Preston, Robert (1918-1987)
Scope:
The Robert Preston collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, personal memorabilia, printed materials, film and video materials, audio materials, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Manuscripts in the collection include various scripts and sheet music for works such as The Music Man and Victor/Victoria.

Correspondence in the collection is extensive, and includes both personal and professional correspondence dated between 1938 and 1991, some undated. Much of the correspondence involves The Music Man, but there is also a substantial selection of condolence letters from after Preston’s death. Notable correspondents include Julie Andrews, James Garner, Jack Lemmon, Rosalind Russell, Marion Lorne, and many others.

Personal memorabilia in the collection includes Preston’s high school yearbooks, theatre memorabilia including Hirschfeld drawings, a framed logo, and a small oil painting of Preston, Preston’s shoes and conductor’s baton from The Magic Man, and a signature embosser. Also included are miscellaneous awards, certificates, programs, and nominations.

Printed material in the collection includes playbills, programs, publicity, and clippings for many of Preston’s works, posters for works such as Nobody Loves an Albatross, The Music Man, Ben Franklin in Paris, and Mack and Mabel, an issue of Pasadena Playhouse News from 1938, and a bound booklet of “Hollywood’s Foremost Radio Ambassador.”

Film and video in the collection includes videocassettes for works such as Beau Geste, The Chisholms, and How the West Was Won.

Audio in the collection includes phonograph records for Ben Franklin in Paris, Chicken Fat, The Democratic Party, Mack and Mabel, The Music Man, and other productions, an 8-track cartridge for The Music Man, and audio cassettes including an interview with Preston.

Photographs in the collection include personal photographs of Preston’s childhood, wedding, and WWII service, publicity and production photographs for many of Preston’s works, large photographs of Preston with Claudette Colbert, Imogene Coca, Claude Dauphin, and Margaret Sullavan, and mounted photographs of The Music Man covers of Time and Life Magazines.

Scrapbooks in the collection include materials from Preston’s time at Lincoln High School and the Pasadena Playhouse, clips and playbills for many of Preston’s works, material from Preston’s World War II service, Preston’s Broadway productions, a fan’s scrapbook, and many other materials.
Notable Figures
1. Preston, Robert, 1918-1987
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Musical films
3. Actors -- United States
4. Acting
5. Scripts
6. Scrapbooks
7. Programs
8. Music
9. Photographs
10. Motion pictures