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Abby Shute Merchant Papers, 1912-1940
1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 102

Abstract:
Playwright. Typescripts of plays, some with explanatory notes.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
Program cover for the Equity 48th Street production of The New Englander, 1924

Program cover for the Equity 48th Street
production of The New Englander, 1924

Abby Shute Merchant was born on February 3rd, 1882 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to Lewis H. and Hannah van P. Merchant. After graduating from Gloucester High School, she earned an A.B. from Smith College in 1904. She then worked as an editor, first at Munsey's Magazine, 1904-06, and for Craftsman in 1909. She then edited a variety of titles for Street and Smith Publishers, 1909-12. From 1913-15, she took "an advanced course in dramatic technique" with George Pierce Baker at Harvard where she met Mark W. Reed. In 1915 and 1916 she was director and co-owner with J.A. Crafton and Mark Reed of The Prairie Playhouse, in Galesburg, Illinois, one of the first attempts to take the "little theatre movement" to rural regional theatres to use repertory techniques in community setting. She returned to New York and worked as a playwright often working collaboratively with Mark Reed. Abby and her sister Helen (Smith class of 1899) retired to Tryon, North Carolina circa 1949.

Abby Shute Merchant died in Tryon, North Carolina on July 27th, 1982.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Abby Shute Merchant Papers consist of .5 linear ft. and consist of a small amount of biographical material plus typescripts of eight plays authored by Merchant, 1912-40.


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

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright ownership is unknown. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Abby Shute Merchant Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Abby Shute Merchant donated typescripts of seven of her plays to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1952. The eighth script came from Virginia Otis Locke in 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin, 2015.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Separated Material

Additional materials about Abby Merchant are available in the Smith College Archives

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Biographical materials


Box 1: folder 1
Scripts


Box 1
"Burden of Beauty,"
1932

Box 1: folder 2
"The Dramatist" or "Mr. Pierrot Smith,"
1928

Box 1: folder 3
"Irish Dew,"
1920

Box 1: folder 4
"Land Ahead!"
n.d.

Box 1: folder 5
"Love and Lucy: a play in three acts,"
1927

Box 6
"Love Story,"
n.d.

Box 6: folder 7
"The New Englander,"
1912

Box 6: folder 8
"The Unbent Twig" or "Your Loving Son,"
1940

Box 6: folder 9

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
  • Drama--United States--History--20th century
  • Merchant, Abby
  • Women dramatists, American--20th century--Biography--Sources


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