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Dramatic societies records

 Record Group
Identifier: 5SE

Scope and Content of the Collection

Records include files, ledgers and scripts. The files include correspondence, programs, "Echos from the Minute Book of the J.D.S.," and the "Clay M. Greene Players" pamphlets, and scripts. Ledgers include the "Records of the Junior Dramatic Society, S.C.C. 1875-1877", and scripts, the play "Elma," 1884, and the Dramatic Society's "Sedecias" and "Manasses" 1871. The printed scripts include "Laurence and Xystus," "Oberammergau," "Pizzaro," "How to Pay the Rent" and others.


  • 1852-1951



The collection is open for research. There are no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.

Organizational History

The Dramatic Society was first formally established during the 1870-71 academic year, however theatrical productions at Santa Clara date back to the school's earliest days. Student performances were considered integral to the Jesuit tradition of "Eloquentia Perfecta" and were promoted to encourage students to develop public speaking skills. Primarily religious and historical in nature, a major dramatic production was staged each year so a large number of the student body could participate. In addition, before athletic competition came to predominate extracurricular student life, these dramatic productions provided much needed entertainment for the students and faculty. Performances included "The Mission Play of Santa Clara", "The Light Eternal" by Marin V. Merle '06, "The Passion Play of Santa Clara" and "The Weaver of Tarsus" by Clay M. Green, 1869. Courses in dramatics were first taught at Santa Clara in 1956 when the Department of Speech and Drama was established. A major leading to a degree in drama was established in 1964.

Organizational History

Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name. Bibliography: Santa Clara University. “About SCU – History.” (Accessed Nov. 23, 2010) McKevitt, Gerald, S.J. The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851-1977. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.


1 linear feet (1 linear feet (3 boxes))

Language of Materials



Records are arranged by series: Files--Box 1; Ledgers--Box 2; Printed Scripts--Box 3.

Physical Location

This collection is located in Santa Clara University Library's Archives & Special Collections.

Language of Materials


Processing Information

Collection processed prior to 2020. Legacy collection data migrated from existing MARC records by Evan Rabinowitz in 2020. Please consult Archives & Special Collections staff regarding the existence of container lists or other finding aids for this collection.

Guide to dramatic societies records
In Progress
Legacy collection data migrated from existing MARC records by Evan Rabinowitz in 2020. Reviewed by Nadia Nasr.
© 2020 Santa Clara University. All rights reserved.
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University Library Repository

Santa Clara University Library
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara California 95053-0500 USA US