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Born in East Worchester, New York, on 2 May 1867, Maud May Babcock (1867-1954) was graduated from the National School of Oratory of Philadelphia and the Lyceum School of Acting, now the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She also studied at Chicago University and for two years, in London and Paris. She received a B.A. degree from Wells College in New York. Babcock was an instructor for three summer sessions at Harvard University and taught at Engleside School for Girls in the Berkshires, Rutgers College, and in the public schools of New York before coming to the University of Utah. She came to Salt Lake City in 1892 as a professor of oratory and speech at the old Social Hall. On the occasion of her birthday in 1947, she said that Mrs. Susa Young Gates, a daughter of Brigham Young, was responsible for her coming West. Mrs. Gates was in one of her Harvard summer classes. Babcock organized the physical culture and speech departments at the University and trained thousands of students, some of whom went on to make names for themselves on the legitimate stage, in movies, and in radio. She wrote numerous books relating to the fields of speech and elocution, including Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation, Interpretive Selections for High Schools, and Interpretive Selections for College. She was former president of the national Association fo the Teachers of Speech, served on the board of Utah School for the Deaf and Blind for twenty years and later in life was made an honorary member of the National League of American Pen Women. She was chaplain of the Utah State Senate, probably the first woman in the country to hold such a position. Miss Babcock made a number of trips to the Orient, as well as to Europe, sometimes conducting parties of students. In 1938, after making a personal contribution for the aid of Chinese victims fo the Sino-Japanese war, she received a letter from Madame Chiang Kai-shek thanking her for her interest in the Chinese people. Miss Babcock retired from the University of Utah in 1938. She was the pioneer of the college Little Theater movement and organized the first little theater west of the Mississippi. Maud May Babcock died on 31 December 1954 after a long illness. (This biography was taken from an article in the Utah Alumnus, May 1955.)
The Maud May Babcock papers (1885-1981) contain materials dealing with the personal life and professional activities of Maud May Babcock (1867-1954). Materials related mainly to her personal life are: a book, Babcock Genealogy; Valentine and Christmas cards; news clippings; and a contract for building her residence. Most of the correspondence is from family members and deals with personal matters, but also included are letters of introduction and commissions related to her professional affairs. Some of the personal correspondence touches on professional topics, particularly her Utah School of Physical Culture and Elocution. Materials related to her role as founder and head of the University of Utah Speech Department and to her involvement with theater include: class registers, scrapbooks, professional expense accounts, plays, poetry and recitations, programs, and honors and awards. Babcock was an author as well as an educator. This aspect is represented by two books on interpretation of the printed page and the manuscript of a third which she co-authored. The tours of the Orient she conducted are represented by travel brochures and news clippings note her service as a member of the State Senate and Trustee of the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. Other materials in the collection include miscellaneous correspondence, biographies, theater programs, lists of plays, and scrapbooks. Also included is a copy of her final address before the Speech Association of America and various memorabilia items.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Maud May Babcock papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator.
Initial Citation: Maud May Babcock papers, Ms 83, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Following Citations: Ms 83.
Alfred Ayers to Maud May Babcock
Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr. to Maud May Babcock
Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr. to William Wayne Babcock Jr.
William Wayne Babcock Sr. to Maud May Babcock
William Wayne Babcock Jr. to Maud May Babcock
William Wayne Babcock Jr. to Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr.
Madame Chiang Kai-shek to Maud May Babcock
Harcourt Peck to Maud May Babcock
Johanna Lettmann to Maud May Babcock
Letters of Introduction from J. M. Tanner and J. M. Lyman for Maud May Babcock
Orson F. Whitney to Maud May Babcock
Zina S. Whitney to Maud May Babcock
Utah School for the Deaf and Blind Acceptance and Resignation Letters; University of Utah Sabbatical Leave Letter
Biography and Genealogy of Maud May Babcock
University of Utah Class Registers
Contract for Residence
Golden Jubilee Banquet Souvenir Program
Delta Kappa Gamma Invitation and Board of Trustees Certificate
Invitations and Calling Cards
Academic Certificate, Application Letter, Court Notice, Binghamton High School Subject Record
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Souvenir Program
National Speech Arts Association and the National Dramatic Fraternity
Personal Items, Account Book, and Character Analysis
Annie F. Armitage Petition
Poetry and Recitations
Professional Expense Accounts
Teaching Materials for Elocution
House Bill 114
Valentines and Christmas Cards
William Wayne Babcock Jr., "The Changing Medical Pattern"
Interpretation of the Printed Page, Manuscripts
Books by Maud May Babcock
Babcock Genealogy, Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation, Interpretation of the Printed Page, Pedagogy of Interpretation, and Studies in Dialect.
Correspondence, Personal and Official
Correspondence, Elbert D. Thomas to Maud May Babcock
Maud May Babcock Biographical Data
Notes, record sheets, and articles.
Household Account Book
Invitations and Cards
National Association of Teachers of Speech
Produced by the University Dramatic Club, Extension Division and Summer School Play Production, Freshman Dramatic Club, Theta Alpha Phi, Salt Lake Theater, and the University Speech Department.
For the Babcock Varsity Players, Utah Theater, and other events including lectures by Babcock and Joseph F. Smith.
Theta Alpha Phi Invitation and Program
Diaries, programs, brochures, and memorabilia.
University of Utah Speech Department
Reports, Utah Colleges on the Air program, and courses of study.
Utah State Senate, Prayers by Babcock
Writings by Babcock
William Wayne Babcock Jr.
Biographical notes, letter, news clippings, and program.
Picturesque Middleburgh and Vicinity
Includes Babcock's final address before the Speech Association of America, a presentation by the Maud May Babcock Reading Arts Society and University of Utah Theater Department, and a copy of her Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation. Also included is her doctorate diploma.
Included are two napkins embroidered by Babcock and organizational pins housed in a striped bag.
This is a scanned image of the original family crest.