Richard Mullins collection of "Arsenic and Old Lace" memorabilia

RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Historical Information for Dramatic Club of Gallaudet College
Scope and Content
Arrangement
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Title
Richard Mullins collection of "Arsenic and Old Lace" memorabilia
Creator - Collector
Mullins, Richard
Inclusive Date(s)
circa 1942
Abstract
Richard Mullins collection of “Arsenic and Old Lace” memorabilia contains a script, program, photographs and newsclippings about the 1942 production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” performed by Gallaudet University Dramatic Club performers at the Fulton Theater in New York City. This was the first play performed in a public theater by all deaf actors in sign language.
Extent
1.0 Linear feet (1 box )
Location
C. S. Mid-Range Shelf 335
Repository
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557
raswml@rit.edu
Language
English

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Historical Information for Dramatic Club of Gallaudet College (Collapse)

Staged by the Dramatic Club of Gallaudet College, "Arsenic and Old Lace" is the first Broadway hit by an all deaf cast. The performance in New York, May 10, 1942 at the Fulton Theatre in New York City was the first public presentation of a play in sign language ever to be seen in the United States. The performance was expected to be attended primarily by deaf theatergoers, but seats were available for the hearing as well so they could see how the deaf adapted to the field of dramatics.

Gallaudet University traces its roots to The Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind chartered by Congress in 1857. In 1864, Congress passed, and Lincoln signed the enabling act, authorizing the Institution to grant and confirm college degrees in the liberal arts and sciences. In 1894 the college was renamed for Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, an early promoter of deaf education in this country.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

Richard Mullins collection of "Arsenic and Old Lace" memorabilia consists of the papers of Richard Mullins, alumnus of Gallaudet University, later acquired by Stephen Baldwin. Mr. Mullins was an actor who participated in Gallaudet’s Dramatic Club, including a production of “Arsenic and Old Lace,” performed at the Fulton Theater in New York City. It was the first time a play was presented by deaf actors and actresses in sign language in a public theater. Included in the collection are a script of the play, programs from "Arsenic and Old Lace" and other plays, newsclippings and correspondence from 1939-1942, and 1989.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection is arranged by series, then chronologically.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Richard Mullins collection of “Arsenic and Old Lace” memorabilia

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Mullins, Richard
  • Baldwin, Stephen

Corporate Name(s)

  • Fulton Theatre (Organization : New York, N.Y.).
  • Gallaudet College Dramatics Club.

Subject(s)

  • Deaf -- History
  • Deaf actors
  • Deaf college students
  • Deafness -- Drama
  • Theater

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Richard Mullins collection of “Arsenic and Old Lace” memorabilia, RIT Deaf Studies Archive

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID

RITDSA.0071

Accession Information

Richard Mullins collection of “Arsenic and Old Lace” memorabilia was donated to the RIT Deaf Studies Archive by Stephen Baldwin in February 2012. Accession number(s): 2012:13

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in April 2012.

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