Norton, Elliot (1903-2003)
Scope:
The Elliot Norton collection consists of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, printed material, personal memorabilia, and other items.
 
Correspondence in the collection is extensive. It includes numerous letters from various actors, playwrights, directors and others associated Norton’s work as a drama critic. The letters date from 1930 to 1994. Notable correspondents are too numerous to list in full; they include Edward Albee, Eric Bentley, Irving Berlin, Robert Brustein, Al Capp, Kitty Carlisle, Carol Channing, Paddy Chayefsky, Noel Coward, Hume Cronyn, Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Durante, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Jose Ferrer, Henry Fonda, Greer Garson, Larry Gelbart, Ruth Gordon, Oscar Hammerstein II, Julie Harris, Moss Hart, Lillian Hellman, Katherine Hepburn, J. Edgar Hoover, Elia Kazan, David Mamet, Ethel Merman, Jo Mielziner, Laurence Olivier, Luise Rainer, Richard Rodgers, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Lily Tomlin.

The collection also includes a series of letters and notes to Norton and his wife from their daughter, Jane Hardy, and granddaughter Pamela, during the latter’s student years at Fairfield University; these date from 1992 to 1994.
 
Several subject files in the collection pertain to Norton’s many affiliations with the major American theater organizations and drama critic groups of his time. He served as a founding member, president, or committee member or most of these groups at one time or another. The files include manuscripts, correspondence, printed items, notes, and other material.

Notable subjects include Norton’s Boston College Seminar of 1963, which includes letters from Ralph Bellamy, Elia Kazan, Richard Rodgers, Rosalind Russell, and others; the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Sciences (1966-1976); and the Boston Press Club (Norton was President from 1950 to 1952). Other subject files pertain to Norton’s numerous awards and honors, and contain correspondence, programs, and publicity material. In addition, there is a file regarding Norton’s book of collected lectures, Broadway Down East (published by the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1978); and a few files regarding Norton’s tours abroad.
 
Manuscripts by Norton in the collection include several lectures regarding theatre, dating from 1948 to 1949 and delivered at various (mostly educational) institutions in the Boston area. Also present is material includes transcripts and other documents for the television show Elliot Norton Reviews, which aired over 1,100 shows on Channel 2, Boston between 1958 and 1982.

Other radio and television manuscripts date from 1963 to 1982, and include reviews and interviews, including interviews with Tennesee Williams, Mary Martin, and Bob Hope.

Other manuscripts by Norton include notes for the courses he taught at Boston University (1954-1974); and various other reviews and interviews (1951-1984).
 
Printed material in the collection includes a few clippings of writings by Norton published in the Boston Post, Boston Herald American, and the Boston Globe, dating from 1952-1988. Also present are several clippings of items about Norton, mentioning him, or sent to him by others.

 
Personal memorabilia in the collection includes the George Jean Nathan Award for dramatic criticism, awarded to Norton for 1963-1964; and honorary degrees for Norton from Harvard University, Boston University, and Boston College.
 
Other material in the collection includes an appointment calendar from 1969; audio and video recordings, including a videotape of a television appearance by playwright Neil Simon where he credits Norton with suggesting improvements to Simon’s play The Odd Couple (1991) as well as four cassette tapes of interviews with Norton (2001); a portrait photograph of Norton; a poster regarding the dedication of Elliot Norton Park (1977).

CLICK BELOW TO VIEW THE INVENTORY OF THE COLLECTION
Notable Figures
1. Norton, Elliot, 1903-
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Theater -- United States -- Reviews
3. Authors, American
4. Theater critics – United States
5. Theater – United States
6. American literature--20th century