Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950)
Scope:
The George Bernard Shaw collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, legal material, photographs, printed material, and other items.

Correspondence in the collection is extensive, containing letters to and from Shaw dating from 1885 to 1950. Many of Shaw’s letters touch on Socialism, the Fabians, meetings, strikes, and various political issues; there are also some letters touching on literary and theatrical matters. Among the more notable letters is a 1925 letter to John Barrymore denouncing Barrymore’s performance of Hamlet. One section of the correspondence consists of letters between Shaw and Sydney W. Carroll (theatre manager, film critic, and author), most related to productions of The Six of Calais, Androcles and the Lion, and Caesar and Cleopatra at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, which Carroll founded in 1933; the letters date from 1934-1938. Another section of correspondence consists of letters, manuscripts, proofs, statements, etc. related to Shaw’s business association with M. S. Wilde (Director, British and International Press, Ltd.); these letters date from 1936 to 1939. The collection also includes correspondence between Shaw and F. E. Loewenstein, related to the Shaw Society and Loewenstein’s Shaw bibliography (1942-1950) and other miscellaneous correspondence.

Manuscripts by Shaw in the collection include “Covent Garden, 1888,” a draft of an article (in the form of a letter of complaint to the manager of the Covent Garden Opera House); items regarding The Philanderer (1894), including a handwritten draft of the last page with stage directions (different from the published version of the play), a license for the performance, and a receipt for payment to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office (both dated 1898); Shaw’s preface to the 1908 reprint of Fabian Essays, in the form of pages taken from the printed volume, along with a letter and a receipt for payment (1908-1909); a draft of a review of an article by H. G. Wells (1922; Wells’ reply to this review is present in his papers at the Gotlieb Center); a short manuscript regarding The Devil’s Disciple (1930); an essay in the form of a letter to the editor of Drama (1937); draft of an essay titled “How to Deal With the Jewish Difficulty” (ca. 1939); draft of an addition to the chapter on women in Hesketh Parson’s biography of Shaw (ca. 1942); a handwritten, signed note, refusing to give an autograph (1947); a draft of a statement titled “Thought and Action in Ireland To-Day” (1948); a pencil-drawn floor plan sketch for Pygmalion; and other writings. In addition, there are several manuscripts by others in the collection, with Shaw’s comments, replies, or statements included; these include articles about Shaw and his plays, interviews of Shaw, political statements seeking his approval, and other items.

Legal material in the collection includes license agreements for the performances of Shaw’s plays (1935-1949); and documents regarding Shaw’s copyrights (1928-1950).

Photographs in the collection consist of various images of Shaw. These include a portrait photo by Frederick Hollyer, signed by Shaw (1886); a photo of Shaw with Henry Halliday Sparling (May Morris’ husband; ca. 1885-1893); a portrait photo of Shaw by Raphael, signed by Shaw (1928); a post card photo of Shaw, initialed by Shaw (1947); a magazine reproduction of a photo, signed by Shaw; and the proof of a photo of Shaw by Madame Yevonde.

Printed material in the collection includes printed statement by Shaw, regarding capital punishment, temperance, the alphabet, and aging; a proof of an article titled “Playwrights and Amateurs”; an advertisement and order form for The New Statesman, featuring a special supplement on the war by Shaw (1914); programs for plays by Shaw (1904, 1945, 1973, 1979); a poster for the Janus Films release of the film version of Pygmalion; and two printed items regarding Shaw by Dan H. Lawrence.

Other material in the collection includes material regarding the history of the Shaw family in Ireland, including several letters; and a letter to Mrs. Bernard Shaw from John Dulanty, High Commissioner for the Irish Free State, regarding citizenship requirements (1936).
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Notable Figures
1. Shaw, George Bernard, 1856-1950
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Irish Collections Subject Guide
3. Irish drama -- 20th century
4. Dramatists, Irish
5. Dramatists
6. Irish literature – 20th century
7. Photographs