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Ralph E. Dyar (1885-1955) was born in Dover, Minnesota on January 4, 1885. He was educated at the University of Minnesota where he received his B.A. in 1907. He became a writer and playwright and was first published in the early Life Magazine. Dyar's most successful play was A Voice in the Dark. It was produced in New York, Boston, and Chicago during 191921, and was turned into a motion picture by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1921.
Dyar's later plays were published as one-act productions and were produced by many local theatres. He also wrote children's books and wrote for the Spokesman Review newspaper. Dyar later wrote a history of that newspaper titled, News for an Empire: The Story of the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, and of the Field it Serves. Dyar married Elsie J. Kiesling and had four children. Ralph E. Dyar died on December 20, 1955.
The collection contains literary manuscripts, correspondence, and the working files for the book, News for an Empire: The Story of the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, and of the Field it Serves.
The manuscript series is divided into seven sections: plays, promotional scripts, motion pictures, short stories and articles, books, addresses and lectures, and miscellaneous manuscripts. The material in each section is mostly organized alphabetically. Most sections contain related correspondence, drafts and revised versions, reviews, and research files. The working files for "News for an Empire" can be found under the Book section. Miscellaneous manuscripts include notebooks (1910-1912), idea, and research notes.
The correspondence series mainly consists of professional letters dealing with publishing matters and the production of Dyars plays, and is organized chronologically, 1907-1955. There is a small group of personal correspondence between Dyar and his daughter Joan (1939; 1952-1955).
Also available in the collection are clippings and reviews about Dyar's work, play programs, scrapbooks about play writing and comics, and biographical material.
The July 1967 Addenda contains play and motion picture manuscripts, short stories and articles, addresses, correspondence, additional materials and correspondence regarding "News for an Empire," notebooks and other miscellaneous manuscripts.
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[Identification of item], Ralph Dyar papers, Ax 255, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.