New and Updated Finding Aids – May 2024


GMU’s spring semester may be over, but SCRC’s processing team is still hard at work with another batch of new and updated finding aids to share! All of the following collections are available for use in the Special Collections Research Center and the finding aids are available on our website (or use the links included below).


The New Baby theatrical posters, C0416

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

A collection of 10 individual lithographic theatrical posters advertising David de Wolf’s American production of Arthur Bourchier’s farcical comedy The New Baby. Bourchier was born in Speen, Berkshire, England on June 22, 1863 and educated at Eton and Oxford University where he founded the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS). Bourchier continued acting professionally across both England and the United States and in 1893 performed opposite actress Violet Vanbrugh who he would go on to marry the following year. In 1895, Bourchier became lessee of London’s newly reconstructed Royalty Theatre where he staged numerous productions, including several adaptations of his own including The New Baby and the highly successful The Chili Widow which reopened the theatre and ran for over 300 performances. Bourchier passed away on September 14, 1927 at the age of 64 after falling ill while on tour in South Africa. Two of this collection’s posters have stamps attributing printing to the U.S. Printing Co. and are dated 1899, while seven, including the largest single page and oversized three panel posters, have stamps attributing printing to the U.S. Lithograph Co., dating them after 1901, but several appear to be based on designs circa 1900. The smallest poster has no visible printing stamp.

Check out our #TheatreThursday Deep Dive video to learn more about the fascinatingly weird history of The New Baby.


Cover of student newspaper “Expulsion”, Volume XIII, Issue 11, September 9, 1996, R0154


George Mason University student publications, R0154

Updated collection inventory, arrangement, and description completed by Maegan Jankowski, with preliminary inventory and arrangement assistance from Colin McDonald and assistance with Finding Aid Collection Overview description and publishing by Robert Vay.

The George Mason University student publications consist of serial publications, both short and long-running as well as single-issue publications attributed to George Mason University students and student groups. The types of publications include newsletters, newspapers, literary journals, and magazines created and disseminated from 1960 to present. While no examples of student publications prior to 1960 can be found in this collection, there were, most-likely, some mimeographed newsletters or other handouts created by students to inform, entertain, or educate their peers in the tiny college community. Student publications at George Mason during the 1960s included numerous small, short-run serial newsletters, the student newspaper The Gunston Ledger (renamed Broadside in 1969), and the yearbook, Advocate. By the 1970s and later a number of student published literary and culture-based journals appeared at Mason, including “Phoebe” and “So to Speak”. Today nearly all of the student publications are published and distributed by the umbrella group Student Media, which is part of Mason’s Division of University Life.

The collection contains 2 series. Series 1: Student publications, 1960-2020, includes the bulk of the collection’s materials arranged alphabetically by title and then chronologically. Series 2: Student publications, 2021-Present, includes the following titles: “The Forge” [Vol. 3 -], “The George Mason Review” [Vol. 31 -], “Hispanic Culture Review” [Vol. 29], “Phoebe” [Vol.50 -], “So to Speak” [Vol. 31 -], “Storyline”, and “Volition” [Vol. 31 -].


“Madonna and Child” print by Friedrich Karl Rupprecht, after Zanetti, after Parmigianino chiaroscuro woodcut, C0418

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

Friedrich Karl Rupprecht 19th century printed copy of a chiaroscuro woodcut by Antonio Maria Zanetti I, after a drawing by Parmigianino. Elaborate ink signature on back of print, possibly reading L & L Baskin, dated 1965. Chiaroscuro woodcut printmaking was developed in Germany and expanded upon in Italy in the early 1500s and is one of the earliest color printing processes. The term “chiaroscuro” is a combination of the Italian words for “chiaro” meaning light and “scuro” meaning shade. Rather than the hand application of color ink to an impression printed in black ink, chiaroscuro woodcuts created images using multiple woodblocks that layered color tones to create the image, traditionally shades of brown, ochre, olive, green, gray, and other earth tones. Interest in the technique waned and had virtually died out by the late 1600s, but a group of Venetian printmakers led to a revival of interest in the 1700s. Antonio Maria Zanetti I (also known as the Elder) is considered one of these key revivers of the chiaroscuro woodcut. Born in 1680, Zanetti began experimenting with the technique in the 1720s by reproducing drawings by Parmigianino (also known as Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola), a 16th century Italian painter, etcher, and engraver. German born painter and engraver Friedrich Karl Rupprecht (1779-1831) also revived the chiaroscuro woodcut technique in the 19th century by making prints after Italian artists.


