The Drama Department Records (1914-2011) document the history, development, and current activity of San Diego State University's Drama Department, now
named the School of Theatre, Television and Film, with an emphasis on the department’s numerous yearly dramatic productions.
These files highlight the department’s evolution from a small program with one small theater, to a large, independent department,
capable of staging large-scale professional plays. Particularly noteworthy are the numerous production photographs, which
document the sometimes understated and other times intricate stage and costume designs of the department’s many performances.
The majority of the materials date from the late 1950s to the 1990s, with only a few items dating as early as 1914. The
collection includes photographs, box office receipts, mailing lists, promotional materials, departmental curricula, correspondence,
posters, office memoranda, building specifications, programs, slides, and production files. The collection is divided into
four series: Administrative Files (1923-2006), Production Files (1914-2011), Production and Departmental Slides (1947-1981), and Department Exhibits (1995-2000).
Since San Diego State’s inception as the San Diego Normal School, the dramatic arts have always been an important part of
the curriculum. Prior to the Second World War, the English Department administered all dramatic arts courses. After the
war, however, with rapidly increasing enrollment, San Diego State created an independent Speech Arts Department. This new
department offered a major and minor in Speech Arts, with a focus on the dramatic arts and speech communication. The comprehensive
curriculum prepared students for careers in teaching as well as for careers in professional and community theater. The department
offered courses and associate bachelor’s degrees in dramatic production and stage design as well. In 1965, construction began
on the new Speech Arts building, which included facilities capable of staging complete operatic and dramatic performances.
By the late 1960s, radio and television courses became a part of the curriculum as well.
The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature
of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.
Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish
must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted,
permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are
made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the
materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
This collection is open for research.