Freedley, George, 1904-1967

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George Reynolds Freedley, author, librarian, lecturer, educator, and theatre critic was born September 5, 1904 in Richmond, Virginia.

He was the son of George Jacobs Freedley and Maude A. Reynolds. Freedley graduated from the University of Richmond in 1925. He studied at Yale University, where he was a student of George Pierce Baker from 1926 to 1928, and received his Master for Fine Arts in drama in 1936. After leaving Yale in 1926 Freedley worked in the theatre in various capacities, including three years as an assistant technical director and a stage manager of the New York Theatre Guild. As an actor, Freedley appeared in THE GREY FOX (1928), THE CAMEL THROUGH THE NEEDLE'S EYE (1929), and EVERYTHING'S JAKE (1930). Freedley began his career at the New York Public Library in the picture collection. When David Belasco's papers were donated to the library with the stipulation that they be made available to the public, Freedley was selected to organize them and the theatre collection was born. Beginning in 1931 as "librarian in charge", Freedley was appointed curator of the theatre collection in 1938. Except for a brief absence from 1948 to 1950 when he took a position as Chief Play Reader for A & S Lyons, Freedley retained his curatorial post at the library until 1965 when poor health made it necessary for him to change his status to that of a consultant to the collection.

During his tenure at the library, Freedley also pursued his work on behalf of theatre history and theatre librarianship through numerous professional affiliations. He established the Theatre Library Association and served as its president from 1937 to 1963. He also served on the board of the American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) from 1946 to 1964. Freedley gave his time and expertise to many organizations promoting international cultural exchange including the International Federation for Theatre Research and the Sociť ̌Universelle du Thť́re. He was a delegate to the UNESCO Theatre Conference in Paris (1948) where the International Theatre Institute was established. Other organizational affiliations included: American Educational Theatre Association, Equity Library Theatre, National Theatre Conference, New York Drama Critics Circle, Pirandello Society, The Players, and the Shaw Society of America.

Freedley wrote frequently on the theatre, theatre education and theatre librarianship. He was a regular columnist for PLAYBILL and the dramatic critic (1938-1947), book editor and drama feature writer (1947-1967) for the MORNING TELEGRAPH (New York). He was also a reviewer of theatrical books for PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY. Freedley's monographs include THE LUNTS: A BIOGRAPHY (1957), SIMON LISSIM: A BIOGRAPHY (1949), HISTORY OF MODERN DRAMA (1947, with Barrett H. Clark), and A HISTORY OF THE THEATRE (1941, with J.A. Reeves). In 1960 Freedley published a memoir of his cat: MR. CAT and he wrote MORE MR. CAT in 1961.

During his lifetime Freedley was honored many times receiving the Kelcey Allen Award in 1956 and the Theta Alpha Phi Educational Award in 1957. He also accepted a Tony on behalf of the Theatre Collection in 1956. George Freedley died on September 7, 1967.

From the description of George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122533751

George Reynolds Freedley, author, librarian, lecturer, educator, and theatre critic was born September 5, 1904 in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of George Jacoby Freedley and Maude A. Reynolds. Freedley graduated from the University of Richmond in 1925. He studied at Yale University, where he was a student of George Pierce Baker from 1926 to 1928, and received his Master of Fine Arts in drama in 1936. After leaving Yale in 1926 Freedley worked in the theatre in various capacities, including three years as an assistant technical director and a stage manager of the New York Theatre Guild. As an actor, Freedley appeared in The Grey Fox (1928), The Camel Through the Needle's Eye (1929), and Everything's Jake (1930). Freedley began his career at the New York Public Library in the picture collection. When David Belasco's papers were donated to the library with the stipulation that they be made available to the public, Freedley was selected to organize them and the Theatre Collection was born. Beginning in 1931 as "librarian in charge", Freedley was appointed curator of the Theatre Collection in 1938. Except for a brief absence from 1948 to 1950 when he took a position as Chief Play Reader for A & S Lyons, Freedley retained his curatorial post at the library until 1965 when poor health made it necessary for him to change his status to that of a consultant to the Collection.

During his tenure at the library Freedley also pursued his work on behalf of theatre history and theatre librarianship through numerous professional affiliations. He established the Theatre Library Association and served as its president from 1937 to 1963. He also served on the board of the American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) from 1946 to 1964. Freedley gave his time and expertise to many organizations promoting international cultural exchange including the International Federation for Theatre Research and the Société Universelle du Théâtre. He was a delegate to the UNESCO Theatre Conference in Paris (1948) where the International Theatre Institute was established. Other organizational affiliations included: American Educational Theatre Association, Equity Library Theatre, National Theatre Conference, New York Drama Critics Circle, Pirandello Society, The Players, and the Shaw Society of America.

