Skip to main content

Virgil Lyle Baker Theater Records

 Collection
Identifier: MS B177 314

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, notes, lists, speeches, drawings, photographs, clippings, playbills and other published material pertaining to the careers and the professional interests and activities of Virgil L. Baker, professor and head of the University of Arkansas Department of Speech and Dramatic Art (1929-1952), and of his wife, Lillian Bay Barker (1898-1978), instructor in the department 1936-37 and 1943-44, especially in regards to the University of Arkansas theater, the University of Iowa theater, and various Fayetteville, Arkansas community theater groups.

Preserved as Series 6 are electrostatic copies of selected original materials salvaged from deteriorated scrapbooks and discarded subsequent to copying. Entire contents of original scrapbooks are preserved on microfilm. Few of the photographs are identified as to date, place, or content, and few of the clippings are identified by name and/or date of newspaper or journal.

Dates

  • Creation: 1926-1940, 1965

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Virgil Lyle Baker was born August 18, 1896, in Prescott, Iowa and died June 5, 1974 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned the A.B. degree from Muskingham College, New Concord, Ohio in 1929 and the M.A. degree from the University of Illinois in 1937, and did further graduate study at the University of Iowa. Appointed assistant professor of speech and dramatic arts at the University of Arkansas in 1929, he was promoted to associate professor in 1937 and to professor in 1952. From 1929 to 1952 he served as head of the University's Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, and in 1953 he retired. During his teaching career he directed may plays for the University Theatre, and also coached the University debating team. In 1946 he established the first chapter of the National Collegiate Players honor society in Arkansas, and in 1959 he was honored by the American Theatre Association for distinguished work in the production of new plays and for the encouragement of new playwrights. A list of plays written by Baker is appended here.

Lillian Bay Barker was born January 29, 1898, in Cumberland, Ohio and died May 23, 1978 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned the A.B. degree from Muskingham College and the M.A. degree from the University of Arkansas. During the academic years 1936-37 and 1943-44 she served at the rank of instructor, as acting head of the University of Arkansas Department of Speech and Dramatic Arts. Long active in community and children's theater in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she also taught for a time at Tarkio College in Missouri and, following her husband's retirement, worked as a speech therapist at the University of Arkansas and in the Fayetteville public schools.

Plays by Virgil Lyle Baker:

  1. The Woods Colt, produced 1934 (an adaptation of the novel by Thomas Williamson).
  2. This Woman, unproduced, not published, 1936.
  3. Old Captain, published by Samuel French, New York, 1937.
  4. Spanish Diggins, published in William Kozlinko's Contemporary One Act Plays, Charles Schribner and Sons, New York, 1938.
  5. Witchin Racket, published in L.O. Snook and E. Edinburn's Fifth Yearbook of Short Plays, Row Peterson and Co., Evanston, Illinois, 1939.
  6. Ever the Twain Shall Meet, published in L.O. Snook and E. Edinburn's Fifth Yearbook of Short Plays, Row Peterson and Co., Evanston, Illinois, 1939.
  7. By Adoption, not published, 1940.
  8. The Ring, published by Samuel French, New York, 1940.
  9. Strawberry Blonde, not published, 1940.
  10. When the Sap's A-Runnin', published in One Act Plays Magazine, February 1940.
  11. Knights of the Golden Circle, unproduced, not published, 1945.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Arrangement of the Papers

Arranged and inventoried in seven series.

  1. Series 1. Records Pertaining to University of Arkansas Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, 1930-1940, 1965
  2. Series 2. Records Pertaining to Other Professional Interests, 1935-1940
  3. Series 3. Records Pertaining to Virgil Lyle Baker's Academic Training at University of Iowa, 1936-1937.
  4. Series 4. Personal Correspondence, 1935.
  5. Series 5. Collected Materials (Playbills, Bulletins, Notices, etc.), 1930-1940.
  6. Series 6. Scrapbooks, 1926-1939; Selected correspondence, notes, lists, photographs, clippings, playbills and other material salvaged from scrapbooks subsequent to microfilming, and preserved in xerox copy.
  7. Series 7. Items added to collection June 24, 1982.

Acquisition Information

The Virgil Lyle Baker Theater Records were donated to Special Collections in October 1978 by his son, Virgil L. Baker, Jr., of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Addition items (Series 7) were added to the collection June 24, 1982.

Processing Information

Processed by Samuel Sizer; completed in June 1981.

Title
Virgil Lyle Baker Theater Records
Status
Completed
Author
Samuel Sizer
Date
June 1981
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444