Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / George H. Quinby Papers, 1870-1983, n.d. (bulk 1923-1975)

George H. Quinby Papers, 1870-1983, n.d. (bulk 1923-1975)


3.5 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M260

Series List:


Agency History / Biographical Note:
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.

Scope and Content:
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).

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

Access Restrictions: Some material restricted. Consult series descriptions for details.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288