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Clifford Ashby:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Ashby, Clifford, 1925-2015
Title: Clifford Ashby Papers
Dates: 1979-1985, undated
Extent: 6 document boxes (2.52 linear feet)
Abstract: The Clifford Ashby Papers consist of research materials, typescript drafts, and correspondence for two unpublished books. The materials are arranged into three series: I. Visitors View the American Stage; II. Fanny Kemble Project; and III. Correspondence.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00174
Language: English
Access: Open for research



Acquisition: Gifts, 2003, 2010 (G 12300, 10-03-005-G)
Processed by: Helen Adair, 2010 and Eric Colleary, 2016
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


Dr. Clifford Charles Ashby (1925-2015) was a theater professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas from 1963 to 2001. He was born June 11, 1925 to Cliff and Ruth Ashby in Effingham, IL. Growing up in the midst of the Great Depression, he swept floors in the family business, John Boos & Co, manufacturers of butcher blocks. He served as a radio officer in the Marines for two years in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, he studied at Reed College before transferring to the University of Iowa where he completed his undergraduate degree in theatre. He married his wife, Sylvia Girsh, in 1950. He earned his Ph.D. in theater history from Stanford University in 1963. Ashby previously taught at the University of Hawaii, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska before coming to Texas Tech University. He published books on Greek theater and on Texas religious tent shows. Clifford Ashby retired from Texas Tech in 2001, and died on May 28, 2015 at the age of 89.

The Clifford Ashby Papers consist of research materials, typescript drafts, and correspondence for two unpublished books. The materials are arranged into three series: I. Visitors View the American Stage; II. Fanny Kemble Project; and III. Correspondence.
Series I. Visitors View the American Stage, consists of photocopies of published articles, notes, and typescript drafts of Ashby’s titled, but unpublished work on the American stage. The original publication dates of the photocopied texts in this series range from 1783 to 1937. Series II. Fanny Kemble, consists of photocopies of printed texts gathered by Ashby in preparation for an unpublished and untitled book about the British actress Frances “Fanny” Anne Kemble (1809-1893). Fanny Kemble was a member of the famous Kemble theatrical family who married and divorced an American, Pierce Butler, and published nine volumes of memoirs. The original publication dates of the photocopied texts in this series range from 1835 to 1920. Series III, Correspondence, includes Ashby’s personal and professional correspondence from 1979 to 1985.
The original order of correspondence and research material was retained during processing.

Seven books formerly belonging to Ashby, all relating to Fanny Kemble, were transferred to the Ransom Center Library.