Cover of Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet, United States and Canada Tour souvenir program, 1951-1952, C0417


Mary Lavigne programs collection, C0417

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

A collection of opera, ballet, concert, art exhibition, and theatrical programs for performances and events in New York City, Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and various international locations attended by Mary Lavigne. In 1884, New York businessman Frank Vance Strauss created the first company to specialize in printing theatrical programs, introducing the standard format for theatrical programs still in use today. Known in 1911 as the “Strauss Magazine Theatre Program”, the publication would formally adopt the name “The Playbill” in 1934. These higher quality programs led to a new practice of keeping and collecting programs as souvenirs, leading to the creation of specially produced “Souvenir Programs”. The collection’s programs include a mix of types including colorful souvenir booklets and Broadway Playbill editions. Most programs include various inserts, including cast change notices and newspaper clippings, which have been removed and placed in the folder with the program. A number of the programs were also originally grouped into two small binders. All of these specifics have been noted at the folder level where applicable.


Six mounted photographs of the Library of Congress by Levin C. Handy, C0420

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

Six mounted photographs of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., by photographer Levin C. Handy. Levin Corbin Handy (1855-1932) began work as an apprentice to photographer Mathew B. Brady at his Washington, D.C. studio in 1867 and by 1871 had established his own photographic business in the city. Between 1880-1896 his studio documented the construction of the Library of Congress’ new building. Based on the Paris Opera House, this new building was viewed at the time as an example of “Italian Renaissance” architecture, but today is considered an example of the “Beaux Arts” style, defined by its heavily ornamental and theatrical features. The new Library of Congress building opened on November 1, 1897 and was known simply as the Library of Congress or Main Building until it was named for Thomas Jefferson in 1980. Locations and details depicted in the photographs include the following: Building Exterior, Reading Room, North Stairway – Main Entrance Hall, Gallery Floor – Main Entrance Hall, Stair Hall Reading Room Gallery – Main Entrance (including view of “Mosaic of Minerva” by Elihu Vedder), and the Main Entrance Hall.


Detail of a page from the Silent movie star scrapbook, C0419


Silent movie star scrapbook, C0419

Collection processed by Meghan Glasbrenner

A marble covered scrapbook containing clippings of a variety of silent movie stars. Images are primarily circular headshots, with some full body or promotional film stills, and are pasted onto lined pages, with two additional images pasted to the inside and outside of the back cover. The silent era of film dates from roughly the introduction of the film medium in the late 1800s through the late 1920s and refers to those movies made without synchronized sound. By 1912 advancements in film technology and editing within the United States allowed for filmmakers to begin using multiple reels of film for a single movie, leading to the growth of the American film industry and the introduction of the feature-length film. These newly expanded stories, combined with organized and higher budget studio productions, also led to the rise of the first movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Clara Bow. The introduction of synchronous sound into feature films (also known as “talkies”) in 1927 is traditionally considered the end of the silent film era and in many cases the end of the box office power of many silent movie stars. The scrapbook contains images of a large number of movie stars, mostly female, including May Allison, Alice Brady, Billie Burke, Ethel Clayton, Betty Compson, Dorothy Gish, Jack Holt, Marilyn Miller, Tom Mix, Mae Murray, Mary Pickford, Ruth Roland, Gloria Swanson, Blanche Sweet, Norma Talmadge, and Rudolph Valentino.


George Mason University Office of the President records, R0019

Reprocessed, inventoried, and finding aid data entry by Lana Mason and finding aid date entry and publishing completed by Robert Vay.

The George Mason University Office of the President records contains a broad spectrum of materials originating within, received, or accessed by the George Mason University (GMU) Office of the President. These materials include, but are not limited to, correspondence, studies, reports, speeches, meetings minutes, scrapbooks, audio-visual media and photographs. The collection contains materials from the institution’s beginning in 1949 as a subsidiary of the University of Virginia through the early 2010s. These materials chart the development, both culturally and physically, of the institution through the lens of its directors’, chancellor’s and presidents’ correspondence, reports, and other administrative documents. In addition to providing information about GMU’s academic and physical development, the collection provides a view of the sociocultural development of Northern Virginia and, by extension, the United States. Notable moments and cultural shifts in American history, such as the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, diversity awareness, and the September 11 attacks are referenced within collection materials.

The collection contains 8 series. Series 1: Annual Reports contains the George Mason annual reports, compiled by the sitting college director or, later, university president. These reports documented the rate of change during George Mason’s first twenty years. Series 2: Early History contains correspondence, reports, campus development plans, and other documentation produced during George Mason’s early years under directors John Norville Gibson Finley and Robert Reid. The remaining series (3-8) contain materials from the tenure of presidents Lorin A. Thompson (1902-1999), Vergil H. Dykstra (1925-2010), Robert C. Krug (1918-2006), George W. Johnson (1928-2017), Alan G. Merten (1941-2020), and Ángel Cabrera (1967- ) respectively.


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