Cleveland Public Library. Literature Department

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The Cleveland Public Library Literature Department contains materials related to classic and contemporary fiction, poetry, drama, cinema, radio, television, theater, literary criticism and biography, writing and journalism, printing and publishing, library and information science, humor, and public speaking. Currently, the Literature Department holds over 500,000 volumes and has a collecting emphasis on materials pertaining to American and English literature and local theater and authors.

Before 1913, two departments, Circulating and Reference, existed in the Cleveland Public Library (CPL). When the library moved to the Kinney and Levan Building in 1913, subject departments, including a Literature Department, replaced this structure. With the opening of the current library location at 325 Superior Avenue in 1925, the Literature Department was located on the first floor. The Louis Stokes Wing was completed in 1997, and the Literature Department temporarily relocated to the seventh floor of the Louis Stokes Wing while remodeling of the Main Library Building occurred. With the completion of the remodeling in 1999, the Literature Department moved to the second floor of the Main Library Building where it currently resides.

The first Head of the Literature Department, Nellie M. Luehrs, served until 1942. Marie C. Corrigan, who began working for CPL in 1923, replaced Luehrs and acted as Head of the Literature Department until 1968. Following Corrigan, Jay W. Beswick, whose career with CPL began in 1938, served as Head of the Literature Department until 1978. Lucille Troph, who worked for CPL beginning in 1941, acted as Head of the Literature Department briefly from 1978 to 1982. After Troph retired, Evelyn Ward, whose career with CPL began in 1959, served as Head of the Literature Department from 1983 until 2006. From 2006 to 2011, Ron Antonucci was Head of the Literature Department. At present, Amy Dawson serves as the Manager of the Literature Department and the Ohio Center for the Book.

The Literature Department's strengths are in American and English literature and in theater and film. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the library collected theater-and film-related materials in both the Literature and Fine Arts Departments, but some staff desired to combine materials in the two departments into a dedicated theater collection. This goal was achieved in 1961 when the Literature Department established the William F. McDermott Memorial Theatre Collection after the widow of William McDermott, drama critic at the Plain Dealer, donated his materials to CPL. The Literature Department also added theater-related items from the Fine Arts Department to its collection. Other notable collections found in the Literature Department include the Leo Weidenthal Collection of Theatrical Memorabilia, which contains numerous programs, photographs, books, and other resources (acquired in 1968); the Wertheimer Collection of Theater Programs, which was donated in 1971; the W. Ward Marsh Cinema Archives, which consists of photographs, stills, and movie reviews belonging to the late Plain Dealer movie critic; and the John L. Price, Jr. Musicarnival Archive, which includes materials related to Musicarnival, Inc., the Cleveland-based tent theater company.


"Cleveland Public Library." The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Last modified September 23, 2004.

Cleveland Public Library Archives.

From the guide to the Cleveland Public Library Literature Department Correspondence and Reference Forms, 1951-2006, 2000-2004, (Cleveland Public Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Maude, 1872-1953 person
associatedWith Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937 person
associatedWith Barrymore, Ethel, 1879-1959 person
associatedWith Barry, Philip, 1896-1949 person
associatedWith Bell, Archie, 1877-1943 person
associatedWith Bellew, Kyrle, 1855-1911 person
associatedWith Boston Symphony Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Buffalo Chamber Music Society corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Institute of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Plain Dealer (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Play House (Organization : Cleveland, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library. Fine Arts and Special Collections Department corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library. General Reference Department corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library. John G. White Department corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library. Louis Stokes Wing corporateBody
associatedWith Cleveland Public Library. Main Library corporateBody
associatedWith Colonial Theatre (Organization : Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Cornell, Katharine, 1893-1974 person
associatedWith Davis, Owen, 1874-1956 person
associatedWith De Mille, Henry Churchill, 1850-1893 person
associatedWith Donahue, Jack, 1892-1930 person
associatedWith Doro, Marie person
associatedWith Eisenberger, Severin, 1879-1945 person
associatedWith Elwell, Herbert, 1898-1974 person
associatedWith Fiske, Minnie Maddern, 1965-1932 person
associatedWith Fontanne, Lynn person
associatedWith Gilman, Lawrence, 1878-1939 person
associatedWith Glaser, Vaughan, 1872-1958 person
associatedWith Hanna Theatre (Cleveland, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Hanna Theatre Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Hippodrome Theater (Hippodrome Building, Cleveland, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Karamu House corporateBody
associatedWith Kaufman, George S. (George Simon), 1889-1961 person
associatedWith Leslie, Noel person
associatedWith Lunt, Alfred person
associatedWith Majestic Theatre (Organization : Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Marsh, W. Ward, 1893-1971 person
associatedWith McDermott, William, F. person
associatedWith Metropolitan Opera (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Miller, Marilyn, 1898-1936 person
associatedWith Mitchell, Thomas, 1892-1962 person
associatedWith Musicarnival (Warrensville Heights, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Nugent, J. C. (John Charles), 1878-1947 person
associatedWith Ohio Theatre Alliance corporateBody
associatedWith Playhouse Square Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Plymouth Theatre Corporation (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Price, John L. Jr. person
associatedWith Princeton University. Department of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Rogers, James H. (James Hotchkiss), 1857-1940 person
associatedWith Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950 person
associatedWith Shubert Theatre (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Shubert Theatre (Organization : Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Shubert Theatre (Organization : New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Skinner, Otis, 1858-1942 person
associatedWith Stephen, Robert S. person
associatedWith Stone, Fred, 1873-1959 person
associatedWith Vassar College. Department of Music corporateBody
associatedWith Weidenthal, Leo, 1878-1967 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Charleston (W. Va.)
Buffalo (N.Y.)
Poughkeepsie (N.Y.)
Carnegie Hall (New York, N.Y.)
Munich (Germany)
Cleveland (Ohio)
Boston (Mass.)
Symphony Hall (Boston, Mass.)
Cleveland (Ohio)
Princeton (N.J.)
Cleveland (Ohio)
Cleveland (Ohio)-History.
New York (N.Y.)
Cambridge (Mass.)
Boston (Mass.)
Salzburg (Austria)
Severance Hall (Cleveland, Ohio)
New York (N.Y.)
Harvard University--Musical groups
English language--Grammar

Corporate Body



Ark ID: w6xb7czd

SNAC ID: 45757865