Richman, Harry (1895-1972)
NOTE: All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Several days' advance notice is required for retrieval.
The Harry Richman collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, printed material, audio recordings, personal memorabilia, artwork, and other items.
Manuscripts in the collection include material related to The Harry Richman Story by Richman himself, including outlines and drafts with annotations. Other manuscript material includes a draft Wake Up America by Richman.
Correspondence dates from 1934 to 1972 and includes letters, cards, invitations, telegrams, and autograph books. Notable correspondents include Frank Murphy, J. Edgar Hoover, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Kathleen Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy, Ed Sullivan, Cordell Hull, Lord Edward Stanley, Robert P. Patterson, Maurice Chevalier, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby.
Photographs include several albums in addition to various photos and portraits. Some photo albums feature pictures of Richman in the films Rolling Along and Puttin' on the Ritz; there is also a group of photos concerning the 1936 Richman-Merrill trans-Atlantic flight in the Lady Peace. Notables featured include Mary Pickford, Joan Bennett, Walter Winchell, Buster Keaton, Andy Devine, Bob Hope, John F. Kennedy, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Charlie Chaplin.
Printed material in the collection includes scrapbooks filled with news clippings dated from 1926 to 1966, many of which pertain to the Richman-Merrill trans-Atlantic flight. Additional news clippings date through 1969. Other printed items include sheet music and piano scores, including a 1929 copy of "Puttin’ On the Ritz" by Irving Berlin, with Richman's picture on the cover.
Audio recordings include albums of recordings by Richman, including recordings of "I Just Roll Along," "Ain't She Sweet," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Ro-Ro-Rolling Along," "Puttin' On The Ritz," and many others, as well as numerous additional albums featuring notables such as Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Mae West. Other albums are sorted by label and include Decca Records, Capitol Records, Victor Records, MGM Records, Mercury Records, and Columbia Records. There is also a tape by J. Edgar Hoover labeled "A Christmas Greeting to Harry Richman."
Personal memorabilia includes various awards and certificates presented to Richman, including honorary gold and silver badge awards from numerous police and sheriff's departments across the country; as well as material specifically related to aviation, including reports, photographs, maps, flight logs, certificates of membership from numerous pilots’ associations, and other memorabilia related to flight.
Artwork in the collection includes several drawings, of Harry Richman and of various other subjects, by artist Helen Maude Mace, with whom Richman often corresponded later in his life.
Other items include a ping-pong ball used during Richman and Dick Merrill's transatlantic flight, signed by both Richman and Merrill; a report of a physical examination for Harry Richman from the US armed forces; and a large wooden propeller purported to be used during the Richman's trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Portugal.