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Guide to the George H. Quinby Papers, 1870-1983, undated (bulk 1923-1975)

George H. Quinby papers
Quinby, George H. (George Hunnewell)
Date [inclusive]:
1870-1983, undated (bulk 1923-1975)
Date [bulk]:
3.5 Linear Feet
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
The collection contains correspondence, primarily concerning Quinby's professional and personal interest in dramatics and theater design; Bowdoin College class materials; research notes; and articles and lectures written by Quinby.
Access Restrictions:

Some material restricted. Consult series descriptions for details.

Preferred Citation:

George H. Quinby Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

George (Pat) Hunnewell Quinby was born March 26, 1901, in Newton, Massachusetts. After being graduated from Bowdoin College with the Class of 1923, he taught English at Lafayette College, sailed as a merchant seaman between New York and Singapore, studied drama at Yale University, and acted, directed, and served as stage manager in community and road company shows. Quinby worked in the English department at Bowdoin as instructor, 1934-1936, assistant professor, 1936-1946, and associate professor, 1949-1969; he retired in 1969. He also served as Bowdoin's director of dramatics from 1935-1966, was on the committee which planned Pickard Theater in Memorial Hall, and coached fencing from 1946-1951.

In 1945 Quinby received a travel grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to complete a survey of "Academic Theatres in the United States - 1930-1943," and the following year received a master of fine arts degree from Yale University. While on leave during the fall of 1953, Quinby studied early Greek and Roman theaters in France, Sicily, and Greece, a project he continued during a 1965 leave. In 1956 he was a lecturer in American drama at the University of Tehran in Iran, where he directed three plays. He returned to Iran in 1962 as a Fulbright lecturer and directed a series of Eugene O'Neill plays. Quinby was called on as a consultant for new theaters; in 1958 he was an adviser to the Government of Afghanistan in establishing a dramatics academy in Kabul.

He was married in 1939 to Clarice (Polly) Guthrie English, who died in 1982. George Quinby died May 27, 1984, in Brunswick, Maine.

The collection contains correspondence, primarily concerning Quinby's professional and personal interest in dramatics and theater design; Bowdoin College class materials; research notes; and articles and lectures written by Quinby. The bulk of the research material concerns a 1946 survey of college theater architecture. The collection also includes Bowdoin College's plans for the 1950s remodelling of Memorial Hall into Pickard Theater, a scrapbook titled "Twenty-Two Ancient Theaters Oriented to the Sun," Bowdoin College Masque & Gown programs, Brunswick Dramatic Club programs, and miscellaneous theater programs dating from the late 1800s. Correspondents include Eugene O'Neill (March 28th, 1923).

Series Description:

English and dramatics materials used in Quinby's courses at Bowdoin College, including lecture notes, student assignments, and examinations. There are papers relating to Quinby's Bowdoin class reunions, Bowdoin College administrative reports, and a selection of annotated student directories.


Arranged alphabetically.

Access Restrictions:

Student essays in box 4 are restricted for 75 years after date of creation.

Alumni affairs, 1945-1965, n.d.

box 1 folder 1

College reports, 1963-1969, n.d.

box 1 folder 2

Computing Center - report, "The Future of the Bowdoin College Computing Center," from the Computing Center Committee of the Faculty, 1969 Feb 28

box 1 folder 3

Course information and student status, 1964-1969

box 1 folder 4

Crowell Collection, 1940-1965, n.d.

box 1 folder 5

English 1 course materials, 1934-1954

box 1 folder 6

English 1-2 course materials, 1937-1950

box 1 folder 7

English 2 course materials, 1935-1954

box 1 folder 8

English 4 course materials, 1954

box 1 folder 9

English 23-24 course materials, 1938-1955, n.d.

box 1 folder 10

English 47 course materials, 1948-1951, n.d.

box 1 folder 11

English 161 course materials, 1969, n.d.

box 1 folder 12

English Department correspondence, 1967-1969

box 1 folder 13

English Department materials, 1934-1967, n.d.

box 1 folder 14

Miscellaneous material, 1923-1973, n.d.

box 1 folder 15

Restricted material: English 23-24 student essays restricted until 2030; Senior Seminar-Theater Architecture student essays restricted until 2042; Senior Seminar-Eugene O'Neill student essays restricted until 2043

box 4

Senior Seminar on Eugene O'Neill material, 1967-1968

box 1 folder 16

Student Directories, 1956-1973

box 1 folder 17

Series Description:

Primarily personal correspondence concerning Quinby's work in dramatics and theater design. Included are letters from colleagues abroad, the U.S. State Department, former students, and dramatics directors from other institutions. There is also a 1923 letter from Eugene O'Neill referencing a prize Quinby received, possibly the Class of 1868 Prize, which Quinby was awarded his senior year at Bowdoin. Correspondence specifically related to Quinby's work in dramatics can be found in the Dramatics series and correspondence connected with his research can be found in the Research Materials series.


Arranged chronologically.

Correspondence 1923, 1939-1964

box 1 folder 18

Correspondence 1965-1978, n.d.

box 1 folder 19

Series Description:

Materials relating to Quinby's work in dramatics. Included are programs and director's notes for theater groups, including Bowdoin College's Masque and Gown, the Merrymeeting Players, the Workshop Theater of Brunswick, and the Brunswick Dramatic Club. The collection also contains correspondence, plans, and diagrams pertaining to the 1950s remodeling of Bowdoin's Memorial Hall into the College's first theater (Pickard Theater).


