The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questions

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Darren Nemeth
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The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questions

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Wed May 17, 2017 4:28 pm

I understand that a copy of the script of "The Widow Jones" starring May Irwin, who re-enacted her role for "The Kiss" (1896) film, may be still around and was brought back to the stage a few times, IIRC.

Do other plays from the turn of the century also still exist on paper? Did authors and playwrights need to deposit a copy of their scrips to the LoC for copyright or do plays that far back survive just by chance?
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wich2
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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by wich2 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:16 am

Darren, as in the film arena, lots of scripts survive because of collectors.

Check online sales sources, etc.

-Craig

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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by Feufollet » Thu May 18, 2017 10:57 am

There's an interesting assortment here:

https://www.nypl.org/voices/blogs/blog- ... nth?page=1" target="_blank

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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Mon May 22, 2017 5:29 pm

Feufollet wrote:There's an interesting assortment here:

https://www.nypl.org/voices/blogs/blog- ... nth?page=1" target="_blank" target="_blank
Thanks.

I am seeing entries online in LoC "Catalog of Copyright Entries" books for plays. Some are noted as having two copies on deposit.

Were complete play scripts deposited with the LoC for copyright reasons and do they still exist?

Sorry for the basic questions but this is a subject totally new to me.
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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by CoffeeDan » Tue May 23, 2017 12:02 am

This may seem like a stupid question, but -- do you live near a big city library? I would check there before I check anywhere else. I've found a lot of obscure late-19th-century and early-20th-century plays here in the Cincinnati public library system -- some in the stacks, some in the rare book collections, even some bound screenplays.

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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by Wm. Charles Morrow » Tue May 23, 2017 11:50 am

I work at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, NYC, and while I can't answer your copyright questions, I can tell you that we have lots of 19th and 20th century plays here, and additional copies stored off-site. In most cases they can't be checked out, but must be examined here in the building.

For what it's worth, we have a typescript of Act 2 of The Widow Jones, but not the first act.
-- Charlie Morrow

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Re: The Widow Jones (May Irwin) and other 1890s play questio

Unread post by Darren Nemeth » Wed May 24, 2017 10:21 pm

Thanks everyone!
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