B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records, 1878-1969 (bulk 1900-1960).


B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records, 1878-1969 (bulk 1900-1960).

The bulk of the B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records (the Costume Design Portfolios series) comprises 34,000 costume designs, dress plots, and related materials produced or collected by the firm between 1878 and 1969 (bulk 1910-1960). Over 1,100 theatrical productions and 116 films are represented, including works by Shakespeare, Shaw, and Gilbert and Sullivan; performances by John Gielgud (Hamlet, 1944) and Laurence Olivier (as Romeo, 1935); numerous Ivor Novello musicals; Oscar Asche's blockbuster production of the musical Chu Chin Chow (1916); original designs for Peter Pan (1904) and Ben-Hur (1902); and British films such as Olivier's Henry V and Things to Come. The costume designers Percy Anderson, Attilio Comelli, and Sers are particularly well represented. The Production Portfolios comprise 227 folio scrapbooks of souvenir programs, clipped reviews and articles from entertainment periodicals, and photographs showing illustrations of stage and film costumes, often with accompanying textual descriptions or reviews. Over 8,000 productions between 1880 and 1959 are represented, most from London or Paris. Although many productions were dressed by Simmons, other stagings are also documented, allowing researchers to compare several presentations of the same play. When published sources were not sufficient to meet the requirements of a particular theatrical production or commission, designers conducted research at libraries and museums. Over time, Simmons compiled a vast visual archive of tracings, clippings, photographs, postcards, and other ephemeral materials. The Geographic Costume Portfolios contain more than 10,000 items arranged in meticulous order by country (from Abyssinia to Yugoslavia) and time period. England and France are especially well represented. After the initial production and sale of costumes, Simmons often leased their garments to amateur dramatic societies and subsequent professional productions. The records for this part of their enterprise are found in the Business Records series, as are other documents concerning the management of a costume house.

224 document boxes, 331 oversize boxes, 227 portfolios, 35 flat file drawers (400 linear feet).



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Hammerstein, Oscar, II, 1895-1960

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Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist, librettist, theatrical producer. He is best known for his collaborations with composer Richard Rodgers, whose musicals include Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music....

London Film Productions

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Malone, J. A. E., 1859 or 1860-1929

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Messel, Oliver, 1904-1978

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Ricketts, Charles S., 1866-1931

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Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616

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Beaton, Cecil, 1904-1980

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Hammond, Aubrey

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Hubert, René 1895-1976

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Motley (Organization)

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Heslewood, Tom.

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Olivier, Laurence, 1907-1989

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B. J. Simmons & Co.

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London historical and theatrical costumier, 1857-1964. From the description of B. J. Simmons & Co. Costume Design Records, 1878-1969 (bulk 1900-1960). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 79415228 ...

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Tree, Dolly

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Zinkeisen, Doris.

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Arnold, Tom, -1969

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D'Oyly Carte Opera Company

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Norris, Herbert.

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Holland, Anthony, 1912-1988.

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Rank Film Organization.

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Rumbold, Hugo

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Saville, Victor, 1895-1979

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Pressburger, Emeric

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Collins, Arthur, 1864-1933

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Novello, Ivor, 1893-1951

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Ivor Novello (1893-1951) was born in Cardiff, Wales, to David Davies and Clare Novello Davies, a vocal teacher. Musically active as a child, he learned songs from his mother's many famous clients and showed an early talent for writing songs, having his first work published at age 15. He moved to London in 1913, and quickly became a favorite of Sir Edward Marsh, a well-known patron of the arts. He spent the first several years of his career working as a composer, but eventually added acting, both...

Segalla, Irene.

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Charles H. Fox Ltd.

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Menzies, William Cameron, 1896-1957

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Parker, Louis Napoléon 1852-1944

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Louis Napoleon Parker, British musician and playwright. From the guide to the Louis Napoleon Parker manuscript material : 1 item, 1893, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.) Louis Napoleon Parker (1852-1944) was a popular and successful mainstream English playwright, producer of historical pageants, and musician, as well as a prolific translator of drama in French and Italian. A contemporary of George Bernard Sh...

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Gaumont British Picture Corp.

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Haffenden, Elizabeth, 1906-1976

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Russell, Howell

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Macquoid, Percy, -1925

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British theatrical designer, illustrator and author of 4 books and numerous articles on English furniture, Percy Macquoid was the son of illustrator and watercolourist Thomas Robert Macquoid (1820-1912), and novelist and travel writer Katharine Sarah Macquoid [pseud. Gilbert Percy] (1824-1917). From the description of Percy Macquoid costume designs for The Merchant of Venice, 1922. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 669062818 Painter and scene designer. ...

Pitcher, William J. C., 1858-1925

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Armstrong, John, 1893-1973

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Samuel French & Son Publishers.

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Gilbert, W. S. 1836-1911.

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Korda, Alexander, Sir, 1893-1956

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