Arranged alphabetically.

Brunswick Dramatic Club programs, 1913-1930, n.d. and other Brunswick performances - programs, 1904-1907, n.d.

box 1 folder 20

Clippings, photographs and illustrations, related to dramatics, 1930-1953, n.d.

box 1 folder 21

Community theater - programs, meeting materials, and notes, 1948-1968, n.d.

box 1 folder 22

The Development of the Theatre by Allardyce Nicoll, 1957 (annotated)

volume 1

Conferences, workshops and festivals, 1945-1967, n.d.

box 2 folder 1

Masque & Gown, 1943-1966, 1983, n.d.

box 2 folder 2

Masque & Gown programs, 1940-1966, n.d.

box 2 folder 3

Miscellaneous, 1924-1975, n.d.

box 2 folder 4

Pickard Theater, 1957-1964

box 2 folder 5

Pickard Theater - correspondence, 1937-1955, n.d.

box 2 folder 6

Pickard Theater - diagrams and plans, 1945-1955, n.d.

box 2 folder 7

Pickard Theater - diagrams and plans, 1953, n.d.

ovsz-box D

Scripts, 1933

box 2 folder 8

Scripts, 1948

box 2 folder 9

William Shakespeare: The Comedies, 1958 (annotated)

volume 2

William Shakespeare: The Tragedies, 1958 (annotated)

volume 3

U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), 1960-1965, n.d.

box 2 folder 10

Yale Drama alumni materials, 1954-1975

box 2 folder 11

Yale Drama course materials, 1927, n.d.

box 2 folder 12

Yale Drama course materials (composition book), 1926-1928

volume 4

Series Description:

This series contains a variety of performance arts related newspaper clippings, photographs (primarily of Quinby, theatrical groups and Bowdoin reunions), miscellaneous theater programs, travel documents and itineraries, and various ephemera. The theater programs are mostly from productions outside the Brunswick area; a number of theater programs and advertisements are from the late 1800s.


Arranged alphabetically.

Florence Brown's Script of "Two Slatterns and a King"

box 2 folder 19

Miscellaneous, 1870-1980, n.d.

box 2 folder 13

Miscellaneous - certificates, 1925, 1974, 1975

ovsz-box D

Miscellaneous - poster, Gridiron Club, 1935

ovsz-box D

Newspaper clippings, 1965-1973, n.d.

box 2 folder 14

Photographs, 1962-1971, n.d.

box 2 folder 15

Programs, c.1885-1911, 1928, n.d.

box 2 folder 16

Programs, 1940-1977, n.d.

box 2 folder 17

Travel - miscellaneous, 1962-1972, n.d.

box 2 folder 18

Series Description:

The bulk of this series is comprised of Quinby's research for his survey of U.S. college theaters, though large portions of it are also devoted to Quinby's research on the orientation of classical theaters and his work in Iranian theater. Included are correspondence and notes related to each of these areas of research, as well as photographs and diagrams of relevant sites, grant materials, and financial statements. Also includes Quinby's diary of his 1958 trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, to advise on the creation of a dramatic academy and theater building.


Arranged alphabetically.

Afghanistan, diary, 1958 Jul.-Sep.

box 2 folder 20

Articles and related correspondence, 1960-1982, n.d.

box 2 folder 21

Classical theaters, 1963-1966, n.d.

box 2 folder 22

Classical theaters - correspondence, 1964-1968, n.d.

box 3 folder 1

Classical theaters - grants, 1963-1966, n.d.

box 3 folder 2

Classical theaters - scrapbook, "Twenty-Two Ancient Theaters Oriented to the Sun," 1955, n.d.

volume-folio 1

College theater survey, 1930-1946, n.d.

box 3 folder 3-6

College theater survey - correspondence, 1941-1947, n.d.

box 3 folder 7

College theater survey - institutions A-B

box 3 folder 8

College theater survey - Arkansas, University of - blueprints for Arts Center

ovsz-box D

College theater survey - institutions C-F

box 3 folder 9

College theater survey - institutions G-I

box 3 folder 10

College theater survey - institutions L-M

box 3 folder 11

College theater survey - Louisiana State University - blueprints for the Fine Arts Building

ovsz-box D

College theater survey - Michigan State - blueprints for the Auditorium

ovsz-box D

College theater survey - Mundelein College - diagrams for the Auditorium

ovsz-box D

College theater survey - institutions N-S

box 3 folder 12

College theater survey - institutions T-W

box 3 folder 13

College theater survey - unidentified blueprints and plans, n.d.

ovsz-box D

Iran - correspondence, 1963-1968, n.d.

box 3 folder 14

Iran - financial statements, 1962-1963

box 3 folder 15

Iran - grants, 1961-1963, n.d.

box 3 folder 16

Iran - notes and reports, n.d.

box 3 folder 17

Iran - teaching materials, 1963-1964, n.d.

box 3 folder 18

Iran - theater work, 1963, n.d.

box 3 folder 19

Photographs and negatives of theater plans, n.d.

box 3 folder 20

Series Description:

This series contains articles and lectures written by Quinby both for classes and for the public. Included are various papers and lectures on Eugene O'Neill, and lectures on theater architecture and performance.


Arranged alphabetically.

Articles, 1965-1969, n.d.

box 3 folder 21

Lectures and papers, 1947-1972, n.d.

box 3 folder 22-23

Notes, 1926-1952, n.d.

box 3 folder 24