Freedley wrote frequently on the theatre, theatre education and theatre librarianship. He was a regular columnist for Playbill and the dramatic critic (1938-1947), book editor and drama feature writer (1947-1967) for the Morning Telegraph (New York). He was also a reviewer of theatrical books for Publisher's Weekly . Freedley's monographs include The Lunts: a Biography (1957), Simon Lissim: a Biography (1949), A History of Modern Drama (with Barrett H. Clark, 1947), and A History of the Theatre (with J.A. Reeves, 1941). In 1960 Freedley published a memoir of his cat: Mr. Cat, and he also wrote More Mr. Cat in 1961. During his lifetime Freedley was honored many times receiving the Kelcey Allen Award in 1956 and the Theta Alpha Phi Educational Award in 1957. He also accepted a Tony on behalf of the Theatre Collection in 1956. George Freedley died on September 7, 1967.

From the guide to the George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
creatorOf George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn McNulty, Robert, 1923-1970. Robert McNulty papers, 1959-1967. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Marquis, Don, 1878-1937. Everything's Jake, by Don Marquis. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Freedley, George, 1904-1967. Awards received, 1962-1963. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Freedley, George, 1904-1967. George Freedley papers, 1861-1971, 1935-1966. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Spewack, Samuel and Bella. Papers, ca.1920-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Goldstone, Jean Stock, 1906?-. Jean Stock Goldstone papers, 1937-1949. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abraham Mandelstam person
associatedWith Alan Dent person
associatedWith Alfred Lunt person
associatedWith Alrik Gustafson person
associatedWith ANTA (Organization) corporateBody
associatedWith Archibald MacLeish person
associatedWith Barrett H. Clark person
associatedWith Billy Rose Theatre Collection. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. corporateBody
associatedWith Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. person
associatedWith Carlotta O'Neill person
associatedWith Carl Van Vechten person
associatedWith Carson McCullers person
associatedWith Celeste Holm person
associatedWith Charlton Heston person
associatedWith Cornelia Otis Skinner person
associatedWith Dawn Powell person
associatedWith Domenico Vittorini person
associatedWith Dorothy Gish person
associatedWith Dreyer, Carl Theodor, 1889-1968. person
associatedWith Edna Ferber person
associatedWith Edward Albee person
associatedWith Elemer Nagy person
associatedWith Elia Kazan person
associatedWith Eva Le Gallienne person
associatedWith Flanagan, Hallie, 1890-1969. person
associatedWith Franz Rapp person
associatedWith Frederick H. Koch person
associatedWith Frederick J. Kiesler person
associatedWith Garson Kanin person
associatedWith George Jacoby Freedley person
associatedWith George S. Kaufman person
associatedWith Gilder, Rosamund. person
associatedWith Gish, Lillian, 1893-1993. person
associatedWith Goldstone, Jean Stock, 1906?- person
associatedWith Harry W. L. Dana person
associatedWith Hartnoll, Phyllis person
associatedWith Hartnoll, Phyllis. person
associatedWith Helen Hayes person
associatedWith Henry Schnitzler person
associatedWith Hermione Gingold person
associatedWith Hume Cronyn person
associatedWith International Theatre Institute. corporateBody
associatedWith Isabel Wilder person
associatedWith James Leo Herlihy person
associatedWith Jean Renoir person
associatedWith Jessica Tandy person
associatedWith Joan Fontaine person
associatedWith John Gielgud person
associatedWith Jo Mielziner person
associatedWith Joshua Logan person
associatedWith Kate Drain Lawson person
associatedWith Katharine Cornell person
associatedWith Kenneth Tynan person
associatedWith Laurence Olivier person
associatedWith Lewis John Carlino person
associatedWith Lillian Gish person
associatedWith Lillian Hellman person
associatedWith Lincoln Kirstein person
associatedWith Lissim, Simon, 1900-1981. person
associatedWith Louis E. Laflin, Jr person
associatedWith Marc Blitzstein person
associatedWith Marquis, Don, 1878-1937. person
associatedWith Marta Abba person
associatedWith Mary Martin person
associatedWith Mary Vaughan person
associatedWith Maurice D. Colbourne person
associatedWith McNulty, Robert, 1923-1970. person
associatedWith Mildred Adams person
associatedWith National Theatre Conference. corporateBody
associatedWith New York (N.Y.). Dept. of Cultural Affairs corporateBody
associatedWith New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Billy Rose Theater Division corporateBody
associatedWith New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Billy Rose Theatre Division corporateBody
associatedWith Norman, Gertrude. person
associatedWith Oscar Hammerstein person
associatedWith Otis Skinner person
associatedWith Paul Newman person
associatedWith Ralph Bellamy person
associatedWith Richard Rodgers person
associatedWith Robert Anderson person
associatedWith Robson, Flora, 1902-1984. person
associatedWith Ruth St. Denis person
associatedWith Samuel Freedley person
associatedWith Spewack, Samuel and Bella. person
associatedWith Sue Jacoby person
associatedWith Tennessee Williams person
associatedWith Thornton Wilder person
associatedWith Tyrone Guthrie person
associatedWith Van Druten, John, 1901-1957. person
associatedWith Walter Hampden person
associatedWith William Inge person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Theater librarianship
Occupation
Librarians
Function

Person

Birth 1904

Death 1967-09-11

Male

Information

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