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Alan and Joyce Rudolph Papers, 1972 - 2011

35 Linear Feet (57 manuscript boxes and 7 flat oversize boxes)

The Rudolph papers include scripts, articles and clippings, publicity and press materials, books, photographs, artifacts/realia, audio and moving image materials, posters, awards, and branded crew garments and caps from many of Alan Rudolph's projects. Photographer Joyce Rudolph is represented by hundreds of professional and personal slides and photographs, including many candid on-set shots.

The collection consists of professional and personal correspondence, assorted clippings, film festival awards and memorabilia, and scripts and production documents related to Alan Rudolph's filmmaking career, spanning his early work in Riot (1969), through 2002's The Secret Lives of Dentists. Also included are a plethora of documents from various unproduced projects. In the Artifacts and Graphics series are a small selection of props from Rudolph's films, most notably The Moderns, along with an assortment of film cast and crew branded gear, including caps, shirts, and jackets, movie posters, and a representation of some of the numerous awards won by the Rudolphs.

A small sub-series of material devoted to friend and mentor, Robert Altman, consists of articles and reviews, assorted programs, and, most notably, photographs taken by Joyce Rudolph.

Joyce Rudolph is represented by hundreds of her professional and sought-after on-set photographs, company stills, and candid shots, all taken during the filming of projects by Alan Rudolph and a wide variety of other notable filmmakers.

A series of Audio and Moving Image material consists of several VHS tapes, several movie video disks as well as two soundtracks. The Artwork series contains an assortment of drawings and paintings, most likely created by Alan Rudolph, along with two large acrylic paintings used as props in The Moderns.


Matthias papers, April 1834-11 June 1835

7 items

The Matthias papers are a small, miscellaneous collection of letters and documents relating to Robert Matthias (a.k.a. Robert Matthews), the leader of the Kingdom of Matthias cult. They touch upon the lives and circumstances of Matthias; his wife, Margaret Matthias; cult follower Benjamin Folger; and Matthias’ legal counsel, Henry Western and N. Nye Hall.

The Matthias papers include seven miscellaneous items: three letters from Robert Matthias’ wife, Margaret, to his legal counsel, Henry Western; two letters to Robert Matthias while he was living in Sing Sing, New York; and two legal documents. A full description of each item is located in the Detailed Box and Folder Listing.


R. W. Benson journal, 1905–1906

54 pages

This journal describing a train trip through the South and a winter spent in Florida was compiled by R. W. Benson from letters written to her daughter.

This journal describing a train trip through the South and a winter spent in Florida was compiled by R. W. Benson from letters written to her daughter, Miss Clara Benson of Wellesley, Mass. Mrs. Benson might have copied her letters before sending them, but it seems more likely that she borrowed the letters at a later date in order to create a book recording her winter "dropped into a world of orange trees." Mrs. Benson also pasted in the postcards she sent to her daughter, as well as some wildflowers she had enclosed in one letter.

Seven of the cards are picture postcards of places Mrs. Benson visited. She took pains to place herself within the context of the scene depicted: "We circumnavigated the citadel. We walked where you see a man walking," she noted on the front of the postcard of the Tampa Bay Hotel. On two cards illustrating scenes from Havana, R. W. Benson made intriguing allusions to living in or taking an extended visit to Cuba in 1867. Two of the actual letters to Clara are included as well. There is a gap from January 27, the last copied letter, to April 8, the date of the next, and final letter, indicating that this journal does not represent the complete correspondence. Two calling cards, an envelope of pressed wildflowers, and a New Year's greeting are laid in the volume.

Mrs. Benson's letters do not progress in a linear fashion, but often return to and retell the same stories in quite different ways. Some events obviously upset her. When two ladies dawdled in the dressing-room on the train, she was in an "awful flurry" to dress herself and Lydia before the train reached Tampa. She also mulled over losing her pocket-book at the Hotel minutes before departing for Thonotosassa. More pleasant recollections were also repeated in her letters. She was enraptured by the young William Draper, "the 'saving grace' in our 'Old Folk's Concert,'" often mentioning his willingness to help and his broad shoulders.

Delight in the natural world fills her letters, from more traditional observations of the lovely view of the lake to curious descriptions of how the oranges looked "quite social in the nice top-sail breeze" one day and "sullen and belligerent" in the "glimmering sun" of a still day. She described twilight, "which as usual in southern climes is short," as "a mere wave of the hand." When writing about a walk among "frequent cypresses with their mourning moss trailing," she stopped her narrative of the walk to reflect that while "on the other trees the long trailing moss swaying in the wind seems quite a cheerful decoration, on the cypress it seems like mourning."

R. W. Benson also discussed the temperature in great detail, no doubt reveling in the balmy weather she was experiencing. She often mentioned what layers of underwear she had either removed or put on: "I prophesied we would soon discard all underwear, but when I had taken a sponge bath I found I wanted some underclothes, after all."