest Haskell
1901

Box OS-1 [Vault]
Search Terms
Haskell, Ernest, 1876-1925

Portraits on postcards
ca. 1901

Box 6: folder 22
Other Pictures



Photograph of Clyde Fitch tomb, Woodlawn Cemetery, New York, New York
n.d.

Box 6: folder 23
Assorted photographs and postcards.
n.d.

Box 6: folder 24
General

Includes portraits of William Dean Howells, Robert Browning, and Sir Henry Irving; also scenes from various plays.

2 glass plate negatives of holograph pages with watercolor illustrations
n.d.

Box 6: folder 25
General

Probably images of pages in "Being A Tutor"

Engravings of Major André, Alfred Orsay, M. Blessington
n.d.

Box 6: folder 26
Theatrical photographs from Clyde Fitch plays



Unbound theatrical photographs from Her Sister
n.d.

Box OS-11: folder 1
Unbound theatrical photographs from Girls
n.d.

Box OS-11: folder 2
Scrapbook (NOTE: extremely fragile)
n.d.

Box OS-11: folder 3
Oversized theatrical photographs: unidentified play (includes autographed photograph of actress Mary Gordon Lennox)
n.d.

Box OS-11: folder 4
Vol. 1: Bohemia; Nathan Hale; The Moth and The Flame; Barbara Frietchie
n.d.

Box 8: folder 1
Vol. 2: The Cowboy and the Lady; The Climbers
n.d.

Box 8: folder 2
Vol. 3: Captain Jinks; Lover's Lane; The Way of the World
n.d.

Box 8: folder 3
Vol. 4: The Girl and the Judge; The Stubbornness of Geraldine; The Girl with the Green Eyes; The Frisky Mrs. Johnson; Her Own Way
n.d.

Box 8: folder 4
Vol. 5: Major André; Glad of It!; Coronet of the Duchess; Granny; Cousin Billy
n.d.

Box 9: folder 5
Vol. 6: The Woman in the Case; Her Great Match; His Grace de Grammont
n.d.

Box 9: folder 6
Vol. 7: Wolfville
n.d.

Box 9: folder 7
Theatrical photographs - miscellaneous duplicates
n.d.

Box 9: folder 8
Series 6: Personal Affairs
1903-1907


Autograph book
1903-1904

Box 7: folder 1
Address book
n.d.

Box 7: folder 2
Putnam A. Bates, Consulting Electrical Engineer: "General Specifications covering a new electrical generating and storage plant ... for the residence of Mr. Clyde Fitch, Katonah, New York"
1907 Sep

Box 7: folder 3
Paper spoon (party favor?)
1891 Sep 2

Box 7: folder 4
Invitation card "To meet Monsieur Boldini"
[pre-1897]

Box 7: folder 5

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Davis, Richard Harding
  • Fitch, Clyde, 1865-1909 (AC 1886)
  • Howells, William Dean
  • Phelps, William Lyon
  • Theater -- United States -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Theater -- United States -- 20th century -- Sources

Contributors
  • Fitch, Clyde, 1865-1909 (AC 1886)


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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