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Richard D. Thompson:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Title: Richard D. Thompson Papers
Dates: 1953-1972
Extent: 5 document boxes (2.1 linear feet), 3 oversize folders (osf)
Abstract: The Richard D. Thompson Papers consist of personal and committee papers, including copies of letters sent, reports, proposals, and a draft directory concerning professional theater design consultation originating from his work as director of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT). Thompson’s student papers from UT Austin and Yale are also included in the collection, as is his salesman’s catalog from Ward Leonard Electric Company.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00093
Language: English
Access: Open for research. Researchers must create an online Research Account and agree to the Materials Use Policy before using archival materials.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.



Acquisition: Gift, 1982?; gift transfer, 2007
Processed by: Erin Lawrimore, 2001; Helen Adair, 2007; Daniela Lozano, 2017
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


Richard D. Thompson (1933-2007) was a professional lighting consultant and a sales engineer for Ward Leonard Electric Company. His father was a distinguished professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Thompson earned a B.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1955 and an M.F.A. in Technical Theatre from the Yale School of Drama in 1961. He was among the earliest members of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) in the 1950s, and was an active member for much of his life. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 1963, and worked with USITT to recommend revisions to national theatre safety regulations. Thompson died on February 12, 2007.

The Richard D. Thompson papers, 1953-1972, consist of personal and committee papers, including copies of letters sent, reports, proposals, and a draft directory concerning professional theater design consultation. These papers mostly originate from his work as director of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology (USITT). Thompson’s student papers from UT Austin and Yale are also included in the collection, as is his salesman’s catalog from Ward Leonard Electric Company. The papers are organized into three series: I. Correspondence, 1968-1971; II. Organization and Committee Reports, 1960-1972; and III. Miscellaneous, 1953-1970, undated.

Thompson’s 1961 Yale thesis is located in the Ransom Center Library. Additional material relating to the early years of USITT can be found in the papers of John Rothgeb.